By on June 28, 2018

2018 Toyota Camry LE - Image: Toyota

Toyota’s not going silently into a potential future where tariffs are as prevalent as man buns and tattoos in a brewpub. In its submission to the U.S. Commerce Department, Toyota wants the government to know it’s a standout business, and that a tariff on imported automobiles and auto parts would backfire.

Even for vehicles built in the U.S., American buyers would face a steep price hike, Toyota claims. Care to fork over an additional $1,800 for a Kentucky-built Camry? Meanwhile, a Canadian supplier association representative warns of “carmageddon” if the tariffs come to pass.

Toyota prepared the submission for hearings stemming from the Commerce Department’s investigation into whether auto imports represent a security threat to the United States (under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act).

Hearing begin next month, with the investigation expected to wrap up in late July or August. Here’s Toyota’s statement in full:

A hundred and thirty-seven thousand Americans support their families working for Toyota, and Toyota and Lexus dealerships. They are not a national security threat. Indeed, Toyota operates 10 manufacturing plants in the U.S.  We are an exemplar of the manufacturing might of America.  A 25% tariff on automotive imports, which is just a tax on consumers, would increase the cost of every vehicle sold in the country. Even the Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America, made in Georgetown, Kentucky, would face $1,800 in increased costs.  We believe the only plausible outcome of this investigation is to reject the notion that automotive imports threaten national security.

Should NAFTA talks break down and the Trump administration follow through with the president’s threat to levy a 25 percent import tariff on foreign-built autos, expect larger price increases on other Toyota models — most significantly the Ontario-built RAV4, America’s best-selling non-pickup vehicle.

Toyota is just one of many companies speaking out against the proposed import duty. Automobile manufacturer associations, suppliers, and union leaders have piped up in opposition to the threats. North of the border, it’s getting pretty loud.

“A 25 per cent tariff on parts and cars would cause what we like to call ‘carmageddon’,” Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, told a Canadian House of Commons committee on Tuesday.

“The industry operates on single-digit margins and it would grind to an immediate halt with a 25 per cent increase in price.”

FCA Windsor minivan assembly Dodge Grand Caravan 2011 - Image: FCA

The committee’s main focus was on existing steel and aluminum tariffs, but the spectre of import duties on Canadian-built vehicles and auto parts loomed large. According to a Financial Post report, it isn’t just manufacturers losing sleep over the threats.

“Let me say this plainly. Steel and aluminum tariffs, while significant and negative for the retail automotive market, are minimum compared to the tsunami-like economic downturn that will occur should we be subjected to a 25 percent tariff or even lose NAFTA,” John White, chief executive officer of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, told the committee.

“In our view, the effects of the 2008-2009 economic situation would pale in comparison to what our members and the Canadian economy would face if we end up with a 25 per cent tariff on our cars.”

Across the river from America’s automotive heart, autoworkers and suppliers in Windsor, Ontario aren’t resting easy. Some 38,000 jobs are tied to the auto industry in that city, which builds engines for Ford and minivans for Fiat Chrysler.

“If they impose tariffs on those cars, companies will probably come after the workers to make up for the loss in profit and that’s the fear on the floor right now,” said Steve Morgan, an autoworker at FCA’s Windsor Assembly Plant, in an interview with CBC.

Unifor, a union representing Detroit Three autoworkers in Canada, has scheduled trade-related town halls in four cities.

[Image: Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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108 Comments on “Love Tariffs? Prepare to Cough up an Extra $1,800 for a Camry, Toyota Warns...”


  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    TheTruthAboutTariffs.blogspot.com

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Why would tariffs on imports raise the price of a Kentucky-built Camry ? Is there THAT much foreign content to this supposedly American-built car ? If so, then the content needs to change. C’mon Toyota !

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Doubtful, I just think they’re going to be dicks because they will be impacted with other models.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      There’s a lot of foreign-sourced parts in “American” cars. Those iconic hinges on the Wrangler? Made in China.
      http://www.npr.org/2018/05/18/611678557/small-business-owner-fears-u-s-china-trade-war-will-destroy-her-company

      • 0 avatar
        Steve From Japan

        Russycle, the Kogod Made in America Auto Index, compiled by the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C., is widely recognized as the best and most comprehensive measure of what constitutes as “American made”. This index calculates the percentage of a vehicle’s value that contributes to the overall well-being of the U.S. economy. As such, the Kogod index looks not just at where the vehicles, engines and transmissions are made, but also at where the research and development is done, and who collects the profits.

        Most Japanese-branded cars sold in America do very poorly based on the Kogod Made in America Auto Index. The 2016 Kogod Made in America Auto Index shows that the top 25 made in America cars are all made by U.S. automakers, with only one exception. On the other hand, the very bottom of the index is dominated by Japanese brands, which means that they contribute very little to the American economy. In fact, by taking market share away from the big three American auto companies, Japanese brands assembled in America may actually have a net negative effect on the U.S. economy.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick T.

      Yeah. Not saying it isn’t so but as a Finance guy I’d like to see the numbers. I think the benchmark spot rate for a metric tonne of hot rolled band steel is around $1,000 US. I have no idea what kind or how much steel is in a two ton Camry but just spitballing I can’t see how any amount of tariffs reasonably add up to $1,800 a car.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Sure, but it’s not just raw steel. All kinds of components are imported. Currently only steel and aluminum are tariffed, Toyota’s saying if they go after components that’s when the $1800 hit will occur.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Rick T.
        I can see $1800 as quite conservative.

