By on June 21, 2018

The ground beneath the factory Volvo Cars opened Wednesday in South Carolina grew shakier after company executives warned that the U.S.-China trade dispute could undo plans to create up to 4,000 auto jobs in the state.

As you probably know, Volvo is currently owned by Chinese automaker Geely — which has a lot to lose if trade relations break down. Geely intends to export Volvo’s American-built cars to markets outside the United States. The situation’s a problematic one, as Volvo also imports the bulk of its U.S. market vehicles and any economic hurdles would surely gum up the works.

“If you have trade barriers and restrictions, we cannot create as many jobs as we are planning to,” Volvo Cars Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters during the factory’s opening.

While not a done deal, the automotive tariffs are a very real threat. China already imposes strict fees on imported vehicles (25 percent) and the White House seems to be looking for some kind of payback. While the United States levies a very low fee on imported cars (just 2.5 percent), its truck tariff is extremely high. The Trump administration’s trade proposals would hit imported cars with the existing 25 percent truck tariff. A U.S. tariff matching China’s is already scheduled to impact Chinese-built vehicles starting in early July.

Meanwhile, German automakers have begun voicing their support for the abolishment of all import tariffs for cars flowing between the European Union and the United States. Earlier this week, U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell brought the proposal to the industry as a possible way to avoid the brewing trade war. The deal would mean removing the EU’s 10-percent tax on auto imports and America’s 2.5-percent fee. It’s certainly a possible solution for Europe, but it doesn’t directly address the problems with China.

“We want to export and if suddenly China and Europe have very high barriers, it would be impossible,” Samuelsson said of Volvo. “Then you have to build the cars there. And then all cars will be more expensive, you have to invest more tooling and have every model in every country. That’s against all the logic of modern economies that trade with each other.”

Volvo claims it intends to hire about 4,000 workers once its new factory reaches full manufacturing capacity. Presently, it only has around 900 employees, but says it needs roughly 1,500 by the end of 2018 to meet production goals.

[Image: Volvo Cars]

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80 Comments on “Trade War Watch: Volvo Worried About New U.S. Factory, Germans Want Tariffs Killed Entirely...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Enough Chinese Intellectual Property and other theft (supported by U.S. & other western and developed nations’ corporations desire for access to Chinese consumer and business markets; these treacherous executives would sacrifice their 1st born if it meant short-term gains in revenues and share valuations).

    It’s time for reciprocal tariffs (or none at all) with China, and an absolute repudiation of the demand that foreign firms with business operations in China must have a Chinese JV partner (which is essentially a now 30-year old scam allowing Chinese state owned enterprises instant access to, and the ability to easily swipe, the intellectual property of foreign firms).

    And finally, refuse to purchase Chinese assembled vehicles or those with anything more than 5% to 10% MAXIMUM Chinese parts content.

    Let this be the wake up, clarion call, and the dawn of a new era where China will no longer be able to freely, liberally steal critical, valuable intellectual and other property of foreign firms.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      p.s. – Demand that members of Congress and any President repeal Most Favored Nation trade status that has been bestowed upon China for 40 years!

      Vote them out!

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        DW

        Right on! China is an evil empire.

        Reciprocal tariff levels are a no brainer. Especially since we ve been the ones get hosed sideways- all day.

        PS- Kick out all their commie university students that are here. Out. Buh bye

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Even if we follow your prescription, central banks will continue buying dollars to manipulate spot exchange rates. China and Japan in particular.

      Germans support taking tariffs off of the table because they know the EU will continue buying dollars as needed, if they can’t launder content through China.

