By on March 4, 2018

Trump

President Donald Trump amplified his earlier threat of a global trade war this weekend by suggesting he would impose a tax on European cars if the EU countered his proposed steel and aluminum tariffs. On Thursday, Trump called for a 25 precent import tariff for steel and a 10 percent fee on aluminum in the hopes it would bolster those industries domestically. Europe responded by threatening a tax on imported bourbon, blue jeans, and American motorcycles. Apple pie and baseball were not mentioned, but you get the idea.

European Union officials clearly wanted to send a message to the president to back down. Instead, he came back even harder in a tweet from Saturday. “If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S.,” he wrote. “They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!”

The United States currently imports over 1.2 million European cars from Europe, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. The overwhelming majority of these vehicles from from German automakers under BMW Group, Volkswagen Group, and Daimler. Trump advisor Peter Navarro has repeatedly brought up the $65 billion U.S. trade deficit with Germany and has accused the country of unfair automotive deals, supplier control, and using the European Union as a cover not to negotiate.

“I think that it would be useful to have candid discussions with Germany about ways that we could possibly get that deficit reduced outside the boundaries and restrictions that they claim that they are under,” Navarro told the National Association for Business Economics roughly a year ago.

Presently, the United States imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on the import of all foreign cars and a 25 percent tariff on the import of foreign trucks or vans. Meanwhile, the E.U. has a flat 10 percent tax on all vehicles imported from the U.S.

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171 Comments on “Trump is Talking Tariffs Again, Takes Aim at European Cars...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    ” the E.U. has a flat 10 percent tax on all vehicles imported from the U.S.”

    Seems like a good time to match that flat 10% tax on all vehicles imported from the EU, and maybe on all cars imported from everywhere else too.

    Where are those who screeched so loudly about that level playing field?

    Not a sound heard from that peanut gallery.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      Do we even import that many cars from the E.U. anymore? I thought the BMW’s were mostly made in SC now, Mercedes in Alabama, and VW’s in TN?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “Do we even import that many cars from the E.U. anymore?”

        It is readily becoming self-evident that it is more economically advantageous to build “inside America” than it is to import the same goods into America from abroad.

        And I believe that NAFTA as it exists today is toast, to be superseded by individually-tailored agreements between the US and each of its NAFTA trading partners.

        “Suck it up and deal with it” will be the new American trade mantra during the Trump era.

        Long overdue!

        But finally here.

        Even the lefty libby ‘crats love it.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          But the most interesting models are often the ones made in Europe and sold here in small numbers. Those will be the ones we lose to protectionism.

          • 0 avatar
            xtoyota

            WHO CARES we all love fancy cars BUT MOST DON”T BUY THEM and those who can afford them let them pay more :=)

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          I hope that you are familiar with the history of the Smoot Hawley law? There are some precautionary tales to be old about protectionism and trade wars.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ttacgreg, if your comment was in reply to me, the answer is, I’m vaguely familiar with it because it was covered in my college curriculum for my 1980 Business Law classes.

            The present I believe to be different economic times altogether with unemployment very low, the stock market high, and the US economy spinning up.

            Does the 1973 oil embargo even relate to the reality of today’s US economy? To me Smoot-Hawley would a be similar predicament and really has no application in today’s US economy.

            But I could be wrong. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

            Or the fat lady sings.

          • 0 avatar
            manu06

            When Smoot Hartley was enacted the US ran large trade surpluses.
            Now we run large trade deficits. In a world where most of our trade partners have lower labor and environmental costs, tariffs should not be ruled out.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            manu06, just for grins I copied Trump’s tweet on trade wars,

            “From Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

            When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”

            To me that spells out Trump’s concise motivation behind placing tariffs on imported goods going into America.

          • 0 avatar
            deanst

            In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone?… the Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?… raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.

        • 0 avatar
          vehic1

          highdesertcat: I’m not sure that pulling an ever-expanding trade war out of his rear, to take attention away from Mueller and his own revolving-employment-door White House, is winning great legions of fans – either Democrats or within his supposed own party.
          All the jobs lost from reciprocal EU, etc., tariffs may easily exceed any eventually gained in the smelting industry, for one example. Many “righty trumby kins” seem none too pleased, at any rate.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            vehic1, it could be all bluster and talk to upset the global trade applecart.

            In fact, tariffs MAY never happen.

            Sometimes a “threat” is much more effective in achieving the desired goal. Trump holds all the cards at this point in time.

            We’ll see if Trump knows when to hold ‘m, and when to fold ‘m.

            But one thing is for sure, Trump is a manipulator, a hands-on, down and nasty street brawler, and generally despised person by anyone who ever had dealings with him in his former life.

      • 0 avatar
        lne937s

        X3 and X5 are made in South Carolina, including the ones they sell in Europe.

        US made cars not being popular in Europe has to do with the most vehicles being made here not appealing to Europeans. Kind of like how VW dominates the market in Europe, but has struggled to gain market share here.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      This disparity is what Trump is inarticulately talking about. We let consumer goods flood into our country with little or no tariffs, but the same countries impose tariffs on US made goods. Not fair.

      We are slowly bleeding away our wealth with the huge annual trade deficits. Time for something to change.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        “https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-nafta-autos/as-nafta-weighs-trumps-tariffs-drive-new-u-s-auto-concerns-idUSKCN1GF0K4”

        Good article.

        I believe what Trump is trying to do is for the US to become self-sufficient again, rather than dependent on the inter-connectivity of the global economy.

        • 0 avatar
          tinbad

          The US won’t keep its global lead by imposing tariffs and trying to “bring back manufacturing jobs”. It will do so with a better educated, prosperous middle class (which is getting screwed right now by said administration in favor of the rich) and innovation that the rest of the world want to buy. Why is it that the top multinational companies are all US based? Certainly not because of starting “trade wars”. The US (used to) make products people actually want to buy. There’s still some powerhouses like Apple, Tesla but they’re getting few in between. Some blame globalization but I’d argue it’s a combination of declining consumer/work force protections and established corporations having too much power leading to major consolidation in the market and reluctance to innovate.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tinbad, that remains to be seen. No one can predict the future or the impact of these new economic policies.

            One thing for sure, these policies ARE different from the economic policies of the past 25 years.

            Every economy, every nation, has the right to trade with whomever they choose.

            If they wish to trade with the US they can’t be slapping tariffs on US-made goods while peddling their wares without equitable tariffs.

            Hence, Trump’s economic philosophy.

            All this stuff is overblown IMO because every nation wants to trade with the US and will suck up to Trump, one way or another.

            Hardball. Advantage Trump.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        We are also bleeding it internally to the 0.001%
        http://www.lcurve.org/images/LCurveFlier2003.pdf

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Tariffs, especially on materials the USA needs in manufacturing will increase the costs to the manufacturers and ultimately the consumer.

        A global trade war will hurt everyone, including the USA. We’ve already seen countries go ahead with trade deals without the USA. TPP is a prime example. #45 doesn’t have the balls to take on China head on so he decides to go after his allies.

        The USA will have no choice but become self-sufficient because no one is going to want to deal with this administration.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Slowly bleeding away our wealth? We as a country have never been wealthier.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_in_the_United_States#/media/File:1-US_Household_Wealth_-_Real_and_Nominal.png

        If Trump really wants to take control of the trade deficit he would attack our fiscal deficit. About a third of our deficit to China last year was them buying more debt from us. A big bond selloff will have much more dire and acute consequences to our economy than an imbalance of widgets

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The US has CAFE, differing safety standards, 25% tax protecting much of it’s market.

      Be real man.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – The US came up with its safety and emissions standards from scratch to protect the health/safety of its citizen, period.