        Even with the 25 %Chicken Tax on pickups prices moved up 25%.

        Remember the US is not a competitive vehicle manufacturer. Its expensive, in 2015 for every vehicle made in the US each already had over $3000 in subsidies. At the same time Germans had $1300. So that 7.5% difference in import tariffs between the US and the EU shrinks. Add the 25% chicken tax and the US might be supporting/protecting its auto industry more …… then add the regulatory tech barrier the US imposes and you realise the US is far more protected than the EU.

        The US vehicle market is structured to support Detroit. The US (Trump) is going to reduce the US auto industry.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          You really have a hard on about the chicken tax, dontcha?

          Japan used to heavily subsidize their auto industry, even moreso than we did.

          As a more libertarian thinker, I think we should end all subsidies and tariffs, but that only works if everyone agrees to it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Daniel,
            Yes I do.

            The US can’t cry no one is buying their cars because of tariffs when the US has created a market with tariffs of vehicles that are not exportable.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve From Japan

          Big Al, I disagree with you, since the U.S. is in fact a competitive vehicle manufacturer – IF, all countries play fairly (which they often don’t). For example, there’s a strong case to be made that Japanese auto industry is guilty of dumping autos and auto parts in the U.S. market at unfairly low prices, thereby hurting domestic U.S. automakers. I base this on the following:

          1. You can often buy Japanese-made cars for a lower price in the U.S. than the same car costs in its home market of Japan.

          2. It has been well documented that Japanese automakers regularly exploit foreign migrant workers, including asylum seekers, who are subjected to slave-like working conditions. Many of these workers earn as little as $3.30 per hour and have no medical insurance, benefits or job security, as was uncovered in the excellent piece of investigative journalism from Reuters, “Subaru’s secret: Marginalized foreign workers power a Japanese export boom” (July 28, 2015).

          Additionally, the Japanese government’s worker trainee program which brings in hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers from developing countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia has been widely criticized by the U.N. and the U.S. State Department as indentured servitude where foreign workers make less than the minimum wage and work up to sixteen hours a day. Many thousands of such abused workers work in the Japanese auto industry making auto parts which allows Japanese automakers to undercut prices in the U.S. market (“Nissan probe finds misuse of foreign trainees at plants in Japan”, The Japan Times, June 6, 2018 ; “Abuses still abound in labor-strapped Japan’s foreign ‘trainee’ worker system”, The Japan Times, Jan 2, 2018 ; “Japan Training Program Is Said to Exploit Workers”, The New York Times, July 20, 2010 ; “Japan Limited Immigration; Now It’s Short of Workers”, The New York Times, Feb 10, 2017).

          Such exploitation of foreign workers is completely legal in Japan and is sanctioned by the Japanese government, since it helps Japanese exports and the economy. There is no way American companies can compete with Japanese automakers who exploit foreign workers in this manner, since the U.S. has strong labor protection laws and such exploitation would never be tolerated in America.

          3. Japanese manufacturers’ use of illegal unpaid overtime for its regular Japanese workers is also well documented. This means that workers in Japan are putting in work hours at their plants without getting paid. This gives Japanese automakers an unfair advantage by keeping costs down.

          4. The Japanese government has long pursued currency manipulation policies to keep the level of the Yen artificially low to help exporters. The Yen is currently undervalued by 20 percent by many accounts.

          These and other factors give Japanese automakers an unfair advantage. But, it does not mean the U.S. is uncompetitive.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      “scarey”

      Could be cause a good number of Camrys are now built in Japan.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @”scarey” – I can think of several reasons why a domestic made car would cost more with tariffs.
      Major components might meet the criteria of “American” built i.e. engine but could contain parts from multiple sources.
      The USA typically counts Canadian made parts as being American. That has existed since the “Auto Pact” of 1965. If all parts/vehicles are hit with tariffs, then that changes the landscape.
      Another reason is amortization costs. If imported Toyota’s are hit with tariffs, that raises operational costs. The issue that tariff supporters tend to forget is this; companies don’t pay the cost of tariffs, consumers do.

      There is also the simple fact that if import vehicles cost more, builders of domestic vehicles will increase their sales price to match that of the vehicles or items hit with tariffs. They are taking advantage of the tariff to boost their profits.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lou,
        The Trump Ultra Nationalist will not listen to logic or be objective. They are quite a weak group who are affected by their fear and low emotional intelligence. They will not believe. If facts, data and information doesn’t support their mislead paradigms they will state its false or part of a conspiracy.

        As you are aware I have been pointing out for a numbers of years now the deficiencies that will reduce US vehicle manufacturing.

        Trump is doing the opposite of what is required to encourage a more competitive and sustainable US auto manufacturing industry.

        If the US is uncompetitive at small vehicle production it will be with large vehicle production. This view can be supported by the need for the Chicken Tax. This supports pickups and indirectly support the pickup truck station wagon derivatives.

        If the world did adopt the US auto manufacturing model, encouraging large vehicles the world would out compete the US as they do with small vehicle manufacturing.

        NAFTA and more importantly the US needs a total restructure of its auto industry from regulatory/technical controls/barriers to suit a wider customer base if it wants to succeed.

