US President Donald Trump is laying the groundwork for a new global trade battle — this time over cars.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said late Wednesday that following a conversation with Trump, he is launching an investigation into whether automobile imports are hurting US national security.

“There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry,” Ross said in a statement.

The type of investigation, known as Section 232, is the same approach the Trump administration used before it slapped tariffs on steel and aluminium imports earlier this year, citing national security concerns.

According to CNN News, the Commerce Department said the investigation will cover cars, SUVs, vans, light trucks and automotive parts. It made no mention of the possible measures that could follow.

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