        The EU then afterwards put their own twist on those standards to protect EU automakers as technical barriers, ipso facto.

        And clearly, when it came to emissions regs (or lack thereof), the health of EU citizens took a backseat.

        But it’s comically how EU regulations zig everywhere US regs “zag”.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – By “…25% tax protecting much of it’s market…”, you obviously speak of “protecting” US pickups, but you still fail to point out what exactly (make and model, country of origin) you feel would threaten them, including the “USA Protected” Tundra and Titan “hot sellers”.

        • 0 avatar
          lne937s

          @DenverMike Tundra and Titan are US-made trucks, as are all other Japanese-branded trucks sold here.

          However, we could have seen the Ranger earlier, and GM could have had midsized trucks earlier, as they continued to be made overseas while missing from the US marker.

          Nissan also could bring the Navara, instead of the aging US-made Frontier, and VW could have brought the Amarok.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Right. The reason I mentioned those two pickups is they throw a wrench in BAFO’s theory. You’ll notice he scampered off.

            The point being the Tundra and Titan are just as “Protected” and shielded from (unknown, mystical) imports and that obviously doesn’t equate to obscene profits in the realm of Big 3 fullsize pickups.

            If the Chicken tax slowed the return of the Ranger and GM midsize twins, it’s possible. But if they’re meant to be, and there’s strong demand for them, they will overcome.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Well, maybe the US should raise its duty on cars imported from Europe from 2.5% to 10%, but then maybe Europe should raise its import duty on light trucks built in the US to 25%.

      The latter would place a crimp on sales of US built BMW and MB light trucks.

      Speaking of which, BMW has already made moves to diversify its production of the X3 by retooling its plant in South Africa (instead of expanding production at its S. Carolina facilities) – doing so, in part, due to Drumpf’s previous threats about tariffs.

      And why just pick on the Europeans and not the Chinese and Russians (who place significantly higher tariffs on US auto imports)?

      (No need to answer that, being a rhetorical question.)

      As for the recently announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum – will make not only domestic automakers less competitive, but all US-built vehicles.

      But hey, the US “leader” admiring and wanting to follow in the path) of the Putins, Xis, Erdogans, Dutertes, etc. of the world makes everything “cool.”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Why should others do as the US does? Why not the US follow the other 80% of the vehicle market?

        I think you are out numbered.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “Why should others do as the US does?”

          They don’t have to. No one if forcing them to trade with the US. But with Trump, if these others wish to trade with the US, it will be on Trump’s terms. Pretty simple.

          “Why not the US follow the other 80% of the vehicle market?”

          Trump and many American citizens believe that the US should not “follow” others, but keep its own banner high, first and foremost.

          It’s called sovereignty.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @bd2 – #45 is extremely myopic. All he sees is his “core” demographic and knows tough tariff talk will play well to that group. Republicans have seen how loyal that demographic is and does not want to incur their wrath.
            I’m sure that when the sh!t hits the fan, TwitterPotus will blame immigrants and foreigners for the USA’s problems and the circle-jerk will continue.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @bd2 – It sounds like you didn’t have a clue the EU already has a chicken tax of 22% on US pickups and vans. You could’ve just asked BAFO.

        But a lot of what’s going on, as ugly as it seems, is simply an evening the playing field.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        BMW’s going to reap what it’s sewn when the ANC nationalizes their factory. Anyone that thinks Trump has hurt the American middle class doesn’t know what color the sky is. The only people his administration has harmed are members of ISIS, something the stain in office before him said was unnecessary right up until he said it was impossible. Embarrassing.

    • 0 avatar
      nrcote

      >>> No one can predict the future or
      >>> the impact of these new economic policies.

      What new economic policies? Tariffs? It’s been done before. Bush’s steel tariffs in 2002. Didn’t work then, but feel free to disagree.

      Quotas? I’m old enough to remember the voluntary export restriction (VER) of Japanese cars in the ’80s. Toyota didn’t lower prices to make up for it. Did the Big Three took the opportunity to lower prices and improve quality? LOL No. I still remember my Chevette and my mom’s Citation.

      Protectionism isn’t a new economic policy. Trump plays to his base. So much winning.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        nrcote, new guy in town.

        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        What was old, is new again.

        Whether we like it or not, Trump’s approach is radically different from his predecessors.

        Yup, tariffs, etc have been tried before but I suspect the end results may be different this time and that the agreement(s) reached will be more advantageous to America.

        • 0 avatar
          deanst

          All it will take is a European nation with the balls to levy some heavy tariffs or fines on google or Facebook, leading to a collapse in the stock market. Oddly enough, it would be justified to penalize these 2, given their near monopolistic positions.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            deanst, that European nation would be protecting its own interests just like Trump is protecting America’s interest.

            The problem with innovation into new tech is that the innovators most often retain the monopolistic upper hand.

            If anyone else can do better, they should jump right into the fray for eyeballs.

        • 0 avatar
          craiger

          Wait, and watch other countries quietly stop playing games.

          One-way free trade has been great for Wall Street but not so great for Main Street. And I work on Wall Street and all of my money is invested there. But, it’s the truth.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          At least Trump is wearing a different tie than his usual red one (the only one he owns). He must have forgot his favorite teddy bear, I mean, favorite necktie, and had to borrow a blue one with white stripes.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            A red tie is widely known as a Power Tie.

            And if you noticed how Trump shakes hands, it’s known as the Power Handshake, extending his hand with the palm facing up, then whipping his hand around so that Trump’s palm is facing down and the other person’s palm is facing up.

            An astute handshaker would quickly upright his hand so that BOTH palms are out of the vertical plane, facing each other in a mutual opposite horizontal position.

            Unspoken communications. A palm facing up means you’re begging.

            A palm facing down means you’re in control.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Yep protectionism isn’t a new concept, but it was unfair how Japanese automakers flooded the US market in that era, catching Detroit automakers flatfooted. Despite the Citation, much was accomplished by US brands thanks to the quotas.

        But why would Toyota (or the rest) lower their prices in the face of shortages? Actually they didn’t “raise” their prices, they simply forced a lot of “options”. Fully loaded was practically the rule, while base strippers became very scarce.

        But on a side note, quality Japanese pickups had no such restrictions, they flooded the US with these (stopgap?) base-strippers no problem, and still severely undercut the price of US/Detroit mini-trucks which helped spark famous The Mini Truck Craze.

        • 0 avatar
          lne937s

          @DenverMike there has been a 25% tariff on imported trucks since 1963. The mini-truck craze was largely fueled by Japanese automakers bringing truck production the to US. More efficient and quality-centric manufacturing processes were the reasons they undercut domestic-branded manufacturers at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Globalization was largely instituted by American owned companies in order to gain access to more markets. And later to gain access to cheap labour.

            With that came international markets.

            Nothing that Marx had not predicted in the mid 19th century.

            What the American capitalists did not suspect was that the capitalists of other nations and nationally controlled industries (see China) would outperform them and eventually control much of the capital and therefore ownership.

            Despite this the United States still does not suffer from a lack of capital or income. Or profits. Corporate profits are in many cases at record highs. The problem is the growing inequality in income. And over the past few decades the stifling of social mobility, the very factor that made the USA a beacon of hope to those from many other nations.

            Signing trade agreements with dictatorships, 3rd world/emerging nations that have little or no safety or environmental regulations, and that allow for ‘indentured servitude’ was never wise. But American capitalists lobbied for it, in order to increase their profits.