        Even with EVs the US will fall behind China, Asia and the EU.

        • 0 avatar
          No Nickname Required

          “The Trump Ultra Nationalist will not listen to logic or be objective. They are quite a weak group who are affected by their fear and low emotional intelligence. They will not believe. If facts, data and information doesn’t support their mislead paradigms they will state its false or part of a conspiracy.”

          Pot, meet kettle. I think we could replace “the Trump ultra nationalist” with “Big Al from Oz” and that statement would still be true.

          Al, it’s human nature to form conclusions without knowing the facts. And data is only as truthful as the person interpreting it. We can force the data to fit any narrative that we are promoting. You should know that surely. The current administration may or may not be truthfully interpreting the data that they are receiving to make the conclusions that they are making. Likely not in fact. But the bottom line is that attacking someone’s intelligence is the worst way to convince them.

          On the bright side, if new vehicle prices increase, maybe the value of my current vehicles will also increase.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve From Japan

          Big Al, I don’t think Trump is “Ultra Nationalist”. He is just responding to the ultra nationalist economic and trade policies which other countries have had in place for decades.

          As an American expat in Japan, I can tell your that the Japanese are about a hundred times more nationalist than Americans, especially when it comes to economic matters. When Steve Bannon visited Japan last year, he even called Japanese Prime Minister Abe, “Trump before Trump”.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve From Japan

      Exactly. You’ve hit the nail on the head, scarey. I think Toyota may have just shot itself in the foot by stating that tariffs would increase the price of a Camry by 1,800 dollars. This lends further credence to the argument that Toyota’s plants in the U.S. are simply low-value-added assembly plants and not manufacturing plants, since most of the important high-value-added components are imported to the U.S. from Toyota’s factories in Japan.

      A big criticism of Japanese automakers in America has always been that most of the Japanese cars sold there as “American made” have in fact very little in way of American content. This is detrimental to the U.S. economy and bad for American workers. According to The Japan Times (Trade heat from Trump makes Toyota’s test in U.S. even tougher, Feb 7, 2017):

      “Toyota still imports (to America) a significant proportion of high-value components like engines and transmissions, said Takaki Nakanishi, the top-ranked auto analyst for six consecutive years through 2009 in rankings by Nikkei Veritas…“Japan’s auto industry has not sufficiently localized operations in the U.S., its largest sales destination market,” Nakanishi, a Tokyo-based analyst for Jefferies Group LLC, wrote in a Jan. 30 report.”

      In admitting that the price of its “American made” cars will go up significantly if tariffs are imposed, Toyota has in fact bolstered the case for tariffs, since imposition of tariffs will encourage foreign automakers like Toyota to manufacture more of their components in the U.S. This will help American manufacturing and create more high-paying jobs in the U.S.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    ““The industry operates on single-digit margins and it would grind to an immediate halt with a 25 per cent increase in price.”

    Somehow I don’t believe this.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      In the context of “Canadian makers of parts and car assembly”, it might be nearly true, at least after the time period when the US consumers of same [car companies] can move to domestic production to save that 25% tariff.

      I could see *Canadian* partsmaking and assembly suddenly being uncompetitive and disappearing over a few years, potentially.

      (It isn’t true of the car industry as a whole if there was a uniform 25% price increase on all cars, because there’d be nowhere to go to save the 25%; sales would drop some [significantly?] because of increased price, but margins should be more or less stable, and “the industry” would carry on.)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree, I withdraw my doubt on the context you specify.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “…sales would drop some [significantly?] because of increased price, but margins should be more or less stable, and “the industry” would carry on.)”

        That makes sense. Here’s the problem, though: the whole purpose of this trade jihad is supposedly to create jobs. How do lower sales do that?

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          In theory, steel and components sourced form overseas will be replaced with steel and components created in the US, creating jobs. We’ll see how that works out.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Tariffs should domestic steel industry ro grow, but the cost is that all of the steel using industries in the US will become less competitive because their costs will be artificially inflated. That’s very likely to create large net loss of jobs.

            The other issue is that it takes years to build a steel plant. So this won’t happen before Trump is removed from office — American factories will lose competitiveness and sales, and then Trump will be removed from office on or before January 2021, and so the tariffs will be removed. Anyone who might invest in building a steel plant knows this, and so no steel plants are likely to be built as a result of the tarrifs.

  • avatar
    Groovypippin

    As a polite Canadian observer of US politics (all Canadians are forced to pay attention to what happens in the US whether we want to or not), I would suggest that with 81 million vehicle sales predicted world-wide in 2018 and maybe 17 million of them in the US (21% of that total), insisting that every car in the world be manufactured in the US or face large tariffs is pretty ridiculous – and terrible for the American consumer.

    You simply aren’t big enough or important enough economically anymore to dictate what the whole world does. The best you can do – and it’s likely to happen – is start a trade war that creates a deep, world-wide recession and drives your allies into the hands of your enemies, particularly China.

    As an outside observer, it seems impossible to me that Donald Drumpf isn’t a Russian puppet of only because nearly every decision he makes creates an outcome so obviously beneficial to them. The rest of the free world hasn’t always loved and appreciated American leadership, now we are all convinced it’s over, perhaps for good. That’s disappointing and dangerous, as many of the powers rising to take its place are autocratic.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      You guys will be alright as long as President Trump doesn’t place a tariff on asbestos.

