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The Trump administration has launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new U.S. tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminum in March.Higher tariffs could be particularly painful for Asian automakers including Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co., which count the United States as a key market, and the announcement sparked a broad sell-off in automakers' shares across the region.The governments of Japan, China and South Korea said they would monitor the situation, while Beijing, which is increasingly eyeing the United States as a potential market for its cars, added that it would defend its interests.The administration is also trying to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement to return more auto production to the United States.Chinese automaker Geely Holding Group urged free trade practices for the auto industry, which is built on a complex supply chain under which vehicle components for any given car often originates from numerous countries.
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