By on June 15, 2018

Image: GM China

Just in time for the weekend, an escalation in the ongoing trade wars has seen the Trump administration announce a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of goods imported from China. These tariffs include automobiles. For its part, China retaliated by applying a further 25 percent tariff on a similar amount of American goods, including automobiles.

The move comes less than a month after China announced a plan that would lower import duties and eventually allow foreign automakers to set up shop without a joint Chinese partner. Of course, that was then, and this is now.

Both sets of duties will come into effect on July 6th, with the Office of the United States’ Trade Representative publishing a long list of products impacted by the new tariffs. Initially, the 25 percent tariff will only apply to $34 billion worth of goods, most of them industrial in nature. The remaining $16 billion, which appeared on a list released in April (later revised), will become the subject of consultations, including public hearings.

Bloomberg reports that the price of a Buick Envision, a model solely sourced from China, would rise $8,000 after July 6th. Last year, just over 58,000 vehicles entered the U.S. from that country.

China’s sticking to the same schedule as Trump on this, as well as to the dollar amounts. After jacking levies on $34 billion in U.S. goods (the list includes agricultural products and seafood, in addition to automobiles), the country will hold off on the remaining $16 billion until a later date. No doubt, it’s waiting to see what the White House decides.

Under China’s previous plan, issued in response to Trump’s threat to do exactly this, China would have lowered the import duty on U.S. automobiles from 25 to 15 percent on July 1st while cutting its tariff on imported auto parts to a flat 6 percent. The U.S. already levies an import fee of 2.5 percent on all overseas automobiles, with the exception of light trucks. Since the Johnson administration, the “chicken tax” (a 25 percent tariff) has kept cool compact trucks away from our shores.

According to the New York Times, a senior administration official said companies would be able to apply for exemptions from the tariffs, assuming they cannot source products or materials from anywhere else.

Critics of Trump’s plan include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Association, though certain lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Marco Rubio, said the action against China was A-OK. What worries many observers, especially those in the auto industry, is that the Chinese tariffs are a prelude to a 25 percent import fee on all inbound vehicles — including those from Japan, Europe, and Canada.

[Image: GM China]

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169 Comments on “U.S. to Hit Chinese-built Vehicles With 25 Percent Tariff; China Fires Back...”


  • avatar
    mike978

    That will teach GM to build an SUV in China to import back to the US. Other companies build in NAFTA countries. Maybe GM should move production back & we import much more from China than they import from us so they will run out of tit for tat items.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      I’m gonna enjoy watching the UAW trying to explain their position in 2020.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      This is the other side of these tariffs. It’s not just to zap China into making trade more fair, it’s to zap all these corporations that shipped the manufacturing jobs overseas. He’s doing exactly what he said he’d do during the campaign.

      • 0 avatar
        Trucky McTruckface

        “It’s to zap all these corporations that shipped the manufacturing jobs overseas.”

        And that’s why the Chamber of Commerce is fighting this so hard, and why Koch brothers – Paul Ryan’s globalist masters and the former favorite boogiemen of the left – are throwing their money behind Democrats this election cycle. These companies would rather keep the status quo – they’d don’t care that what’s good for them and what’s good for the average American have become mutually exclusive.

        I find it laughable to watch supposedly pro-labor liberals support continued outsourcing and trade imbalances that are great for Wall Street and bad for everyone else.

        • 0 avatar
          civicjohn

          @Trucky, I bet the term “Koch Brothers” comes out of your mouth every day. Can you point me to a website other than HuffPo that explains how these dudes control the world?

          • 0 avatar
            Trucky McTruckface

            Work on your reading comprehension. I was mocking the likes of HuffPo for crying doom about these old codgers (while completely ignoring the machinations of Soros), and how they all changed their tune when the Kochs threw in with the never-Trump crowd. The HuffPo thinks these guys are a-OK now.

            The Kochs’ complete failure to influence the GOP primary in ’16 showed just how little voters on the right care about what those two guys do. And, like any good little RINO, they naturally decided to take their ball and go home when they didn’t get their way. Now they’re funding open-borders, pro-NAFTA Democrats – go figure.