      Unless the US plans to respond with globe-crushing industrial subsidies, we need a plan to discourage foreign central banks from meddling in currency markets. Tariffs are part of the discouragement mechanism, imo.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The topics of the role of fiat exchange rates, central banks, fractional reserve banking systems, and currency manipulation vis-a-vis the modern day global economy and trade relations are very complex ones, and I fear that any editorial by the likes of me here regarding such matters would foment a nasty debate & much pearl clutching.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        I am far (FAR, FAR) from a Trump fan, but I have to wonder if Germany would have even considered removing the tariffs had Trump not gone down this road. There are many things he’s done I shake my head at, but attempting to stand up to the insanely lopsided trade situation we’ve been at the losing end of for a long time is fine by me. One for one, align our trade policies with those that other countries bestow upon us and then let them claim “unfair” practices if we’re doing exactly as others are doing to us. I find it rather disingenuous when a country (ahem, China, ahem) stands up to claim we’re swinging *big sticks* to protect our nation’s industrial base (and wealth preservation) while they still slap high tariffs on our goods, force us into state-controlled JV’s and demand (if not outright steal) our technical know-how. Yes, the consumer is ultimately king, but I’ve always seen this as a three-legged stool: 1) the government plays a role in trade by establishing policy, 2) industry plays a role in manufacturing here, employing the very people they want to buy their products, 3) the consumer plays a role in “voting” with their dollars for goods made by their friends, neighbors and family.

        Considering that every third year roughly $1T (yes, Trillion) dollars in net wealth is transferred to China, I’m open to leveling the playing field.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Hear, hear!

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        I for one have never been in favour of entering into free trade agreements with dictatorships or emerging nations. The playing field in such arrangement is unfair.

        However capitalism demands it. And therefore so do most multinational corporations. It allows for them to maximize their profits. And ‘money has no loyalty’ and capital has no nation.

        However such agreements between 1st world nations, particularly those allied, did result in improved standards of living.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    If the Germans want the tariffs killed, then all they have to do is remove their tariffs against us, which were in place long before Trump.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      According to World Bank, the average tariff rate applied by the US is 1.6% – which is the same as the average rate applied by the EU. Canada’s, by the way, is 0.8%. Not much to fuss about there.

      https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/TM.TAX.MRCH.WM.AR.ZS

      Of course, Trump is setting out to change all that….

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      BUT saying that the Euro-peon tariffs ( ! ) were there before Trump would be letting Trump off the hook.
      We are only looking for reasons to hate Trump.

  • avatar
    Tiberius1701

    Agreed with all of the above. Level the playing field. Fir trade, not free trade should rule the day. Nice to see level headed comments here unlike some other so-called ‘Car” websites.

  • avatar
    ect

    As others have noted, China has certainly misbehaved in appropriating IP from other countries, but tariffs are the wrong response, and a unified Western response is called for.

    Notwithstanding this logic, the current administration is keen on tariffs against everybody (not just China), so here we go.

    Per Reuters, the market is reacting to the threat of tariffs on imported steel by raising prices:

    “U.S. benchmark hot-rolled steel coil June futures prices were quoted at $902 per ton on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday, up 53 percent from $589 a year ago.”

    This is surely overreach, which is typical of short-term market movements, but it is happening.

    Automakers in the US have doubtless baked in steel and aluminum process for at least the balance of the year, but within a few months they’ll be back ion the market and looking at major price increases for these basic inputs. What happens to vehicle prices then, and how will consumers react to the inevitable increases?

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Why would people fret about rising prices? The entire premise of unfair trade is that steel consumers are getting a free-ride on the backs of foreign companies, who are exacting their toll on semi-skilled American laborers who would otherwise work in the steel industry.

      As the US recovers, global production capacity will rise, which should put some downward pressure back on prices, depending on the cost of inputs and steel demand.

      People need to stop panicking. As Trump has bluntly opined, the US holds virtually all of the cards. America’s inability to understand this is beyond me. The entire world is on US trade welfare.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I tell ya’ what; go back 80 years in history and track the price of any commodity (e.g. iron ore) or finished good heavily constituted with such commodities (e.g. roofing shingles, e.g. asphalt) that is traded on any exchange such as the CBOE.

        Outside of extremely severe economic downturns, those commodities more often than not rise at a rate far higher than the officially measured and reported rate of inflation in real $ terms, and even during severe economic downturns, the price cuts don’t last long.

        What I’m saying is that speculation allows speculators to build arbitrage positions that mismatch what the true price of such commodities should be based on true demand-supply equilibrium (massive inefficient pricing & massive distortion in fundamental economics leading to market failure).