            Now the POTUS is lashing out, demonstrating no understanding of the linkages involved. For example Canadian steel is largely manufactured from raw materials mined, purchased and shipped from the USA.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Ine937s – You’re close, but The Mini-Truck Craze was fueled by “import” pickups that were actually imported. It took until the mid ’80s for them to be built in the US, while Mitsubishi pickups were never built in the US, the last ones were 1996 Mitsu Mity Max pickups built in Indonesia.

            The reason Japanese automakers flooded the US with cut-rate pickups was there were absolutely zero restrictions on them, unlike their import cars facing stiff quotas, early ’80s.

            To maximize their profit potential, Japanese automakers hard loaded the cars “they could ship”, with max options. Not so with their import pickups. They could be easily had as base-strippers all day long, not even a rear bumper.

            So they were a clear and viable option for potential buyers of hard to get, loaded/high priced Japanese import cars, or anyone budget minded, looking for a new economical car, for cheap.

            So The Mini Truck Craze took off like wildfire, drawing in folks that would never otherwise shop for a compact pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        vehic1

        nrcote +1

    • 0 avatar
      Ce he sin

      Thing is though, that 10% tariff is a WTO figure applied to all cars imported into the EU wherever they’re from. The other thing is though, it’s optional. There’s no tariff on cars imported from Mexico. Why not? Because the EU and Mexico signed a trade agreement more than ten years ago in which both parties agreed not to impose tariffs. If this tariff really exercises the Americans that much, there’s absolutely nothing stopping them entering negotiations about a trade agreement.
      But even if they did, would it do anything to reduce the difference in EU/US car trade which is very much in the EU’s favour? The only US car makers I can think of are Tesla, Ford and GM. GM have abandoned Europe. Tesla have no difficulties in selling their US made cars in markets which incentivise EVs sufficiently and do not appear to have expressed any concern about tariffs. That leaves Ford who have a substantial manufacturing presence in Europe which they maintain for the same reason that Nissan, Toyota, BMW et al do in the US – it makes economic sense to build in a large market. Ford are therefore not about to shutter all their European plants and supply the EU market from Detroit.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Europe responded by threatening a tax on imported bourbon, blue jeans, and American motorcycles.”

    Lol, we tax a major commodity and they respond with a tax on low volume boutique items with super high brand loyalty?

    If that’s the best threat the EU can muster then Trump has already won.

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      The dollar amount of goods with increased tariffs roughly equals the amount of EU steel exports subject to The Trump Tariff.

      Contrary to what the President claims, nobody wins a trade war. Every American loses when Trump raises our prices.

      Lest anyone forget Obama’s disastrous tire tariff:
      http://www.aei.org/publication/2009-tire-tariffs-cost-us-consumers-926k-per-job-saved-and-led-to-the-loss-of-3-retail-jobs-per-factory-job-saved/

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “The dollar amount of goods with increased tariffs roughly equals the amount of EU steel exports subject to The Trump Tariff.”

        Even if it is “roughly” the same in total dollars, I expect the PED of the two baskets is very different.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Bourbon: Kentucky, home of the Senate Majority Leader
      Blue Jeans, Levi’s: San Fanscisco, just because
      Harleys: Wisconsin, home of the Speaker of the House
      Orange juice: Florida, scenic backdrop to the splendor that is Mar-a-Lago

  • avatar
    tinbad

    How about start making cars the rest of the world actually would want to buy? I also seriously doubt that a higher import tax will deter the average German car buyer. If anything, it will give Cadillac and Lincoln an excuse to raise prices on their already mediocre products. No matter what, I can’t see how the common consumer will win with more tariffs, never mind the longer term impact of “trade wars” and all the bad PR it’s bringing. America didn’t get where it is by isolating themselves, but it also didn’t get there because of a man child in the WH who, instead of actually trying to negotiate a better deal, spouts off uncontrolled drivel on Twitter. Sad!

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      “How about start making cars the rest of the world actually would want to buy?”

      That’s comedy gold right there!

      I seriously doubt american manufacturers will ever be a force to be reckoned with at the global level ever again, if anything I suspect they will go the way of Great Britain’s auto industry.

      And its not that the US can’t develop really great product its just that whatever goodwill they had was squandered over the past 30+ years of craptacula Wall Street cost engineered product.

      Hell the domestic auto industry is so despised here even America’s own residents want to see them fail (well except for Tesla and its god head Elon)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It raises the question, what would mainstream European consumers favor, if given a natural choice, American or their own domestic cars?

        Hint: American car buyers jumped all over Japanese cars, WWII Veterans, no matter, but when it came to the wave of mainstream European cars; Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Alfa, etc, those being the best everyday cars they had to offer, none of them stood a bloody chance against the worst, crappiest US, Big 3 domestics, sidebyside, door to door.

        So if you could look at it objectively, while realizing the US would only send over to Europe the best it has to offer, what’s your honest answer?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          DenverMike, you need to factor in that American tastes in automotive vehicles is totally different than the tastes of anyone else on this planet.

          It’s true that many Americans favor certain Japanese, South Korean and German brands, but most of those vehicles were designed and built to cater to American tastes.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @HighDesertCat – Americans have the widest choices of any meaningful car market. Do you want a subcompact? Grab it. If enough buyers truly want it in brown with the diesel and manual? It’s there too.

            American tastes aren’t so different than Europeans, regulations aside. Our favorite dog breeds are from Europe. Furniture is mostly interchangeable and we share similar tastes in food, music, etc.

            Most of the European transplants/expats I know own mid to fullsize cars and trucks/pickups over here, V8 when possible. Just ’cause they don’t (across the pond) doesn’t mean they wouldn’t. Maybe it’s their definition of “Freedom”, I don’t know.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, I agree, and every person in America needs to live their own American Dream, whatever that is. Ditto Europe.

            I’m all for choice, the more the merrier, and let the marketplace sort out what lives and what is discontinued.

            I’m also for fair and reciprocal trade, meaning, if my trading partner tariffs me, I’ll tariff them.

            It’s refreshing, and uplifting, after the tenure of the last administration, that President Trump reflects those same values.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @HighDesertCat – Yes the US is about the weakest major market when it comes to protecting its domestic industries. Just take a stroll through the Walmart (never mind Harbor Freight).

            But it’s the “circling of the wagons” that lead to European domestic cars being so crappy, and that being fairly acceptable by EU consumers. What choice did they have?

            Although this should be a opportunity to negotiate with other big markets to tear down their ridiculous, unfair trade barriers and tariffs, balance things out a bit, increase US exports dramatically, instead of just putting up walls around the US.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DenverMike, I think that is exactly where Trump is heading,

            “to negotiate with other big markets to tear down their ridiculous, unfair trade barriers and tariffs, balance things out a bit, increase US exports dramatically.”

            Right now Trump’s just trying to scare the p!ss out of them.

            And succeeding.

            It’s an admirable trait, a President actually DOING something, promises made and promises KEPT!

            Unheard of in my lifetime, since 1947.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            I would be willing to bet that if Europeans had the same automotive choices, fuel prices (taxes), and tax/insurance structure as American buyers, F-150s, Silverados, Tahoes, and Mustangs would be on every street corner.

            It’s not so much a matter of consumer preference rather big-brother taxed-to-hell government over there.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Maldorian,
            No, the EU will not have those vehicles.

            The EU doesn’t have the infrastructure to support those vehicles. EU cities and even towns and villages are old, I mean really old, like from 1000 years ago. Asia is the same.

            There are only a few places on the planet that can support those vehicles.

            The Arabian Gulf countries, Australia and New Zealand. Even then the sales wouldn’t equal a midsize US state.

            The US tried in Australia and failed to a degree, even the Suburban was a failure. It’s usefulness was limited, no good off road, dubious build quality.