            I find the all-around hypocrisy hillarious.

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            @Trucky, I take back my statement and apologize. After reading your comment more closely, I acknowledge the error of my ways. The Koch Bros are red meat for the far left, so I just had a knee-jerk response.

            Again, I apologize, and agree with your point. Thanks for calling me out, my bad. If you’re a father, Happy Fathers Day, and if you’re not, have a happy day anyway!

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      No big deal, GM will probably just kill the Envision.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      While would never purchase an auto built in China, not economically feasible for GM to tool a plant in NA to build the Envision on the basis of 40-50k in sales/yr.

      The largest market (by far) for the Envision is in China, which is why production is based there.

      Same reason for the PHEV version of the CT6 – China by far is the largest market, and why GM imports BoF SUVs into China built in the US/NA.

      Ford has more to lose in this pending trade war with China than GM.

  • avatar
    The Comedian

    So China was charging 25%, US was charging 2 1/2%.

    Then when the US increases its tariff to 25% to reach parity China increased its tariff to 50%?

    Who’s the bad guy here?

    • 0 avatar
      Jerome10

      Exactly.

      We are supposed to let the world sell here with zero or minimal tariffs, while everyone else can go ahead and slap tariffs on our goods.

      Level playing field, fine by me.

      And I might argue we need to account for the 3rd world lake of environmental and labor laws as well. Even at a level tariff, its gonna be cheaper to dump toxic waste into the local river in china, and pay slave wages in unsafe environments vs 1st world. So I say slap on an environmental and labor tariff on top of that as well.

      Fair terms all around and open trading. I’m ok with that.

      So yeah. This sounds fine by me. Not to mention China HAS to have access to our markets. Without it, in a matter of months their economy will collapse, they won’t be able to feed their people, unrest in the streets. They should keep that in mind when they start throwing their weight around.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Yeah, it’s kind of impossible to have free trade with a 3rd world nation that pays extremely low wages and has lax environmental laws. The jobs will naturally gravitate to the lower cost country.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve From Japan

        @Jerome10 – Much of what you say also applies to certain other 1st world countries. This is why I’m in favor of the U.S. imposing a 25 percent tariff on all imported autos AND auto parts, not just from China but from all countries, including Japan and Europe. I’m an American expat living in Japan and I think a strong case can be made that Japanese automakers are guilty of dumping their products in the U.S. market at unfairly low prices. So, there is clearly justification for the U.S. to impose tariffs on Japanese autos and auto parts, since such a move by the Trump administration would help level the playing field for American auto manufacturers. 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 Japan.

        2. It has been well documented that Subaru and other 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” (By Thomas Wilson, Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito, July 28, 2015).

        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 which allows Japanese automakers like Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi and others 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’ frequent use of illegal unpaid overtime is also well documented. This means that even regular workers in Japan are putting in significant 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 policies to keep the level of the Yen artificially low to help exporters. The Yen is currently undervalued by 20 percent by many accounts.

        5. The Japanese auto market is notoriously closed to foreign cars due to tremendous non-tariff barriers. This gives Japanese automakers pricing power to keep their margins high in the domestic market and it also gives them scale economies. These scale economies allow them to sell product more cheaply in international markets like the U.S.

        All these factors give Japanese automakers an unfair advantage, allowing them to dump autos and auto parts in the U.S. market. It is not a level playing field currently for American automakers in the U.S. because they cannot compete with such unfair and illegal business practices. Tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts would help rectify this situation and make it more of a level playing field.

        Some will make the argument that most of the Japanese cars sold in America are not imported from Japan but are made in America. However, this is a false argument, since all my points above apply equally to Japanese cars which are considered “made in America”. This is because, even though many of the Japanese cars sold in the U.S. are considered “made in America”, the fact remains that most of what Japanese auto companies do at their plants in America is not manufacturing, but rather assembly. There is a big distinction between actually manufacturing cars in America and simply assembling them from parts imported from Japan.

