TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Aug. 8)—Automotive suppliers cannot and should not be forced to absorb the price increases "legitimized by the politically driven (steel) tariffs" imposed by the Bush administration, said Tim Leuliette, chairman, CEO and president of Metaldyne Corp. during the automotive seminars in northern Michigan. Car makers claim the price increases, which run as high as 30 percent, are a supplier problem, he said. But it's the parts makers' job to make them see the hikes are an industry problem. "If we must bring Detroit to its knees over this, so be it," he said. To the U.S. steel producers, Leuliette said Metaldyne expects them to reduce their prices next year in line with its cost reductions to the car makers. Any requests for price hikes will have to be approved by the car makers, he said. "If they don't accept your increase, we are unable to absorb it ourselves." If the steel companies want to push automotive suppliers, "We will go to Washington and force a showdown," he said.