        There are many artificial and massively manipulated reasons why roofing shingles, building lumber, aluminum, and many other such things are at, near or way above all time highs right now, and none of them have to do with true demand-supply curves.

        Inflation running white hot right now, due to such market failure, is one of the factors that is about to lead to another severe economic downturn, rhyming with the tempo and pattern of 2008-2011.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          INFLATION is the deliberate dilution of the currency by the printing of money. It is NOT the result of unions seeking higher wages, producers seeking higher prices, or any other supposed cause. It has been the goal of the Federal Reserve to inflate the currency by an average of 2% per year every year. Since the creation of the Fed in 1913, they have managed to inflate away 97% of the dollar’s value. WHY would they want to inflate the currency ? So that the masses go from the 1% tax rate in 1913 to the 35% rate today, and so employers can pay workers in worth-less, inflated dollars.
          P.S.= the next downturn will be MUCH WORSE than 2008.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            I should have mentioned Quantitative Easing, QE2, QE3, and QE4. At least 2 TRILLION DOLLARS ADDED TO THE MONEY SUPPLY in recent years by the Fed. That is the cause of current and the higher inflation which is COMING SOON, probably ( ! ) inevitable at this point. The right man, Donald Trump is there to ease the airplane down to the runway, even though the wings have been partially shot off and both engines are sputtering and out of fuel.

          • 0 avatar
            gmichaelj

            “I should have mentioned Quantitative Easing, QE2, QE3, and QE4. At least 2 TRILLION DOLLARS ADDED TO THE MONEY SUPPLY in recent years by the Fed. That is the cause of current and the higher inflation which is COMING SOON, probably ( ! ) inevitable at this point.”

            https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/BOGMBASE

            Closer to 3 Trillion. But you will also notice that the increases started before Obama was elected, which is a good time ago now – 10 years. INFLATION! did not happen – rates were too low to impact investing decisions due to “cheap dollars” – LIQUIDITY TRAP.

            The Fed has managed inflation quite well since 96, we haven’t seen a quarter where annual inflation has gone above 3%. Without checking further, I’d say a good bit of that has to do with housing on both coasts, which has jump dramatically due to local officials reluctance to permit new housing.

            From Investopedia: “For stock market investors, annual growth in the GDP is vital. If overall economic output is declining or merely holding steady, most companies will not be able to increase their profits, which is the primary driver of stock performance. However, too much GDP growth is also dangerous, as it will most likely come with an increase in inflation, which erodes stock market gains by making our money (and future corporate profits) less valuable. Most economists today agree that 2.5-3.5% GDP growth per year is the most that our economy can safely maintain without causing negative side effects.”

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ DW

          Commodities speculation is an issue, perhaps the most poignant example is the steady decline of the USO ETF once speculators figured out the fund’s general trading pattern and timing.

          Regardless, fears of an economic apocalypse induced by perpetual contango are probably as overblown now as they were in the 1970s. Humans always discover new supplies or conservation techniques or alternatives, and the shorts always muster the courage to launch a sneak attack on the longs. The Fed eventually gets around to raising rates.

          The scary situation is still real estate, which is partially fueled by the current account deficit. Prices are getting high enough now throughout most of the United States that people are being taxed out of their homes, which means residents are demanding property tax reform, especially now that the federal property tax deduction has been capped. A raft of Prop-13-like proposals would send mortgage lending and housing prices soaring. People would start pulling money out of their houses again, and then the pain would start.

          The deteriorating current account and its affect on real estate prices is the part that resembles 2008-2011. Time for US production to rise along with exports.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            @gmichaelj—The FED does not “manage” inflation- it makes inflation, as a POLICY. THEY CALL IT “GROWTH”. They want 2% per year. That is low enough not to scare the public, but large enough to achieve their goals over decades. The result of QE 1,2,,3, and 4 so-far has been rising costs of groceries and necessities. Not necessarily a drastically higher PRICE in every case- but the same price buying smaller quantities of the same goods or the same amount of lower-quality goods. But the end result, which is still coming, will be much worse.It comes when operators of container ships and supertankers no longer accept 10 year Treasury notes (the customary form of payment) for their cargo. When THAT happens, the S will Hit The Fan.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          deadweight, your assessment of commodity prices over time is dead wrong. Since the late 1800s, the long-term trend in commodities pricing has been down, not up. For example:

          https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11f0019m/11f0019m2017399-eng.htm

          One result has been the steady decline of commodities production as a % of gdp across the developed world.