        Most Japanese models sold in America have very little in way of local American content. A majority of the important components, such as engines and transmissions, for cars assembled in America by Japanese auto makers actually come from Japan. 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.”

        Furthermore, when Japanese companies simply assemble cars in America, it means that the highly skilled and high-paying activities like engineering, research & development, design and administration take place mostly in Japan. To see this, all one has to do is compare the economic conditions of Toyota City in Aichi prefecture (which is the HQ of Toyota) to Detroit, where the American car companies have their headquarters. While Toyota City and its surrounding areas have flourished, the economies of Detroit and the state of Michigan have been stuck in terminal decline.

        An excellent index which more accurately measures how much of a car is actually made in America is the Kogod Made in America Auto Index, compiled by the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C. 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 virtually nothing to the American economy. In fact, by taking market share away from the big three American auto companies, these Japanese cars have a net negative effect on the U.S. economy.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          UAW or what!!!

          Wow man, what BS.

          Actually Mr UAW Expat the Japanese are using Thailand to reduce overheads.

          • 0 avatar
            pdog_phatpat

            @Steve From Japan
            Nevermind Big Smell from Oz here, he’s so busy flying around the world he has perm jetlag of the brain. But then, what else would you expect from someone from the land of criminals, rapists and thieves?

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      U.S.A. 25% tariff since 1964 on imported trucks.
      Chicken tax.

      Who’s the bad person here?

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        I’m tired of the chicken tax whining. It was a response to a tax on US chickens. Who’s the bad guy with the actual chicken tax?

        It’s also a tax on one segment of one industry. Chinese import taxes are substantially more broad. Want to get around it, share your technology with your competition???????

        This is another example of the US doing one little thing and being called the bad guy. Our competition is so much worse, yet we continue to point to the little thing that the US does.

        I don’t like Trump. Never have, but all that really is happening is an attempt to level the playing field. The rest of the world doesn’t like a level playing field, so they up the anti.

        • 0 avatar
          gmichaelj

          “I don’t like Trump. Never have, but all that really is happening is an attempt to level the playing field. ”

          Agreed.

          Although I am a student of economics, clearly trade, the way it has worked for the past 20+ years, has not worked well for the average American.

          US GDP in 1987 was about $5 Trillion, this year it will be $20 Trillion. A little over half of that increase is inflation, the rest is real growth.

          Have Median US wages nearly doubled, in real terms, since 87? I don’t think so.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            I don’t see that you are at all a student of economics/. Economics, including currency flows, is complex. Focusing on trade in goods is to deny the impact of other flows, which matter a lot.

            Trade in goods has worked very well for Americans, who have access to lower-cost goods than pretty much anyone else in the developed world.

            At the same time, US economic growth has continued unabated. Japan, for example, has recorded a trade surplus every year since 1981, while the US has recorded a trade deficit every year since 1971. If we look at the last 25 years, real GDP per capita (which means adjusted for inflation) has fallen in Japan, while it has more than doubled in the US.

            How that growth has been distributed across the economy is a whole ‘nother subject, which has less to do with macroeconomics than with venal politics.

          • 0 avatar
            gmichaelj

            @ect

            “How that growth has been distributed across the economy is a whole ‘nother subject, which has less to do with macroeconomics than with venal politics.”

            Note the word distribution below

            According to Investopedia: “Economics is a social science concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.”

            Importantly, Politicians are strongly influenced by Economists and their theories. If the theories are wrong, the Politicians act on false assumptions, which their followers believe in, because they heard it in school or read it from what they think is a reputable source.

        • 0 avatar
          Oberkanone

          25% tariff to protect domestic auto industry from competition. Continuously in effect since 1964!
          Who’s the bad guy? U.S.A.

          I’m tired of the chicken tax too!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “…25% tariff to protect domestic auto industry…”

            It merely shields the US auto industry from import pickups that can’t meet easy loopholes, and are most likely chintzy, poor quality, unreliable, unsafe, gross polluting diesel only pickups from China or India.

            But thanks for the mellow drama!