      • 0 avatar
        Groovypippin

        Actually, a 20% tariff on the Canadian auto sector – which is completely illegal under NAFTA and international trade law – would have devastating consequences for the Canadian economy. That would come on top of the already imposed – and illegal – tariffs on steel, aluminium, Canadian aerospace and softwood lumber. We really, really appreciate how we, your closest ally, largest trading partner, and co-host of the largest undefended border in the world are being treated at the moment.

        But heh, we understand. Piss all over your democratic, western military and economic partners so you can cosy up to Un, Putin, Xi, Erdogan, Duterte and the rest of the cool dictator kids.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      “You simply aren’t big enough or important enough economically anymore to dictate what the whole world does.” And yet, we still do.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “… drives your allies into the hands of your enemies, particularly China.”

      I don’t like the tariffs but countries abandoning the US for *China* over Trump is like hacking off your entire hand because your finger got a minor cut.

      China is not a place of sunshine, rainbows, and free trade. They will steamroll Canada and the EU in ways Trump could never accomplish. You say the US is turning autocratic, but China is *already* autocratic.

      If push comes to shove, are they really the nation you prefer in your corner?

      • 0 avatar
        Groovypippin

        No, we most certainly don’t prefer having China in our corner. That’s why we are perplexed as to why Donald Trump and his supporters in Congress seem so intent on driving allied nations, like Canada, there in the first place.

        If the US denies entry to foreign goods by imposing a massive tariff wall around America, those goods will have to seek new markets. We aren’t going to sit on our hands and starve.

        Prior to Canada being declared a national security threat and having steel and aluminium tariffs imposed against us, those products moved back and forth across the border at a ZERO PERCENT TARIFF. We suddenly went from free and balanced trade on those products to having a unilateral tariff imposed on us because we are a national security threat to the US, apparently. How exactly are we supposed to react to that?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ ajla

        It’s all about money and power. Many of the international goons and domestic goons causing problems see China as the natural successor to US hegemony. These goons include many of our “allies”, and they are doing everything in their power to accelerate the transition from North America to Asia because they want to enjoy a bigger market with more consumers.

        They couldn’t care less about ideology. All they know is that catering to 330M rich people in the US is limiting their wealth and power, and they want to engage the 2.5B people in Asia. The quickest way from A to B is to move US industry and IP overseas. In that case, the transition will only take decades not centuries. The US citizenry won’t even know it’s happening because the printing presses at the Fed will be running 24/7.

        North/South America’s job and Australia’s job, as relatively low population areas, is to be the natural resource and food colonies for the developing populations in Asia. Obviously, Canada and Mexico have endorsed the transition because their role doesn’t change. They are going to supply someone. Why not supply the commies? They are robbing the US blind. America doesn’t stand a chance.

        These people are so drunk on their own kool aid that Trump is basically having to tell them that continued noncompliance with basic economic laws and bilateral trade doctrines will result in the US bankrupting them, and sowing salt into their fields. Many commercial industries and foreign leaders still aren’t getting the message because they don’t believe Trump has political capital or they are attempting to sway the US electorate so the rape and pillage can start anew.

        Very sad. Many people won’t realize the game has changed until US regulators have their head in a vice. Not sure what they will salvage from that position, but it’s not our problem.

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      “insisting that every car in the world be manufactured in the US or face large tariffs is pretty ridiculous – and terrible for the American consumer.”

      You keep repeating this. Why? Once by mistake – ok. Multiple times?
      Where did Trump say that? Exact words, please.

      The BusinessInsider:

      “He says: ‘I want to grow the economy. Therefore, I don’t want cars made overseas — I want all cars made in the United States,\'” Cohn said, adding that it was not realistic to manufacture all cars in the US.

      “He says, ‘I want cars made in the United States — we make great cars in the United States,\'” Cohn repeated. “He’s right. We make great cars in the United States. ‘Why would we import cars when if we make cars in the United States, we make more profits, create more jobs?’ Kind of simple.”

      He wants people in the US to buy US manufactured cars. He doesn’t want “those” cars. Nowhere does he state that “those” cars can’t be made.

      I want to buy my Maple Syrup from US sources. The US makes some great Maple Syrup. I don’t know why all citizens of the US don’t buy US maple syrup. Note that I do not want to destroy the Canadian Maple Syrup industry.

      I prefer that all my wood products are US sourced. Not that I want to destroy the Canadian wood industry.

      Canada must have some weird laws on the books if you are forced to pay attention to US news. Oh – wait. That’s what you said, but you don’t really mean that the government forces you to watch news about the US? But you said it and unless I do some research I guess there must be some law in Canada about that.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      Not polite to start a fight by calling our President “Drumph”. You probably wouldn’t like it if I insulted your Prime Minister or your Queen.
      “You simply aren’t big enough or important enough economically anymore to dictate what the whole world does.”
      How big is Canada’s economy ? Puny compared to ours, which is the World’s Largest. Yours is a large country, rich in natural resources. Why is your economy so small ? Why do you recognize a foreign Queen ? Who cares. That is your business. But if you insult our President, you are starting a fight.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Breathe my man, its all good. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take Drumpf over the débutante they elected all day long.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          The enfant terrible. Isn’t he Mick Jagger’s kid or something?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Given his mother’s alleged proclivities, I would not be surprised.

            oregonlive.com/trending/2018/02/rumor_that_justin_trudeau_is_f.html

          • 0 avatar
            SpinnyD

            More like Castro’s kid, The resemblance is uncanny.

            http://www.theamericanmirror.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Trudeau-Castro-2.png

      • 0 avatar

        débutante? May be, but he is so cute and sweet. Girls adore him.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “You probably wouldn’t like it if I insulted your Prime Minister or your Queen.”