          Which only hioghlights the present administration’s stupidity in trying to prop up legacy industries at the expense of modern industry. The products that the US excels in and exports are high-value manufactured goods, not commodities. Dramatically increasing the cost of basic raw material inputs in the US (but not elsewhere) can only make these products significantly more expensive for US consumers and significantly less competitive in global markets. Which can only be bad for the US.

          “Inflation running white hot right now”? Actually, it isn’t. But give Trump a little more time, and it certainly will be.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            The Trump administration is fighting for legacy industries such as durable goods, steel, and aluminum because those industries support other industries and their manufacturing plants would be critical in the case of a war. How do you define ‘modern industry’ ? REAL wealth can only be made by mining, drilling, and manufacturing raw materials into finished goods. And full employment is needed to power our economy. We must raise the velocity of money between us- American workers and companies- and our trading partners here and abroad. If you are counting on “green jobs” to fix our economy, that is not enough to do the job, not by a long shot.
            Trump is not causing INFLATION. I have supplied you the meaning of the word.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            The issue with supporting legacy industries is that in many respects they do not require support. US steel production is at a peak, however employment in the steel industry is down by approximately 65%. The reason being technology. No amount of tariffs or protection will eliminate the technology and increase employment in that industry. If there is any increased production, it will be achieve through greater efficiencies and utilization of equipment/machinery, not human labour.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            “REAL wealth can only be made by mining, drilling, and manufacturing raw materials into finished goods.”

            scarey, this is simply not true, and hasn’t been for several decades, at least.

            The 4 most valuable US companies are all technology companies (Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft), and are dominant forces in the new global economy. They and other tech companies have generated far more wealth in this century than manufacturing and resource companies have, and this gap continues to grow.

            Your primitive thinking is no basis for successful economic policy.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        TW5,
        Why would you fret over cost of living increases?? WTF?

        Man, I’d love to know what drugs you take.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ BAfO

          I’m either paying it as welfare to the displaced welfare class or I’m paying it as the real market price for steel.

          I’d rather pay for rising industrial capacity, which will push steel prices back down in the long-run ceteris paribus.

          No more panicking.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            You are so full of shjt I can smell you in Europe. What a tosser you are.

            Hre you have spent months whining, crying, (& lying) about how the heart was ripped out of US manufacturing and the poor workers who lost jobs to justify your bullshjt, fncked up paradigms………..

            AND now you again whine, cry, snivel because those poor workers (according to you) need support.

            WHAT A DUMB A$$ LIAR YOU ARE …… Mate!

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          @BigalFromOz—It’s like sticking a blowfly up yer nose…

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        TW5,
        The world will not buy more expensive US steel. Just because you produce it doesn’t promise exports.

        There are many countries that make steel.

        Can’t you see the US doesn’t manufacture what it isn’t competitive at?

        US manufacturers will be forced to spend more for metal, the rest of the world will not pay US prices.

        China uses around half of the steel produced globally. China will influence steel moreso than the US.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ BAfO

          The current “market” price for steel is the result of heavy subsidies in countries like China and Japan. If we apply a countervailing tariff it will merely correct the market price for steel in the US, which means steel consumers will pay the market rate for steel rather than the costs being shifted to people paying for welfare and other social benefits.

          If the rest of the world refuses to buy US steel because we won’t subsidize it as heavily as other countries, US producers will have a surplus after the tariff is applied, and the price of US steel in the United States will fall.

          Therefore, US Steel will be the most “competitive”, according to your warped understanding of the concept, and you should no longer despair.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      ECT

      Trump’s new tariff levels are not the end game. They are a short term device to get the attention of those that have been hosing us sideways. It is the biggest weapon in our toolbox.

      Bop on the head.

      They fight fair.

      Tariffs dropped.

      The Presidents tariffs on China caused China to yank N Korea chain and N Korea participated in the Singapore meetings. No more rockets fired.