            So, we allow grey imports for the diehards.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Anywhere you can park/drive a Land Rover, you can park/squeeze through a Suburban or F-150. Yes some want to convinces us Europe is wall to wall Medieval Villages. Our big cities and beach communities are likewise unforgiving for anything bigger compacts, but somehow fullsize SUVs and fullsize pickups thrive there.

            The reality is, most normal compact car drivers need a lot more space around them, than they actually use or need, especially at speed. Fullsize vehicle users just use up more that wasted space. In parking structures/tight beach communities I know if my F-150’s left tires are right on top of the line, it’s centered in the space.

            So it takes slightly more skill, no big deal. Without exception, everyone that gets behind the wheel of my F-150 that’s used to a compact, they’re hopping curbs. A GF snapped a wooden road sign exiting a gate with my F-150’s right/rear passenger door, leaving a huge dent/scrape there. It’s a “truck” and simply adds character. But she’s not inept or a bad driver, just not used to the wider turns, coming closer to obstacles, parked cars, etc.

            Of course you know the difference in girth/length, midsize to fullsize, isn’t much to speak of. But when has that stopped you?

          • 0 avatar
            Astigmatism

            @DenverMike, I’m sure Europeans will be happy to hear that you know what vehicles they need better than they do.

            As to “Anywhere you can park/drive a Land Rover, you can park/squeeze through a Suburban or F-150,” a Suburban is as much longer than a Range Rover as a Range Rover is than a VW GTI. I promise you that I could park my GTI in a whole lot of places that I couldn’t park a Range Rover. After driving the length of England twice back in January and barely squeezing an A-class Mercedes down a bunch of country lanes in the north country, a full-size American SUV looked utterly gargantuan when it picked us up from the airport on our return, and in a million years I wouldn’t have wanted one in England, at any price.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If you’re uncomfortable with their size, that’s one thing. If you’re saying it’s not worth the extra trouble, well that’s your opinion. Now if you’re saying it’s not doable, that’s where you lose me.

            Most drivers of compacts or even midsizers need way more room around them than they actually use, otherwise they would freeze up and require a spotter/flagman. That’s true in the US too.

          • 0 avatar

            I think HDC has a good point here, but it sort of needs to be two-tier.

            Americans favored the Japanese cars in the 70s/80s/90s when they were better than domestic offerings, initially at a time when efficiency became important and the Big Three had nothing to offer.

            Now they favor Japanese cars because their reliability is well-established, and the cars are now catered to them. Now, they’re built in the US as well, when the American branded cars are not.

            I think the German argument is a bit different, as it’s a lot about brand prestige which was established pre-1995.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Europe is a lot more than a few rustic villages in England. Much of the continent had it’s infrastructure destroyed and rebuilt twice, well into the age of the automobile. Not everyone lives in a quaint parish or giant city, just like in the US, suburbs are pretty darn popular, maybe not with the fly-in-walk-fly-out tourists, but with actual residents.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Looks like Trump is succeeding in his quest to make enemies out of all of America’s allies. National Security with Canada on steel and aluminum? That’s quite a stretch but hey, if the “lawmakers” will allow that to happen, why do they have jobs.

    Now National Security is more valid when it comes to a country’s natural resources. To use Trump’s made up angles, Canada says the US has been paying cents on the dollar for all our natural resources and laughing at our weak leadership that allows this to happen. So now by Trump’s hand Canada is an enemy. Why would we allow any sale of our natural resources to an enemy? Likely we will start by banning all sale of electricity, wood and wood products.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Our “allies” continuously undermine America’s interests in trade, diplomacy etc. We have huge trade deficits with our European allies, we have our ally Saudi Arabia funding terrorism that kills Americans, Israel building settlements in the West Bank to undermine the peace process, etc, etc. Now, Trump ever so slightly stands up for US interests, and everyone goes crazy.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        Taking more money out of my pocket is sticking up for me? Um, thanks, I guess???

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Historians will tell us that this all began right after WWII with the Marshall Plan, et al, where the US became a ready-market for the export-goods of other countries to help rebuild them after the devastation of WWII.

        IOW, America always took in more than they exported to the world.

        Today’s Europeans often ask, “Just how long do we have to be grateful to the US for bailing us out after WWII?”

        I have tons of Euro relatives in Germany, Portugal and The Netherlands. Without exception they think that the US is too big for its britches in today’s modern world.

        Of course, I disagree.

        So, I believe Trump is trying to restore America’s rightful place on the planet, at the top of the heap.

        And I share Trump’s belief that America should not be subservient to any other economy, country or political ideology.

        Yeah, changes are a’comin’ and the pace is ratcheting up faster.

        For the trading partners who have been taking advantage of America’s good nature and America’s wealth, I say, be afraid.

        Be very afraid.

        • 0 avatar
          srh

          I’d love to hear a cogent economic analysis, instead of a jingoistic tirade, in favor of a protectionist policy. The reality is every economist agrees that we benefit from freer trade even if it is one-sided.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Time will tell.

            We already know what the past 25 years brought the American economy.

            Time for a new strategy.

            It can’t be any worse than the US economic policies of the past 25 years.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Highdesertcat,
            With your pro Trump spewing out of your mouth did you ever stop to think about this.

            Why is it global (not just EU) manufacturers are able to set up and be successful in the US and US manufacturers struggle outside of the US?

            The EU had GM and has Ford. What is wrong with them?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Why is it global (not just EU) manufacturers are able to set up and be successful in the US and US manufacturers struggle outside of the US?”

            It is more advantageous for them to make the product inside America. That’s why they’re in America. It benefits THEIR bottom line.

            “The EU had GM and has Ford. What is wrong with them?”

            The same thing is wrong with them in the EU that is wrong with them in America.

            FYI, I didn’t vote for Trump. According to all MSM Trump had no chance to get elected.

            That said, I sure like what Trump has done so far, and I hope he lives long and prospers.

            Elections have consequences.

            I love what is happening to America now that Trump is at the helm.

            Kinda funny that Trump is able to p!ss off both the right and the left equally.

            But more and more American citizens are beginning to see the wisdom of Trump’s ways.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            srh,
            If you are benefitting it isn’t one sided.

            Boeing is the USA’s largest exporter. If countries start to favour EADS,Embraer and Bombardier the US will lose out.

            If other countries move away from US military hardware the US will lose out.

            There is much the US provides the world already and makes oodles of money, but the world economy has outstripped the US economy manyfold since WW2 (the US Golden Years 1945-2000) the US will naturally lose influence.

            What is playing out is the final throes of total US dominance. A tantrum.

            All will lose, the US the most.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            No. It isn’t more advantageous in the US, or the US would not be in the position it is in now regarding vehicle exports. It would be competitive.

            It’s far from competitive as we see smaller vehicle manufacture offshored from the US and the US retain the large vehicle production, because of the different standards, tariffs, etc that apply to them that isn’t applied to smaller vehicles in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          Not subservient, just cooperative. It’s not a zero-sum game (look it up). We’ve had a long period of prosperity and stability, overall. This trade tantrum threatens that. Feeling lucky?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            If it were “just cooperative.”

            It hasn’t been.

            One party to the trades, the US in this case, has always been disadvantaged through levies and tariffs applied to is exports by other nations, while the US rarely applied tariffs to its imports from other nations.

            So Trump IMO is trying to level the playing field for American labor, and exports.

            I can’t fault him for that.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            I see it this way, the US is adjusting from total dominance to a more equal playing field.

            The US has never been overly co-operative, look at how many countries during the 50s and 60s the CIA went in to alter to suit US industry.

            As for vehicles, maybe the US needs to be better able to put out vehicles other than very average quality pickups and pickup station wagons.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “As for vehicles,…”

            I see “vehicles” as a beginning to a much larger agenda that is going to unwind during this year and the next two.