        …which some would say are one person.

        Thanks, I’ll be here all week.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “Not polite to start a fight by calling our President ‘Drumph’.”

        The majority of the American electorate does not like or respect Trump. Asking Canadians to be respectful of that guy is a stretch when we ourselves do not respect him. (I’d by happy count the ways I do not respect him, but that would dominate the post.)

        As for the Drumpf nickname, that’s what the Trump family’s name was in Germany, before they immigrated to the US and changed it. See:
        http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-trump-germany-20160321-story.html
        https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/donald-drumpf/

        Given Trump’s anti-immigration fearmongering, reminding everyone that his family immigrated to the US is a pretty fair dig.

        If you Republicans want people to respect your president, you’ll need to elect someone respectable for a change. Respectable Republicans do exist, you guys just don’t seem to elect them.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I’d argue we should still try to respect the title but that ship sailed shortly after Monroe left office and is probably never coming back.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          You mean respectable like a slippery snake who got into Harvard as a foreign student but claims to be born in Hawaii and has a Connecticut Social Security number ? Who went around the world on an apology and bowing down tour ? A college graduate who thinks there are 57 states ? Who is sexually disoriented (allegedly) and married to a man (allegedly) ? Who said that if you liked your health care (insurance) plan, you could keep it, and that it would cost you $2500 less ? Or did you mean respectable like a serial womanizer and accused rapist who got caught having an affair in a White House closet off of the Oval Office with a 21 year-old employee of his ? Who lied about it and lost his Law license for 5 years, was fined $800,000 and got a lifetime ban on practicing law before the Supreme Court ? Respectable like THAT ?

        • 0 avatar
          vvk

          > The majority of the American electorate does not like or respect Trump.

          And you base this on what exactly? The media?

          What’s not to like? Lower taxes — check. Move embassy to Jerusalem — check. Out of unfair money hole that no other developed nation in the world is following aka Paris climate agreement — check. Ban travel from anti-American muslim extremist countries — check. Progress with North Korea — check. Jack up pressure on Iran — check. All this well before the first half of his presidency is over.

          I suspect that the silent majority likes and respects Trump.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I’ll bet you were the same guy gnashing teeth when a certain part of the Repubs were emphasizing the “Hussein” middle name of Obama’s. Again, same bottom feeder level of intellect, applied to the other side of political ideology. Same with the “tolerant” left calling Russians as “almost genetically predisposed” to meddling and interfering and going full McCarthyite with this politically motivated witch hunt. Look in the mirror at what your lot has become.

        • 0 avatar

          “The majority of the American electorate does not like or respect Trump.”

          How he then got elected? I thought America was a democratic country like Mexico.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “The majority of the American electorate does not like or respect Trump”

          This simply isn’t accurate. If one argued, a sizable portion etc. I may be inclined to agree but you don’t have 51%. Illegal aliens, dead people, and minors are not part of our electorate.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      “As a polite Canadian observer of US politics … …Drumpf”

      No you’re just a low intellect sore loser like the Obongo is a secret Muslim people back in 2008.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      @ groovypippin

      The US market is the market from which the manufacturers derive their profits. In other words, the US consumer subsidizes global auto market expansion into emerging low-margin markets. That’s why they panic when US regulations change, particularly of those regulations threaten their ability to dump the bill for auto industry expansion on US customers.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Um numbnuts.
        How do the US consumer subsidise the world?

        Every auto manufacturer globally has the same challenges.

        In one hand complete cars coming to the US are taking jobs and forcing the US to pay. But these very manufacturers supply the other 85% of the market (not the US) and you are telling me that 15% of the global vehicle market pays for all.

        You are full of sh!t.

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      “As a polite Canadian observer of US politics…”

      “…You simply aren’t big enough or important enough economically anymore…”

      “…Donald Drumpf…Russian puppet”

      Polite. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The parties are negotiating.

  • avatar
    06M3S54B32

    tRump is an American, Russian owned catastrophe. His time can’t be up fast enough.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      06M

      You re right. He is very very bad.
      We were in a better place with Obama.
      We would be in that better place if Hillary had won.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        Haha ! We are WINNING ! Time is on our side. The more we win, the crazier you get. No longer will we silently ignore your hysteria and threats as we watch our beautiful country being destroyed by an over-vocal minority. No more will we watch loud-mouthed lunatics like Maxine W incite crowds to harass government employees and commit violence without saying anything in return. The days of politely ignoring the willful destruction of our (citizens’) country is over. In the words of James Bond, “That’s a Smith and Wesson. And you’ve HAD your six.”

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        We would, in fact.
        Glad you see it that way.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      06M, thanks for the heads-up.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Meh. Something about this and FCA I simply don’t believe, at least not on the levels they’re talking. It is designed to shock. Things would balance out. I’m sure some prices would go up, but not at these levels.