      Trump is running the office with the common sense of a New York businessman. Including having a low tolerance for BS. On the other hand, career politicians lives and conduct are nothing but BS. Notice our other great President – Reagan, spent a lot of his work life out side of BSPolitics.

      Trump could well our GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER. It’s unfolding nicely.

      Liberal hate storm in 3..2..1.. go!

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        Trump has spent much more money than he’s made. That makes Trump a bad businessman. He’s hot garbage at business. He’s an Inheritance Baby, just like our idiot Prime Minister here in Canada. Both are simpletons and can be identified as such within the first five words spoken by either.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          The U.S. government has spent much more money than it made. That makes the U.S. government a bad business. It is hot garbage at governing. Fixed that For Ya.
          And you are extremely ill-informed and deficient in your knowledge and critical thinking capabilities. THAT MEANS THAT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.
          I won’t mention my opinion of your “country” which is OWNED by a much smaller country than yours. Just like “Oz”- Now That”s funny.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            scarey,
            To put it in terms you can comprehend.

            The price for US manufactured goods will due to taxes on the material for production.

            Remember the US exports. If the cost to make something in the US rises and it becomes cheaper outside the US to manufacture, what is the logical outcome?

            Less manufacturing in the US as it will become more uncompetitive than it currently is.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Scarey,That might be the most misinformed and demeaning comment allowed on this site. By the way a site owned by a Canadian company.

            And there is such a thing as ‘good debt’.

            As for Trump, generally an abject failure at business, as demonstrated by the string of bankruptcies, law suits and unpaid suppliers/contractors left behind. Which is why he had to resort to ‘offshore’ investors.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        redapple, your post is simply not factual. Tariffs will only beget retaliatory tariffs, as they are now doing. They certainly haven’t changed Chinese behaviour re North Korea, that was in play many months ago – and we do not know how that will ultimately play out. China is very much involved, but keeping its cards close to its chest, while the Singapore meeting a a giant photo-op that has not so far yielded anything of substance except a US commitment to suspend war games with South Korea.

        Once again, Trump gave up something without getting anything in return. A regular pattern.

        In the meantime, Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum are driving up the cost of manufacturing inputs, which is already hurting US manufacturing, while retaliatory tariffs from China and the EU are hurting US agriculture. Nothing about this is “unfolding nicely”. At all.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          @Arthur Dailey–“That might be the most misinformed and demeaning comment allowed on this site.”

          Do I win a prize ? I just stated FACTS.

          BTW, did I mention that the country that owns yours is run by a bunch of foreigners (Germans ! ) ? LOL

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @scarey: I have yet to read many actual facts in any of your posts.
            And your comments about countries “owning other countries”. What conspiracy theories have led you to that?

            However it is a fact that China as of 3 years ago owned 47% of all publicly owned US debt and 34% of overall US debt. Does that mean that China ‘owns’ the USA?

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            @Arthur Dailey—I assume you are from Canada or another country that is OWNED by A Small Island Nation across from France. The one whose Royal Family is a bunch of Germans who self-glossed their Surname from one of ‘their’ castles. Why is their QUEEN on your money ? Who is your Daddy ? ENGLAND is. Australia and Canada are in the Dominion of Great Britain, And Elizabeth is their Queen, and Megan Markle is your Princess. LOL
            ACTUAL FACTS. You must be a denier !

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @scarey: your latest post is surely an indictment of the American educational system.

            There is no such entity as the Dominion of Great Britain.

            Canada and Australia are independent, sovereign nations.
            And at no time were they ‘owned’ by another nation.

            We do have a Queen, as our Head of State.The Queen of Canada in our case. A function that is primarily ceremonial. She also happens at the moment to also be the Queen of Australia and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. And we can chose when the time comes to select her successor in regards to our nation. And yes her family name was changed during WWI.

            However, as has been aptly demonstrated over the past few years, having a hereditary Head of State, who is non-political, and trained for years for the job, is actually a better system than having the nations political leader also serve as Head of State.

            Those are the facts.

