The state is home to three of the country's largest automakers — General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler — and President Donald Trump's trade actions could increase car prices, Snyder told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in the Chinese city of Tianjin.
Trump announced Monday that a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports will go into effect next week and eventually rise to 25 percent by year-end. If Beijing takes retaliatory action, the White House "will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional [Chinese] imports," according to Trump's latest statement.
When the extent of the full tariffs hit, "it will be painful in some fashion," said Snyder, a Republican. "Raising the prices of vehicles is a real concern," he continued, adding that agriculture players are even "more concerned" than the auto industry.
Michigan has been a major beneficiary of open trade with the world's second largest economy. It's received $1.21 billion in Chinese investment since 2011, a sum that's created more than 6,000 jobs.