    And honestly, I get free trade. I really do. When it is free and fair, and that includes environmental regulations, and workplace safety regulations. That isn’t 20% tariffs one direction but not the other, that isn’t paying slave wages in factories that could go up in flames at any moment or chop off arms, and it isn’t being able to dump all your toxic waste into the river or air out back.

    I don’t know if I am allowed to link here, so I won’t but NAFTA has been garbage for Mexico too. Wages reached an all time high at $3.60/hour in 2013. They are now $2.30. Their murder rate has gone parabolic. Americans have lost a gazillion jobs, and Mexicans have had very little, if any living standard increase. So as far as I’m concerned if the money is going to investors and company heads, lets at least keep the jobs here. And yeah, I’m willing to pay a bit more for that. Not everyone in the USA is capable of high-tech, advanced work. I’d rather have them employed than on government assistance. And if it hurts our global rivals in the process….well good.

    We have been taking it on the chin for decades, giving open access to our markets for nothing, and when we even begin to demand fairness, all of a sudden WE are the A-Holes?!

    • 0 avatar
      Groovypippin

      except you haven’t granted “open access” to your markets at all. The US imposes import tariffs on literally thousands of goods. You can find the full list here:

      https://www.usitc.gov/tariff_affairs/tariff_databases.htm

      The only exception to that is cases – like NAFTA – where you have negotiated and signed free trade deals giving YOU the ability to export tariff free into markets in return for them being able to export tariff free into yours.

      Remember folks, tariffs are TAXES collected by government, that raise the price of goods and services for consumers. Prices go up and government gets lots more money. How Venezuelan of you.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Our markets are open. If you need a refresher course in international trade, please refer to the US trade deficit and US Dollar forex reserves held by our trading partners, particularly China and Japan.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          The US has a mixed economy, not an open economy.

          Only 6 countries globally have open/free economies.
          1. Hong Kong,
          2. Singapore,
          3. Switzerland
          4. Australia
          5. New Zealand
          6. I can’t remember.

          The mixed US economy combines free trade and regulated/controlled (tariffs/barriers) trade.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Not “We”.
      Trump is the A-Hole.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Ameica is at full employment. Provide a link showing otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Drive through any poorer metropolitan urban area in the US Al since you’re such an international globe trotter and get back to me. Low wage part time McJobs don’t equal solid working class jobs with benefits that were lost in droves as part of the highly touted free trade deals cooked up by and supported by controlling interests in both major parties. And it goes way beyond automation.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          gtem,
          That is the fault of the US, not the EU.

          The US has expensive healthcare a small safety net for the needy and wages that are third world.

          What do you expect when your policies are not protecting the people?

          These issues you speak of are purely internal redistribution of wealth issues.

          The 50% who in the US do well need to understand Australia or the EU are to pay for your obscene healthcare or low wages.

          Its your problem. Don’t export that problem.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “The 50% who in the US do well need to understand Australia or the EU are to pay for your obscene healthcare or low wages.

            Its your problem. Don’t export that problem.”

            I like how Australia is now somehow relevant to US social safety net spending. You’ve truly gone over the edge my friend.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    so that means rental car agencies will charge more for the Camry

  • avatar
    TW5

    One of the most corrupt industries on earth appealing to the Americans they hate (but rely upon) to let them continue running their businesses according to a set of trade regulations they used to impoverish their lower-middle class customers. This public appeal is being made approximately one decade after US taxpayers bailed out the global auto industry for being utterly incompetent.

    The jig is up. Since the industry is not really interested in liberalizing global trade, they can hire North Americans and put North American content in NAFTA vehicles or they can liquidate.

    The cost of most new cars is not determined by the cost of materials, rather the overhead and the optioning games the manufacturers like to play.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I plan on spending some time at those hearings.

    Deadweight, if you’re out there, what day/time are you planning to publicly unload on Guangzhou Motors?

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Right now, a European or Asian auto maker will think twice before importing a part for a new Opel or Honda from Detroit, instead of buying it locally. The tariff risk is just too big.

    The uncertainty in terms of investment decisions etc. is what generates the true economic trouble and cost.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      They already think twice about using American content. We are threatening tariffs because trade has devolved into a one way street. We have very little to lose.

      • 0 avatar
        Robbie

        The reverse is also true; a Detroit automaker will think twice before using a foreign part. Instead, a more expensive domestic part may be used, to prevent ending up in a 25% tariff setting down the line. Inefficiency and extra cost will result across the board.

        Ideally of course, America is selling Boeings, graduate education, Iphones, medical innovations, and operating systems to the world, and not labor intensive metal welding thingies. We all love cars here, but we have to be open to the notion that perhaps America is a lot better off importing its cars and exporting high value added things.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          The reverse is not true. In fact, the auto manufacturers are fighting reforms to the NAFTA rules to increase content requirements and reduce loopholes. The manufacturers want to buy foreign-made content when it’s convenient or it raises their margins or it’s difficult to build in the NAFTA zone due to environmental regs.

          The US should be manufacturing durable capital goods. That includes cars. You can lecture people about the correct sort of manufacturing jobs when politicians are demanding the return of all textiles industries.

