Friday, 22 February, 2019

U.S. vehicle manufacturing giants go into reverse amid Trump tariff worries

EU is possibly as bad as China’ Trump attacks partners in new ‘unfair trade’ rant Francois Lenoir Reuters
Nellie Chapman | 05 July, 2018, 11:57

President Donald Trump is pursuing the investigation under what's called Section 232 of US trade laws, which gives the president latitude to enact measures like tariffs to protect areas deemed vital to the defense industrial base, although some comments questioned the link between national security and the auto industry, noting that specialized military vehicles are already made in the U.S.

The European Union is reportedly ready to hold talks with major auto manufacturers about a coordinated effort to cut pre-existing tariffs, as a means of defusing President Donald Trump's trade war before it escalates further. It was not immediately clear what those concerns are.

This was the equivalent to 19 percent of US total exports in 2017, the submission added.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that while the EU does have higher tariffs on cars than the USA - around 10 percent versus 2 percent - the tariffs only apply to a fraction of the vehicle market, around 15 percent.

President Donald Trump has boldly declared that trade wars are easy to win.

China, Japan, and South Korea all reported that their export orders eased back in June as trade tensions continue with the US. The three Texas industries facing the biggest risk are all big traders with Canada, which has announced $12.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs against American-made products since Trump placed new tariffs on its aluminum steel. The decline in vehicle sales, the company said, would have a negative impact on the workforce in the USA, and threaten jobs down the supply chain.

The business lobbying group says farm states and states with large auto production plants will be particularly vulnerable.

"Toyota shares the Administration's goals of increasing, growing the economy and strengthening national security", the automaker said. Any new USA tariffs would likely lead to further retaliatory measures from China and the EU.

She said the European Union can not lift its vehicle tariffs for the United States or it would have to do so for the rest of the world, and "there's no way" European Union member countries would agree to that.

Trump has previously been persuaded to back off of trade threats with the argument that states that backed him in the 2016 presidential campaign will be hit hard. While there is no economic threat to the U.S. automobile industry which is healthy, imposing restrictive measures would in fact undermine the current positive trends of the United States automobile sector. Their shipments will now be subject to a 25 percent tariff, which will instantly make their crops far costlier in China. Employment in the US auto sector, which accounts for over four million jobs, could be particularly harmed. This weekend, Ottawa imposed tariffs on USA goods worth around $12.6 billion.

SC is not the only state expected to suffer, Iowa pork producers could lose $560 million from a Mexico tariff on the product.

"Trade, including imports, has not threatened the health of the US automotive sector, but in fact has strengthened it", said John Bozzella, the chief executive of the Association of Global Automakers.