            Hell, maybe even the next seven years if Trump gets re-elected for a second term. (Worst nightmare for the lefty libbies.)

            First it was the repopulating of the Federal Bench with righty judges like Neil Gorsuch. Then it was the rewrite of the tax laws and putting more money in tax payers’ pockets.

            And all along there was a plethora of parallel actions that elevated business and the working stiffs, including energy, mining and oil transportation.

            From day one the stock market took off based on the renewed optimism of what Trump could do for American citizens.

            Gotta love that.

            This tariff thing is just a means to an end, IMO. And there’s more to come, I believe.

        • 0 avatar
          vehic1

          highdesertcat: Where in the world do you get “according to the MSM trump had no chance of being elected?” Final poll averages right before the election had him behind by about 3%; final results were that he finished behind in the vote about 2% nationally. Electoral college analyses varied widely, some having him lose considerably, others very close – and these were only estimates, NOT polls.
          Even using the acronym “MSM” suggests an affinity for the tinfoil/Infowars/flat Earth mindset of Bigly’s remaining 35-40% of the vote.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            vehic1, ever since Trump announced his candidacy the mainstream media ridiculed him, downplayed his credibility, laughed at him on live TV, made fun of him, so I never considered Trump a serious candidate.

            Didn’t vote for him.

            Even the polls I read had Hilary leading Trump by some outrageous number of electoral votes.

            My wife and I watched on German TV when the election results came in and we were both STUNNED to see that Trump won by such an enormous electoral landslide. That’s a mandate!

            Even today the same Fake News Media continue their unrelenting attacks on Trump.

            But Trump perseveres, and has won me over as a Trump supporter. We’re still working on my wife….

            More converts coming every day.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        dwford,
        But what about collaboration with your allies?

        You know the US must work with others and all outcomes will not suit the US.

        I do believe many in the US are going to be shocked when they realise how much they overplay the significance of the US.

        The US isn’t nowhere near the same position it was in the 50s or even dealing with the USSR. There are 3 equal trading blocks now. China, EU and US.

        All it takes is for the Chinese to play their cards with the EU and the US loses out.

        The US must be mindful of this.

        • 0 avatar
          dwford

          So essentially we have to buy our influence by letting the world dump it’s products here?

          Why are we not in the same position we had in the 50’s? Perhaps it’s because we have been giving away our economic strength for the last 60 years.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            dwford,
            This has been going on since human walked the planet.

            The US reaped lots after WW2 and now many of the others caught up.

            The US is in a less competitive position to influence.

            As for buying the US used to be able and wanted to consume and control all. The US doesn’t have a big enough piece of the market, even the Chinese consumes 50% of the steel market add to that Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the EU makes America’s steel consumption small.

            Motor vehicles the same, except the US really doesn’t produce many vehicles suitable for export, of an exportable quality.

            If Trump gets his way with metals you will the rest of the globalise world make life hard for the US.

            All will lose, but the US the most, which is sad for the American people.

            What the US produces that the world wants it sells the US needs an auto industry that is global. There is little demand for fullsize pickups and their cheap station wagon derivatives.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            dwford,
            No, the US now has real competition. Just after WWII Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA were left with little damage. We had the world to ourselves and look at how our standard of living has been consistently the highest globally for that period of time.

            Now, 70 years on many nations have caught up, some reformed into trading blocks, others were sleeping giants (China and soon India).

            Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA have lost influence as individual nations and we need to conform and reach consensus with our other allies and friends.

            The US is not efficient at producing small vehicles, producing steel and certain other products.

            Sort of like any business, if your neighbour is growing bumper apple crops and your apple orchard is half as productive, but you can grow the best and most cherries, why are you growing apples?

            The US has to stop thinking itself as the world’s premier producer.

            The US is a high cost manufacturer, like most of the OECD. Puttiing tariffs on roughly equal players is not good.

        • 0 avatar

          “There are 3 equal trading blocks now. China, EU and US.”

          China and EU are not equal to US. China is on the verge of economic and political collapse, wealth is abandoning China at alarming rate – to USA among other places and political system is prone to collapse and chaos. Europe is not much better. Germany is not the whole Europe. There are also PIGS which are one step from economic collapse, France is in bad state, Brexit and so on. Wait until half of African population decides to move to Europe and we are talking about billions of people considering birth rate in African countries.

          Meanwhile US get real products in exchange to worthless paper with $ sign. Most popular product US makes are $$ – the rest of the world is working for American consumers just get and stash $$ for no good reason.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Inside Looking Out,
            With consumption of goods, yes.

            China represents 50% of the global steel market. I do believe China has much more clout with the steel market than the US.

            Automobile manufacturing is heading the same way, China could be or will be the dominant force.

            The EU economy is roughly the size of the US and the China due to consumption outdoes the US.

            It’s about influence on the market. So, if politically through soft power the Chinese cosy up to the EU the US will lose.

            Simple. The US was able to do this since WW2, not the Chinese have this capability.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Funny how Drumpf doesn’t stand up to China or Russia (aside from blustering here and there).

        If Drumpf is so concerned with the US trade deficit, how ’bout demanding that Drumpf (including Invanka) branded/licensed crap, er products, be made in the USA?

  • avatar
    Thatkat09

    I don’t think Trump has unilateral authority to enact tariffs without congress. He’s using a provision from the 60s to enact the steel tariffs but with this, hes all talk.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    After eight years of the Kenyan Oracle attempting to organize the global community, America is finally pursuing a sober, competent trade strategy. Should you miss leftist policy, you can always watch the Oscars this evening.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I don’t see it as a political thing actually, because people from all political persuasions love it or hate it equally, en masse, in Congress and in the tax-paying American citizenry.

      And that’s unusual because an individual can’t be neutral in this matter.

      If they’re neutral, they’re just not informed because implementation WILL affect them, one way or another.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Um, it was the big-business/globalist Republicans who started the US down this path, with Walmart leading the way in beating down the door to open the China market with the focus on manufacturing there.

      Even with NAFTA, big-business flocked to China since at that time, production in China was significantly cheaper.

      The “left-wing” of the Democratic party was against that, as well as being against NAFTA (it was the center wing of the Dems that was OK with it and went along with the Republicans, who controlled Congress).

      And evidently, you failed to realize that most Republican leaders have been against the tariffs.

      Btw, this trade policy reeks of Hooverism.

      Not saying that the trade deals don’t need to be reworked, but Drumpf has no clue in what he is doing and just did this out of reaction to other things (typical of his tantrums) – the Republicans and govt. agencies/depts. were blindsided.

    • 0 avatar

      Oscars become a sad comedy.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I see the “Superman” Syndrome present here in many comments ie, good vs evil. The world is not against the US. How sad, American Exceptionalism, like many other generalised and simplistic paradigms I see by some of our B&B. I can see by the comments how a fool like Trump got elected.

    How did we get here. It started in the 50s.

    The US has a many technical barriers hindering trade. Different regulatory controls then any of its trading partners in the OECD.

    1. I totally disagree with any tariffs even from the EU.

    2. As I’ve been stating the US has a massively protective large vehicle manufacturing sector.

    3. The US builds overall lower quality vehicles than many competitors.

    4. The US major manufacturers are struggling within Europe, so at home how do they expect an export market with overly large unviable vehicles. US manufacturers can’t cut it within the EU.

    5. US small vehicle manufacture is uncompetitive globally.

    The US doesn’t provide what the world wants. Harley’s have a 10% tax as well.

    So, maybe Trump should of went to the EU and started the conversation with, “we’ll drop the chicken tax, become a signatory to global vehicle harmonisation if you guys can’t make fairer trade”.