          • 0 avatar
            Trucky McTruckface

            One of the most amusing things to me about all the tariff clickbait is to watch nominally pro-union, pro-labor liberals side with multinational corporations with decades-long track records of throwing manufacturing workers under the bus in order to save 10 cents on a part. And they do this for no other discernible reason besides hating Trump.

            These tariffs are aimed at the companies who outsource as much as the countries they’re outsourcing to. Because – newsflash – companies like GM don’t give two sh*ts about American jobs unless they’re looking for a government handout, then they’ll do a song and dance about “too big to fail.”

            Funny how the same people who were offended by cutting the corporate tax rate are so concerned about the impact of tariffs on corporations…

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @Trucky Mctruckface:
            That’s only because you don’t know what liberals actually believe.

            The overeducated coastal elites among us have been taking economics classes for decades, and so understand free trade in a way that my mother’s generation did not in decades before most of us were born (the 70s and 80s). Also, those liberal techies out in The Bay Area? Hardcore capitalists, and yet, very liberal in terms of the environment, education, and social safety nets.

            The union people have been taken for granted, which isn’t a good thing.

            All of this happened when you weren’t paying attention to actual liberals. Conservative infotainment does not report on us accurately, in case you were wondering.

            P.S. I’m so liberal I was once a Libertarian — back before I saw the necessity for a social safety net. I’m also a big fan of markets (and I the a degree to prove it), but I also know their limitations (which is something I didn’t know when I was a Libertarian). I’m still pro-legalization, and pro-personal freedom — while recognizing taxes are the fee required to live in a civilized place. One I’m quite willing to pay these days.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Luke42

            You need to get your act together. Your post reads like the opening remarks at a College Republicans meeting circa 2002. The goods trade deficit was with China back then was $103B. Do you know what it was last year? $375B. The national debt has also trebled during the same time.

            This is not free trade. In a free trade system the dollar would have plummeted agains the Renminbi, but there are more Renminbi per USD today than in 1993, the year before the Chinese pegged to the dollar. The last 20 years have been a money making scam orchestrated by investment banks and K-street criminals in DC.

            Circumstances have dictated that every sane person walk away from the Chamber of Commerce country club, who are obviously willing participants in the sellout of the American middle class. The last of the sane people were cleared out in 2016 when country club Republicans adopted the America Last platform to continue subsidizing hedge funds at the expense of hapless lower-middle class workers.

            It’s really sad that your visceral and irrational hatred of an elected official (who has a birth certificate) pushed you into the arms of one of the biggest political scams in America.

            Also, the debate about the social net is not whether or not it should exist. It’s whether the programs should work, thereby eliminating the reason for which they exist, or whether the programs should make the problem worse and expand perpetually until they wipe out our civilization (as they are doing now).

            Is gullible a political orientation? Seems more apt than liberal.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            Like the East Germans?

            The Trabant was the best car in the world at the disposal of the East Germans.

            Durable goods?

            I think you fear. You are insecure to the fact the US isn’t the best at everything.

            So, how do you fix that problem?

            Destroy competition.

            Sad you are.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            The USD (dollar) did not tumble against the Chinese Renminbi because the US pumped $80 billion a month of borrowed money into the US economy. This was called QE Quantatative Easing.

            This was needed not because of the EU or Chinese or the National Security threatening Canadians. It was needed because of poor US banking and finance regulations. Which I might add burnt many international investors. The US fncked many people out of trillions and you say blame others??

            What kind of jerkoff are you.

            Stick to facts mate.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            US QE caused the USD to devalue. Even the AUD was above parity as the Looney.

            When we both sit 75-80% of the USD.

            You are a sad man.

          • 0 avatar
            Trucky McTruckface

            @Luke42

            “That’s only because you don’t know what liberals actually believe.”

            So you’re saying that the wealthy liberal entrepreneurs are cutthroat capitalists (what a shock-not) and that union workers have totally been thrown under the bus, but taxing the little guy on fear-mongering related to the environment and social concerns trumps all? Oh, but the conservative media is totally misrepresenting you guys?

            No, I think conservatives have got your number pretty well. If anything, you guys have your heads even further up your posteriors than we thought.

            The most hilarious part is that you actually admit that you don’t give a f*ck about the labor class and have zero remorse about it.

            But yeah, go ahead and keep telling Trump and his supporters that they’re the real a**holes.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Robbie,
          Boeing is the US’es biggest exporter and it’s in the sights of the Chinese.

          China can and would use Boeing aircraft as leverage against Trump’s economic tragedy.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        TW5,
        Oneway street?
        Explain to me how trade is a one way street.

        You use many cliches, but when asked to expand on them you provide inaccurate information.

        Are you some Russian/pro Trump spambot?

  • avatar
    conundrum

    I expect the whole tariff nonsense thing to go ahead full steam. May you live in times of cheap bread.

    Ford sells 100,000 F150s in Canada each year. They’re made in the US and have a lot of aluminum too. Ka-ching. Etc. Subarus, Mercedes C Class, most BMW SUVs, and on and on. Ka-ching.

    And the reverse will be true.

    Since nobody is going to sit around and commit their country to go down the drain, new trade partnerships will inevitably happen.

    As the US has been at the apex for so long, Americans have disregarded what other countries think beyond military alliances, and concentrated on their own navels. And apparently want to do so to an even greater extent in future, feeling hard done by for not overly cogent reasons. But it is what it is.