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    You skipped an important detail on the US/EU tariff negotiations. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the EU is demanding an end to the 25% “Chicken Tax” as a condition for dropping their tariffs.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      mypoint,
      The US Big 3 are totally reliant on the chicken tax for their existence, since 1980.

      The chicken tax encouraged the Big 3 to focus on large pickups and their related station wagon derivatives.

      The Big 3 also find it harder to compete in any market that isn’t tailored to protect them.

      The issue with Big 3 product from the US iss poirer build quality, size and lack of design regulations.

      Essentially the Big 3 need to sate the customer for more sales.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        The horse is dead, Al, you can stop beating it.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Dead? Then what are the Trump Ultra Nationalist complaining for?

          The US designed a vehicle market to support the Big 3.

          Now you find out protectionism (Chicken Tax) failed and you whine that you are buying better imported product. Why? Because not the majority of Americans want full size pickups and pickup station wagons. They (imports) also sell better quality than non Big 3 product.

          This is called capitalism. Supply and demand. The US socialist vehicle market reduces choice. At the end of the day the fittest survive. Even your car market is reduced for such a large population.

          Become a part of the world. Whilst the Trump Ultra Nationalists want isolationalism the US will suffer.

          Teamwork is far better than being selfish onesy’s. Consensus and collaboration with others will enrich the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Typical BAFOism. You talk nonsense then scamper off when asked to explain.

            How can the Big 3 be reliant on the Chicken tax when it merely “protects” a narrow vein of US pickups, most of them by Toyota, Nissan and Honda (midsize to fullsize), from poorly made, marginally safe, gross polluting (even when not a diesel), midsize pickups from China and India?

            Those potential imported global pickups would compete with a host of things in the US, the least of which are fullsize pickups from the Big 3.

            Remember Big 3 Heavy Duty pickups, cab-n-chassis’, Medium Duty trucks, cab-less Class A motorhome chassis’ and US/FedEx type box-van chassis’, are at least half of their “pickup profits”.

            Of course that’s not counting extremely profitable fullsize SUVs (station wagons) which are in no way protected by any tax/tariff.

            But by far the biggest non-tariff barrier against global trucks is some thing you’re not familiar with in your part of the world (Africa/Asia/Australia) known simply as “Lemon Laws”

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        @BigalFromOz-
        “scarey,
        To put it in terms you can comprehend.
        The price for US manufactured goods will due to taxes on the material for production.”

        Very good point. Except your statement seems to be missing something. Can you guess what it is ?
        You seem to be flustered. LOL
        Did I mention that the country that OWNS yours is run by a bunch of GERMANS ? LOL !

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Funny thing is that I, like many others I know will be immediately importing a US-made pickup truck if EU removes the 10% tariff (plus VAT on the import tax, which people seem to forget: that alone is about as much as US 2,5% import tariff on cars).

      Also I might be able to import that Dodge Charger I’ve been wanting to buy, but only remotely viable as a used car and it’ll be a massive bureaucratic fight to get it registered.

      Currently the EU is keeping out American pickup trucks as well as all cars due to the import duty being high enough to make a steep barrier. But in addition to that they have used EC-regulations to keep them out: in most countries you can’t get an American car registered without massively expensive modifications, and they purposefully hide the info on what must be done to discourage people from even trying.

      Then there’s the consumption regulation scam which was tailored specifically to benefit VW the most and other European carmakers as well, and to drive out all American and Japanese cars which were mostly naturally aspirated gasoline cars. Just look at how effective it was! They cleaned out pretty much all American cars from the market altogether and most Japanese ones from the top leaderboards too! Only Japanese cars recovered slightly after over a decade as they finally realised the only way is to bring in ‘downsized’ turbo engines to look misleadingly good according to the EU official consumption tests, and also due to their massive hybrid push gaining some success.

      Let’s face it: it has been very foul play that wiped out American vehicles from the EU markets. Most countries in the EU don’t even have dealerships, any new cars for sale at all for most US brands!

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        “the EU is keeping out American pickup trucks as well as all cars”.