    If the US also worked from a fairer position since WWII with automobiles we wouldn’t be here and the US vehicle market would be more like everyone elses.

    The US vehicle market is how it looks today because the US chose it to be.

    Its not fair, but have a look at how we arrived here and the US continues to support and protect large vehicles whilst no one else does, what have you to offer the world other than more whining?

    Oh, the steel and aluminium tax is just ridiculous.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Trumps started this by picking a fight over steel. In the EU we have an industry that is high tech and adapted to fighting off cheap competition. Therefore when the US decided to put tariffs on all imports of steel the EU gets angry because the steel industry has put in a lot of hard work to be competitive. The US steel industry has not done the same, it’s failed to adapt! Really Trump ought to be focusing on Chinese steel not E.U. steel which is competing fairly. This is what’s really winding up politicians on this side of the Atlantic.

    Now he wants to target a car industry which really only exports premium products to the US successfully. It’s not Audi, JLR, Mercedes and BMWs fault that no one in Europe wants to buy American. In the EU we only really like Ford or GM European models because they are focused on what the local market wants. With the exception of the Mustang and Jeep the US cat industry doesn’t make cars that Europeans want!

    If Trump winds this up the EU will spank Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple very very hard because that’s the industry Europe relies on America for. Trump needs to factor in that he EU single market is bigger than that of the USAs. Does he really want to pick a fight with the EU or does he want to focus on China? If he picks a fight with the EU he’s an idiot as it really is a zero sum game which will benefit neither party.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “the EU will spank Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple very very hard”

      With the way our electoral system works, the enrichment of steel producing states at the expense of California’s tech industry might work out okay for Trump’s re-election hopes even if the impact to the US as a whole was a net loss.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @ajla – I made a similar comment earlier on the tread. TwitterPotus is playing to his fan-base. They are very loyal. Republicans are along for the ride because they need his loyal voters to survive. A global trade war will play well to his base since it will reaffirm their beliefs that everyone is out to get the USA.
        The biggest problem with politicians is this; They only see in terms of election cycles and what gets them votes or donations. They don’t care if they fvck up everyone’s future since they won’t be in office trying to fix the mess they created.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Tstage,
      The Chinese steel entering the US market represents 3% of the total. So, this steel argument is quite ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Tstag – If you don’t mind your car choices in Europe limited by chicken taxes, technical barriers, and don’t mind paying more, good for you. Although I doubt you speak for all Europeans, especially if they know what they’re missing and why.

      If you currently own a diesel or two, enjoy that! But the US, mostly the Los Angeles area, buys a hell of a lot of European upscale cars. You’re damn right top EU automakers will feel the pinch. Sales of these are already slipping in favor of upscale US truck based, up to $100K now, MSRP with options.

      I believe the US buys more M-series and AMG autos than Germany and the rest of the world combined. Either way the numbers are staggering. If you ask me, the tax on EU luxury/Porsche should be no less than 22%, exactly what the EU taxes US pickups that “nobody” in the EU wants.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I’m wondering if Trump even knows that some European cars are built in America. VW at least has a plant in Mexico, and he has already alienated them. Besides I read some where that the Toyota Camry is the number 1 American made car by content, but these guys https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-are-the-most-american-made-cars-2017-06-26 say it’s Jeep with Honda not far behind. Then you have to ask will all those Fiat parts used in Jeeps be taxed? In any case unions and the Dems are happy about this, busines and GOP not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      He’s probably pushing for even more EU cars to be built in the US. But I said it before, why is Trump so focused on Mexico imports, when the EU taxes US cars 7.5% more than the US taxes theirs, not counting EU technical barriers? I figured he’d get around to it though.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “But I said it before, why is Trump so focused on Mexico imports, when the EU taxes US cars 7.5% more than the US taxes theirs, not counting EU technical barriers?”

        I’ll come out and say it.

        Once you’ve eliminated the sensible possibilities, you’re left to wonder if the guy is just a racist. Then you play a clip of what he has to say about, say, Mexicans — and you can confirm that that an arbitrary dislike of Mexicans for arbitrary and unspecified reasons is central to how he thinks about Mexico. Racism, in other words.

        So, yeah, he’s fixated on Mexico because he has a problem with Mexicans.

        He doesn’t have the same problem with Europeans, for unspecified reasons, regardless of the actual trade policies. Again, the only reason I can’t eliminated is racism.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The US is an export hub for BMW and MB light trucks.

      The Germans are already diversifying production of their light trucks to other regions of the world.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Thats it folks. We’re cutting off your supply of Maple Syrup . That will teach ya, not to f– with us !

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      mikey,
      Good comment, I think Australia will stop Forsters and Vegemite going to the US.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        And right after maple syrup, one turns the tap off on oil, minerals and electricity.

        That is how trade wars go and wars start.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Lou,
          But its okay for the US to frack oil reducing other global economies.

          Australia has done the same with iron ore, flooding the market.

          I think there are many one eyed views on TTAC.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Lou,
          But its okay for the US to frack oil reducing other global economies.

          Australia has done the same with iron ore, flooding the market.

          I think there are many one eyed views on TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al from Oz – I find it interesting that we have people thinking that everyone is taking advantage of the USA. They obviously don’t know how empires work.
            The British empire collapsed once trade started to dry up and they could not afford militarization. Same can be said for the Roman Empire. Add greedy selfish politicians to that mix and it is fait accompli.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            I think I will term Trump

            “The Accelerant!”

            It’s really odd all the US has to do is cosy up to it’s allies.

            The world is shrinking fast and this started since man found a hollow log and made a canoe.

            The “American Empire” reaches out to all English speaking nations which have based the rule of Law on the British Justice system.

            Like the Romans, The Holy Romans continued on whilst Rome burnt to ashes. Maybe Canada, Australia and the UK can keep the British dream alive, all this started because of the Doomsday.

            Oddly the Australian system of government is based on the British and US system.

            In the British system Trump is the “Queen of Amercia” and imagine if the Queen of the Commonwealth decided to place taxes!

            The Magna Carta is alive in America. You have those faithful to Queen Trump and the commoners angry at the Queen.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Canada is the largest steel and aluminum supplier to the U.S. Realistically an attempt by a country of 35-million to retaliate against one ten times its size will be self-destructive. Best that we lay low and let the outcry from U.S. manufacturers and consumers as higher prices decimate sales of goods with large steel and aluminum components, especially cars and appliances, dull the tariff proposal.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Agreed Gardiner… The U.S has Godzilla….We have Bambi.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    It’s funny, but every Democrat politician has promised these types of protectionist policies for the unions that bankroll them for several generations now, but it seems liberals are now suddenly upset at Trump for actually doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @jacob_coulter –

      Yes, plenty of Democrats were anti-NAFTA and anti-free trade but so were many Republicans. Why don’t you look up neoliberalism. That has traditionally been a right-wing trade ideology. “Balls” and “No-balls” Clinton are neoliberals. You forget who was in office when NAFTA was signed?

      #45 is a pseudo-populist fanning the flames of race based nationalism. He rose to power fear-mongering and his base lapped it all up.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lou,
        Some aspect of neoliberalism is good. One area of neoliberalism I support wholeheartedly is Economic Liberalism.

        The part of neoliberalism I don’t support is the lack of adequate weight placed on those who need education, health and other services that require the whole population to contribute to.

