GM, Ford shares rise after US initiates investigation into auto imports

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A worker builds the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition SUV as it goes through the assembly line at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant October 27, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Domestic auto stocks rose Thursday after the U.S. Department of Commerce started an investigation into automobile imports.

The government is looking into whether the imports “threaten to impair the national security” of the United States. It will be carried out under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to carry out the probe.

Shares of Ford and General Motors are up in Thursday’s premarket session, gaining 0.8 percent and 1 percent, respectively. U.S.-traded shares of Toyota Motor are down 1.4 percent in the session.

Trump has discussed plans for auto import tariffs with industry officials, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing sources. The report said the tariffs could be up to 25 percent.

—CNBC’s Ted Kemp contributed to this article.

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