The foremost advocacy group for the U.S. automobile industry is urging President Donald Trump to back down from his threat of imposing tariffs on auto imports, warning the move would be “damaging” to the sector.

In a letter posted to Twitter Wednesday, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers called the potential auto tariffs “misguided” and warned the levies would jeopardize American jobs.

“While we understand that you are working to achieve a level playing field for trade to create more jobs, raising tariffs is the wrong approach,” the group — which represents 12 car manufacturers including Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors — said in the letter.

“We have come together as a united U.S. auto industry … to urge your administration to achieve fair trade through policies that won't jeopardize American jobs, our economy or U.S. technological leadership.”  

The comments come ahead of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s two-day hearing starting Thursday in Washington, D.C., where industry and political leaders will testify on the potential impact of tariffs on imported automobiles. Trump has threatened to slap levies of up to 25 per cent on U.S. car imports amid his ongoing trade war.

The Auto Alliance recommended the Trump administration focus on creating jobs by growing U.S. exports, and warned tariffs would result in less capital for investments and therefore stymie innovation.

“Raising tariffs on autos and auto parts would be a massive tax on consumers who buy or service their vehicles — whether imported or domestically produced. These higher costs will inevitably lead to declining sales and the loss of American jobs, as well as increasing vehicle service and repair costs that may result in consumers delaying critical vehicle maintenance,” the group said.