        Really? If this is the case, how is it that BMW, Mercedes, Honda and Nissan all export US-made vehicles to Europe? BMW’s exports of US-made vehicles to non-NAFTA markets alone are 3 times GM’s. I doubt that tariffs are the issue.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          I’m not sure of the details, but AFAIK the EU has some sort of balancing system, meaning US import tariffs are reduced when you export a certain amount to the US? Not sure about that. What I do know, is that a vehicle made in the EU, exported to the US or elsewhere, can then be re-imported without tariffs.

          But the main point is that what you mention are BMW and Mercedes vehicles mostly. Not US brands, not big vehicles, not with big NA engines. I don’t know if Honda and Nissan actually do bring in many vehicles into Europe?

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            As I said, it’s a combination of both tariffs and taxation based on the corrupt EU fuel consumption/CO2 emissions standards which have been _high enough_ to hurt American brands so bad that they have basically disappeared from the market.

            Just look at the results! US cars weren’t massively popular due to their size and other attributes, but they certainly did have a strong hold of niche markets at the very least. Then on top of the tariffs came the BS emissions-test-based taxes and the American car manufacturers disappeared completely.

            It’s a simple fact that for example I, as a private consumer, am basically blocked from importing an American car to my country and registering it. The tariffs are high enough to make it far from financially viable, then add the massive taxes based on CO2 emissions and other crap which makes the American car taxed massively higher than a similar European car with a small turbo engine, then the third nail on the coffin is that most EU countries straight up make them illegal without changing the windscreen, side and rear windows, all the lights at least.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @Locksteps: and when were American made D3 cars ever prevalent in Europe? Doesn’t that one fact make your premise incorrect?

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          I seem to recall that American cars ( Jeeps ) were pretty prevalent in Europe in 1944 and 1945 when we were over there kicking Heinie’s butt. Along with our infantry, Army Air Corps, and tanks. Cheerio and Toodle-oo !

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Scarey: what do you mean by ‘we’? If you take the time to research things you will realize that troops and equipment from the British Commonwealth were heavily involved. For example they took 3 beaches during D-Day while the Americans took 2. And the British beaches were on the eastern most part of Normandy.

            And don’t forget the Russkies, who bore by far the brunt of the fighting.

            In fact the British and Soviets also had more troops fighting in the Far East and faced more Japanese troops than the Americans. Something not widely known or discussed.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Why would American made D3 cars have to have been prevalent?

          Still in the 80’s and early 90’s American station wagons and vans were pretty prevalent, as well as Cadillacs up to the late 90’s for example.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lockstops,
        You are full of shjt.

        Even here in Germany its 1.50 to 1.70 Euros a litre. Whats that? 7+ bucks a gallon. Even the 2.7 EcoThirst averaged 15.4 mpg in real life.

        Geez, most Ford Rangers come with a 2.2 diesel. Izuzu Dmax pickup a 1.9 diesel.

        Stop making drain babies. Are you from Europe??

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Well that message of yours sure let us know what a bottom feeder you are.

          Your pathetic response wasn’t even understandable enough to find any kind of grasp of my argumentation or any intelligent claims of your own.

          What, you think I don’t know how much gasoline costs? What the hell does that have to do with my points?

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Big Al, why don’t you go to rehab and get your pathetic life sorted? Why is this a**hole allowed to write here, why aren’t his idiotic, offensive, nonsensical messages removed?

          FYI I was born in Europe, and have lived most of my life in Europe. I’ve lived in 4 different EU countries. The last time I lived outside Europe was over a decade ago.

          Jesus, some people actually think that in ferociously price-competitive markets a 10% tariff _plus VAT on that tariff_ is no big deal?? Do you understand how much it means to add 10% to a vehicle price and then try to still be competitive or make any profit?

          You really think that BS emissions regulations formulated by VW themselves to suit their tactical moves doesn’t matter? Since you clearly have no idea, do some research! US cars disappeared pretty much completely, and Japanese cars dropped from the top of all lists to also-rans, only recently gaining a bit of ground back due to finally going with the same engine types and hybrids to be able to compete. VW had this scheme to massively move to ‘downsized’ engines and diesel and then use these emissions tests that massively favour their engines and penalise naturally aspirated engines completely unfairly to invade the marketplace. And it all worked out just as they planned. Only in the end they shot themselves in the leg by getting caught for a small portion of their fraudulent activities, but the damage to their competition was already done.