  • avatar
    stuki

    My zipcode run a huge trade deficit in cars with my car dealer’s. Man, just think of how much better off I would be, if only “we” imposed tarrifs on the cars he sells…

  • avatar
    ernest

    Before everyone gets their what-nots in a twist over what Trump will/will not do with tariffs, lets see how this plays out first. The MSM went hysterical over a trade war, but that’s just business-as-usual for them concerning anything Trump does. I smell the opening shot of negotiations myself.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “https://apnews.com/a7495a002c0940e0b73cc61b5bf14019/White-House:-No-exemptions-from-steel,-aluminum-tariffs”

      It gives a pretty good feel of how the “opening shot of negotiations” are going to progress, or veer off into a downward spiral.

      I’m speculating it will be a downward spiral because “America’s steel and aluminum industries are dead.”

      My guess is it will be rough going for America’s trading partners for the duration of Trump.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        We have an AP article quoting CNN and ABC. Might as well phone Schumer and see what his take is while we’re at it. Or they already did. On the other hand, we have Drudge/Breitbart, and occasionally Fox on the “it’s all fake news, don’t believe any of it” side. Can’t trust the foreign press- they despise Trump, and aren’t afraid to just lay that out.

        Am I the only one old enough around here to remember when you could read the news and get something resembling a balanced take on events?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “…get something resembling a balanced take on events?”

          I think that died a long time ago and that’s why I stay away from the main-stream media and seek news from a financial aspect, like that on NBR, CNBC, Bloomberg, WSJ, etc.

          That’s how I gauge how effective an administration is. By results, and how those results affect me and mine.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ernest – The “FCC fairness doctrine” was introduced in 1949. It was killed in 1987 by a veto courtesy of Ronald Reagan. Congress tried to bring it back 1991 but George W. Bush threatened another veto.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      ernest,
      The problem is Trump causes unnecessary angst affecting billions of lives.

      He has a responsibility, not only to the US, but globally.

      We laugh at Deurte, but he can only affect the Filopinoes.

      Trump is dangerous and the Russians that got him elected are laughing their asses off.

      • 0 avatar
        Shawnski

        If it is as you say the Russians elected DJT, I say bravo. Although it’s dubious if you look at what has been revealed by the Mueller investigation in terms of Rusky money spent and other coordinated rallies both pro and anti DJT.

        I for one, as I nor can you speak for others, believe it ironic or perhaps divine justice that DJT is the POTUS and HRC; an actual Russian collusionist traitor is not.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          The Mueller probe will yield about as much as Geraldo’s “Al Capone’s Vault” fiasco, only it will cost millions more.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Giving Paul Manafort ulcers rather than letting him live like a king off his disgusting career is worth the price of admission alone.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @30-mile fetch – I’m sure that the Drumph clan is buying up large amounts anti-acids too.

            I was reading up on the so-called “Steele Dossier”. Experts in the field are saying that at least 70-80% of it is correct. Those same experts say that in the intelligence community, that level of accuracy is as good as it gets.

  • avatar
    Dutcowski

    From a metal malware:

    DANGER DANGER WILL ROBISON let the wind blow on tariffs. Can you imagine Dr Smith dealing with an alien missile crisis?

  • avatar
    Robbie

    The chicken tax is 25%, and is levied on all imported light trucks. As far as I remember, 2 in 3 vehicles sold in the US now qualifies as a light truck, and most profits are in this segment.
    Aren’t we the ones who are shielding the market from imports and are engaging in most of the protectionism?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The only import “trucks” eligible for the Chicken tax are “pickups” and cargo-specific vans. But they’re exempt when partly built in the US, like the MB Sprinter.

      Still building “import” vehicles in the US, for the US market makes a lot of sense even when the Chicken tax clearly doesn’t apply, such as the long list of US built “imports” from Subaru to BMW, with some EU automakers building vehicles in the US for export overseas.

      So when it comes down to it, there aren’t many (or any?) global “trucks” missing from the US market (Chicken tax or no) that would be good candidates for the US market.

      Beyond emissions/safety, keep in mind “Consumer Protection Acts” such as “Lemon Laws” that are the biggest deterrents for imports and brands not having all their ducks in a row.

      These Acts/Laws are a weird concept for those familiar with and use to the wide variety of “off brands” common to Africa, SE Asia and Australia. So they know little of what they speak of.

  • avatar
    craiger

    Folks you realize that we could stop all imports of everything and we’d be fine, don’t you? There’s probably not another country in the world that can do that.

    I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be painful, and I’m not saying that we should. I’m merely pointing out a fact.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Of course, some nations who wet their pants over talk of tariffs might want to consider the cost of protecting themselves, which has always been courtesy of Uncle Sucker. That gravy train needs to stop as well. No matter, if President Trump fails to build the wall his presidency will have been an abject failure. The next wave of liberals are so far left they’ve actually given Diane Feinstein a no-confidence vote, she’s too far right for the democrats. Hang on to your hats, shirts, and wallets.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Sub-600 – You just cited a huge myth. The USA isn’t protecting any country other than their own interests. Post WWII fear-mongering over communism and socialism gave USA the excuse to set up military bases all over the world. Add to that the fact that the CIA has meddled all over the world since its inception. The “War on terror” is just another excuse to continue on with military operations around the world. They even come up with the doctrine, “the world is the battlefield”. Ironically, Muslim extremist terrorism was nurtured by the USA as a proxy force against Russia.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Will there be a Chicken Tax on Heavy Metal Music going to the US?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I had a good think about all of this and I think what we are debating is not going to resolve the issue confronting the US, now being transferred globally.

    The quote Donald Trump used during his election campaign “Make America Great Again” is a misnomer. Trump misused or better still, misunderstands what made the US great. The people is what made America great, not pickup trucks or the ability to have a semi or auto rifle, let alone a V8. Remember most of this “stuff” arrived to the US after WW2.

    WW2 placed the US in a position of dominance, politically, culturally and economically. Since WW2 the World has changed and become much more affluent, and the US enjoyed the spoils of War so to speak. Now to gain and maintain those spoils is more competitive and the US is finding out what the rest of the World has been doing since WW2, working together in much smaller economic entities, trying to improve.

    These nations, mainly the EU needed to facilitate trade, so the EEC started which ended up becoming the EU an effective and competitive trading powerhouse. Other smaller nations learnt how to trade with each other as well, they had to for their existence and embetterment.

    This steel saga that Trump started, by using inaccurate information blaming the Chinese, yet targeting all around him is pure and utter unprofessional behaviour of a man who has little business acumen. The guy is a thug and bully by the way he is portraying the US’es position.

    The Chinese use 50% of global steel and metals. If we include Japan, Korea (the rest of SE Asia) and EU, leaves the US as almost a minor player in the metals market. Not small, but it just doesn’t have the huge influence it once had.

    I don’t hear or see to many comments regarding the US and it’s power it had manipulating the energy market. So, what is the difference if another country has the same power? The difference is many in the US are uncomfortable with this. They are insecure and fear.

    I think Trump’s approach of if I don’t get my way I will destroy all is quite a problem and needs to be dealt with. If the US has only that option to resolve and issue, then it is apparent the US doesn’t have the capacity to give leadership through sheer dominance, soft power and good will. The US has lost it’s ability to use soft power as an instrument of diplomacy. This is scary when an Ally is in the position of blaming all around itself and not take any accountability for it’s lack of resolve on issues. When it does tackle the issue, it still blames all and wants to destroy all because it isn’t getting its way.

    The US is rich and still is. I don’t see how and why there are any real issues that have been hyped up to the point where they are now.

    If the US is as good as it states in manufacturing it would of not been offshored. But, the US isn’t competitive as it once was when manufacturing was “high tech”.

    I think the people of the US really need to have a good look at what you are becoming. Don’t blame all, then use terms “if it wasn’t for us”.

    Man, and I thought the French were arrogant.

    How selfish, the richest country in the world crying over some spilt milk, like a child.