    So the stage is set for some big changes. We live in interesting times. Just don’t expect the bow and scrape routine the US has been accorded since WW2 by everyone else to continue.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I’m wondering if Canada will fully.embrace the EUFTA if the trade war with Trump gets bad enough.

      If the US cuts enough trade to hurt, Canada will have no choice but to find new trading partners — and the EU is an obvious choice.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Yes. Please tell us about how global trade is going to hit its stride when America stops donating a half trillion dollars from the American middle class each year.

      This should be good.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        TW5,
        If the US is taken out of the picture the deficit caused will impact for couple of years, whilst the impact to the US is permanent.

        The US is significant, but the world will not stop.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I was wondering why harley davidson didn’t lower the price of its bike when they received so much from trumps regulation changes and other tax relief gotten…I mean, come on, harley, wasn’t THAT a great time to lower the price so we could buy a hog?

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Trump’s regulation changes aren’t really going to cust costs, especially in the short term.

      The simple reason is that the next president will likely undo everything Trump has done. HD can’t bet millions of dollars on reduced standards, and then lose that bet when a new adminstration changes everything in ~2 years — so MBA logic dictates they should to maintain their standards and not make any changes until stability returns and they can know what the regulations will look 5-10 years in the future. In other words, the Trump presidency is much shorter than their design cycle.

      The other thing is that a high-end brand like HD charges what the customers will pay, rather than what the product costs to make. So, even if their costs go down (and they’be gone up due to tariffs), you won’t see the savings as a customer. They will exploit the increased profit opportunity. Voting for Trump won’t get you an affordable Harley, no matter what he says.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        We’re still waiting on the next president to repeal Internal Revenue Code 1986.

        Long story short, no one is repealing corporate tax reform and moving back to a worldwide tax system. The old system was based on 1950s paradigms that no longer exist, and the old worldwide system disrupted trade and aggravated our trading partners.

        You’re a real “free trade” guru these days. I thought you would have supported a tax regime that doesn’t suppose America has the right to tax corporate income earned in foreign jurisdictions.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Trailertrash,
      For Harley to reduce the cost of a product it must become cheaper to produce.

      The US government put a tariff on imported bikes to make Harley cheaper. This only affected US sales as the price for a Harley in external markets went up and remained expensive.

      The US can’t tell other countries to reduce tariffs on US product whilst having higher tariffs on US competition.

      This is where the Trump supporters don’t understand.

      The US 25% metal tax only made metal 25% more expensive in America, not China, Europe or Canada. Now manfacturers in America who could of exported metal products are not competitive against others.

      Many jobs will be lost in metal manufacturing because of this.

      Add to that the taxes other countries put on Levis, Harleys, alcohol, etc coming out of the US and there are more job losses.

      Its not a pretty picture. The US really needs to back off for its own good.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Well maybe if the Camry wasn’t still such a chintzy, ugly fleet queen, Toyota could save at least $1800 in the incentive costs it takes to keep buying the best selling passenger car title every year.

  • avatar
    SnarkyRichard

    Trade wars are good and easy to win !

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Harley Davidson’s refusal to put the handlebars on the right side has hurt sales in England.

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    FWIW, I am truly appalled by the click-bait nature of this article and more so by many of the replies. Have mostly lurked here going back to the Farago days and have found it to be both informative and often amusing. There are lots of places to go to for endless political ranting. I assume that we are all adults here. Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      jimmy2x,
      Part of the problem with TTAC now is it’s trying make out it’s neutral.

      TTAC has lost its teeth or better still has no balls.

      TTAC needs better “journalists” ones that specialise across the auto industry.

      TTAC also leans to the right. So far all these “Trump” articles don’t really lie, but the articles have omissions with marginal over/under statements which taints the quality (like a skid mark in your undies) of the magazine.

      I really believe the quality od editing could improve the completion of full information.

      The authoes need to verify and validate the work they produce. And even submit comments towards those who talk sh!t (lie or inaccurate). But how can they acheive this when they don’t know what they are authoring (plagerising).

      • 0 avatar
        jimmy2x

        I tend to agree with you. That said, this is a car site. Sure, the political landscape matters, but this article seemed designed to bring out the wing nuts. I voted for Nixon, Reagan, both Bushes. Additionally, It might be noted that I’m a 20 years USN vet and retiree. Hardly the classic liberal – until now.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          jimmy,
          Politics is what influences what we drive in Australia, America, everywhere.

          A good example was the old East Germany. Yhey had car/s but the lack of freedom reduced options.

          Cost for us in wealthy nations affects our options. Even road infrastructure.

          I obviously like the business side of the auto industry and I even like all different vehicles.

          But the auto industry gives the car people their cars. So industry “talk” is good and interesting. For me.

          Have a nice day.

  • avatar
    DougD

    If you think that the US has only been lying around getting taken advantage of for the last 20 years we’ve got some softwood lumber we’d like to sell you. And some NFB documentaties for that matter.

    Don’t forget to compare and contrast your news sources folks, and remember who is making billions by keeping you outraged.

    And yeah, the Drumpf thing derails your arguement right off the bat. I’m going with Laura Bush, who when everyone was calling W an idiot said something about people being decent and respecting the office. Which I think everyone should do, including the President.


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