          And VW’s next similar scheme using massive, sudden ‘all-in’ investment into electric coupled with corruption and lobbying to get government incentives and regulations to favour their tactic and massively hurt competitors with different product portfolios is already in action. They already got the German government to start giving out cash incentives to EV buyers, perfectly to favour their cheaper EVs while blocking out Tesla from getting them! And in most countries the ridiculous CO2 taxes mean that their products are completely disproportionately favoured. There is no doubt that they have even more corruption scheming up their sleeves: they are in a multi-billion panic in addition to their usual corrupt business model.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    While I am certainly not a Trump supporter, you have to give him some credit for changing the narrative. I think it extremely unlikely that anyone else (Bush (2), Gore, Kerry, McCain, Obama, Clinton (2)) would have gotten the Germans to offer to take down their car tariffs. Still a long way to go on this, but Trump is at least shaking things up.

  • avatar
    John

    Reciprocal trade and be done with it, that will end the squealing and crying, as too the end of Tariffs between the US & EU, ok as long as the Displacement tax is part of the Negotiations, for lets face it, my 2018 6.2 Liter V8 Yukon Denali, uses less gas and puts out less CO2 then my sister’s GLS 500 with its TT 4.6 V8. So any CO2 tax should be based on fuel consumption and not displacement.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    It looks like Trump is going to get exactly what we all claimed we wanted right up until it was Trump who proved he could deliver it. I’m not too worried about the people who still oppose Trump. They’re too addled to be effective at much of anything.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Let’s circle back to the article, first. The important paragraph is this:

    “German automakers have begun voicing their support for the abolishment of all import tariffs for cars flowing between the European Union and the United States. Earlier this week, U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell brought the proposal to the industry as a possible way to avoid the brewing trade war. The deal would mean removing the EU’s 10-percent tax on auto imports and America’s 2.5-percent fee.”

    Ooookay – now we’re getting somewhere, now that we’ve gotten peoples’ attention. This would be great for the US and EU automakers and I’m all for it. More importantly, if this is the first step toward building stronger US+EU trade ties, I’m all for it – especially if it is the first step toward a concerted effort at keeping China in check.

    A reciprocal “labor, environmental and intellectual property” tariff against China is more than warranted. Our value system is far more closely aligned with the EU than China, and we should strengthen those ties.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @ hreardon: Hear, hear. I agree 100% with that comment. However won’t doing so offend Mr. Putin?

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The EU uses China to import their wares into the US. They do the same thing with our NAFTA trading partners. They aren’t interested to keep anyone in check, and I doubt they have any interest in reducing the EU’s trade barriers, which are essentially the foundation of the European economy.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        And the US used Australia to export its wares into the EU.

        Where do you think those LS powered Commodores got their engines from …… Laos?

        This is whats great about globalisation.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Will this make it cost effective for Ford to import a small amount of cars from Europe to sell? Screw the bread and butter stuff…Just bring in the ST and RS stuff. I know you have to federalize them so I don’t know if it works out, but it would be nice.

  • avatar
    FOG

    Does Germany speak for all of the EU? This is the country with all their automakers being investigated for polluting and cheating while they did it. If they want to lead this tariff removal, just drop all of their tariffs with no expectation of reciprocation. That would show the world that they want a level field of play. History has shown us that Germany is not to be trusted.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Yes, Germany does speak for all of the EU. Well, France has a bit of a say as well. But mostly it’s not only Germany but specifically VW who has everyone in their pocket and calls all the shots. That’s why things might be changing a bit: VW was so badly compromised by being caught on a small part of their corrupt practices that politicians who they own are taking a step back and want a bit of distance. And they’re also a bit strapped for cash so they might be sending out slightly less thick brown envelopes to politicians and government officials which results in them being less strong in their resolve to push VW’s agenda.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    @ hreardon: Hear, hear. I agree 100% with that comment. However won’t doing so offend Mr. Putin?

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Extra credit to DenverMike for coining the term “BAFOism”, lol. Example: A BAFOism will likely include the phrase “chicken tax”.

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