    The US is where it is today because of the rest of the World trading with it and giving the US much wealth. Now you must compete harder as there are real competitors out there. Step up to the plate and try.

    Oddly enough I think the much of the rest of the World has better “tech” when dealing with trade issues than the US, they had to make real compromise as they didn’t have the ability to leverage what they wanted. Maybe the US can learn how to better trade with smaller nations by learning a little from them.

    Look at what you have, you have a lot to offer. Then learn how to better trade your wares.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      “The quote Donald Trump used during his election campaign “Make America Great Again” is a misnomer. Trump misused or better still, misunderstands what made the US great. The people is what made America great”

      Trump’s entire election campaign was based on the people… steel workers, coal workers, auto workers and other so-called “deplorables” left behind by years of global elitism.

      Renegotiating trade deals for the benefit of these people was at the very top of his list of election promises, and probably one of the top skills he brings to the table.

      To imply that he’s doing this “for the steel” is about as far removed from reality as one can be.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I don’t think so. Trump in his wisdom is placing much at stake.

        Protecting those jobs is counter productive for the US to maintain it’s Greatness.

        Those people were the people. The US failed to recognise money needed to be used in education. The world is changing and there are many sitting back wondering about their future jobs, better start doing some research on what the future holds and it isn’t manufacturing.

        Manufacturing is like agriculture, 90% of farm jobs are gone.

        The people you speak of were apart of making America Great, but now their skills are not competitive. This isn’t due to tariffs and protection by other countries. It’s other countries are able to do to the global supply chain what the US had been able to do for over half a Century, manipulate it.

        Those guys were sold a dud by Trump, who will only destroy the US’es position. Much of what made America great is now the domain of all in the world, technology and affluence is available to all.

        So, you must compete.

        Those guys were making America Great when what they did was exported, when the US was the only real economic powerhouse.

        I’m sorry to say, but those steel workers need to find new jobs as keeping them employed through protection will only serve to increase the cost to 16 times more workers.

        What is to become of the uncompetitive workers downstream from the mills?

        The US, if Trump pulls this off, will find it harder to export, then the additional cost of manufacturing due to higher prices for US made steel will amplify the uncompetitive position the US finds itself in now.

        You must look at the bigger picture of what is the primary and secondary damage caused by an ill considered and uneducated decision.

        This isn’t going to end well if Trump gets his way. The world will be affected and the US most of all.

        This issue doesn’t just affect the US. It is affecting all nations around the world. So, the US isn’t entitled to anything more than anyone else.

        That is what protectionism is.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I wonder what song is playing in Big Al’s Holden Commodore right now? Probably “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” or an Olivia Newton-John 8-Track.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Not a Holden fan. Plus what you posed has been put to me before.

      Australia is better to not manufacture cars. We are better farmers and miners.

  • avatar

    As far as I know, there is no difference in treating import cars between the U.S. and the EU. German cars are popular with Europeans for the same reason they are popular with Americans. That you practically don’t see ‘Made in the U.S.’ cars driving around in the EU (except for the ones that are produced by German brands), has to do with the fact that they fall into fiscally unfavorable segments because of their high fuel consumption and/or high emissions.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I agree with reciprocal tariffs, but I just want Trump to know that our cars don’t sell in Europe because they’re either too big or they’re piles of crap.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @IBx1: Tesla is doing well – for now. The Europeans are making laws that favor Tesla over their own cars. That will probably change now that the European manufacturers are responding. For now, the US is making some inroads into the European market making a car they want.

      https://qz.com/1212279/teslas-model-s-outsold-germanys-flagship-sedans-in-europe/

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…our cars don’t sell in Europe because they’re either too big or they’re piles of crap.”

      I’m not sure cars like that sell in the US either. But Europe has their own big piles of crap, so maybe that would make their US counterparts redundant plus 10% overpriced?

      Except US cars are heavily biased towards hybrids instead of just diesels. Figure a completely “even playing field” on EU and US turf would damage EU automakers the most, meaning we already have available the best cars Europe automakers have to offer.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        US automakers have put huge resources into full size pickups, and those aren’t suitable for Europe.

        If BMW or Daimler had any stones they’d threaten to pull out of their Republican state autoplants. It was huge mistake to debase their brand by chasing cheap volume anyway. VW is stuck because it can’t charge a price premium if production was moved back to Europe.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          US automakers could easily custom tailor small cars for Europe, if given an even playing field, or why waste the dang resources? It’s not rocket science that I’m aware of.

          Just a disposable car with a diesel. As long as it’s priced right, what’s the big deal?

          If Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, etc, can do it… Wait, can you picture them (any of them) putting together a fullsize pickup, a full line including HDs, from scratch worthy of the US market?

  • avatar
    Droynick

    I look forward to seeing the “Trump Bump” price increase enumerated on the Monroney sticker on vehicles made in the USA out of imported steel and aluminum.

  • avatar

    Steel and aluminum tariffs will negatively impact domestic manufacturers who import said steel and aluminum to build things here, in America.

    It will encourage them to outsource that production to whatever nation has the cheapest steel and aluminum so that they can reduce both the material costs and the transportation costs.

    And any additional costs will be passed on to us, the consumer.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    As others have said, tariffs on imported steel and aluminum will drive manufacturing out of the US unless comparable tariffs are charged against imported products made of steel and/or aluminum.

    The automotive thing between the US and Europe should be comparable. If the EU charges 10% on an imported vehicle the the US should charge 10% on an imported EU made vehicle. 10% going in one direction and 2.5% coming in the other direction is not fair or reasonable. The US and EU have similar environmental and labor regulations, so that aspect is roughly fair.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      jthorner,
      It’s not as simple as you state. What about the protected large vehicle manufacturing sector in the US?

      The US has created a web of technical barriers and a huge impost called the Chicken Tax (25%), which by the way also indirectly supports the manufacture of the large pickup based SUVs.

      I know the German’s were subsidising their vehicle production to the tune of $1300 per vehicle in 2015 and the US over $3000.

      The cost in 2015 because the US has different safety regulations cost the industry $13 billion. That’s over $800 per vehicle.

      If US vehicle manufacturing is that great imports would not sell for starters and the US would not offshore production.

      There is more than just a tax.

      If this metal tax comes on line I read it will up the price on average $800 per vehicle.

      So, the US isn’t that innocent.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Oh, what deals were made in the past using other commodities and products in trade deals? The US exports lots of diesel to the EU and the Eu exports gasoline to the US.

      We don’t know all of the fine print on these deals and its not so black and white.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – It really is that simple. We’re getting boned by Europe as usual. The only question is, should we keep taking it.

        And oops once again you forgot to mention Europe’s 22% chicken tax on US Vans and pickups.

        USA CAFE/CARB/NHTSA/etc were set up from scratch simply to improve the lives/health/safety of Americans and for no other reason.

        Same as “Lemon Laws”. No direct ill intentions towards imports. Hey what’s up Mahindra?

        However, Europe came up with their own similar regulations after the fact, except their’s have the added intention of protecting their domestic automakers by differing just enough, and obviously pushing, basically pimping diesel engines on the public, but that’s another story.

        But it is comical how EU automotive regulations zig everywhere US regs “zag”. It’s a devious plan, and even if it inadvertently shoots EU automakers in the foot when it comes to exporting their vehicles, it makes them way more cash on the front side, billions more likely.

        And the US get automatic access to the best or most popular autos the EU has to offer, for what EU consumers pay or less.

        It sounds like a lopsided “deal” if I’ve ever heard one!

        Aside from US automakers, including Subaru/Mazda/Toyota/etc, really European consumers are getting screwed the most, whether they realize it or not. Maybe we should keep that little fact between us… Ouch!!!


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