        • 0 avatar
          Whittaker

          “I don’t like Trump. Never have, but all that really is happening is an attempt to level the playing field.”

          Bingo.

          Not liking Trump and being real > Hating Trump and opposing everything he does…just because.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        This chicken tax static is beyond tired.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Lol at GM with Buick Envision and that hybrid Caddy.

    China can’t keep it up. Their economy is based on exporting to America. If they impose tariffs, we just keep increasing ours and soon they got nowhere to go. They export far far more than they import to and from America.

    Great job Mr President. Next, breakup NAFTA. Let Mexico and Canada deal with America on fair basis.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      No actually. The US buys goods from China and exports debt to China. Who do you think has been propping up the out of control US government spending?

      Right now China holds approximately $1.2 trillion in US debt. Think you can pay that back if they call it in? – that’s 10 % of the nations GDP.

      In order to replace the annual amount of debt China buys the average tax bill of each US taxpayer would have to by multiplied by 10 to replace the money the Chinese give you. So if you pay $30,000 in tax now, it would go to $300,000, every year. Think that would go over well with every single taxpayer?

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        When you can’t pay the bank for your 55000 dollar BMW, you have a problem. When you can’t pay the bank that 1.2 trillion you owe them, the bank has a problem.

        Much of that can be mitigated with spending cuts and if the Chinese aren’t willing to cross the Pacific and get it, well…

        Additionally in a true hit the fan scenario like this the us is better positioned to go it alone.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        You can’t “call the debt” on Treasury notes. They are typically 30 year notes. That’s it. All China can do is dump them into the market, which would make a mess for sure. But they can’t show up at the White House and demand the cash back.

      • 0 avatar
        tnk479

        GDP is almost 20 trillion annually. China is free to sell any of its international bond holdings at any time but it probably wouldn’t be a good financial move on their part to do so rapidly.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        Jagboi and ArtVandelay, You are being childish. First of all Dollar is world’s reserve currency. There is always high demand for dollar. If China doesn’t buy any more (by the way their rate of purchase now is about half what it was only two years ago), many other countries buy dollars. Even a country like Iran that has no relations with America, and is under sanctions tries to buy dollars (even though country wants to trade in Euros or Chinese currency).

        Second, China is in process of purchasing lots of things from other countries. China exports tons more than it imports. But it is trying to improve its trade balance with partners. Whether it is oil (which it needs to buy in considerable sums), or planes(if not Boeing then Airbus but it still has to pay in dollars), or other high tech equipment, it needs dollars to pay.

        Even if China sells their treasury bonds, only thing that can happen is Federal debt would increase in price, and then US interest rates would go much higher to attract buyers. That is only a threat if there are other places in the world to park your money at. Again, other countries fill the bill, and China has no other place to take their money.

        Bottom line, when it comes to tariffs, our president is doing it right. Only the globalists who gave up America’s manufacturing and jobs by outsourcing, play these fear tactics.

        • 0 avatar
          commeatus

          Pmirp1 You’re right, as long as the trade dollar is USD, we hold an incredible amount of sway. this isn’t a sure thing, though. both the UN and OPEC have made heady rumblings of switching, and there comes a tipping point. historically, the US retaliates against governments who drop the dollar or threaten it by declaring them a threat to democracy and bombing them, but we can’t do that indefinitely. these aggressive acts are strong now but could easily put us in a very compromised position if the rest of the developed world decides to accede to our new isolationist leaning.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            commeatus, the USD is the international currency of record because it works. There have been numerous attempts to replace it over the years with some internationally designated unit (like SDRs, for example), but it hasn’t worked.

            Nothing is forever, and the position of the USD as the de facto global currency is bound to erode over time, but that will not be any time soon.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        @Jagboi, do you seriously think China will sell their US securities? There probably would be some other countries willing to buy at the right price, and the idiotic Federal Government has a few other obligations that somehow never get included into the total.

        Good old Fannie Mack and Freddie Mae are on the hook for $5 trillion, oh, and Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have a tiny unfunded tally of just $45 trillion. The US GDP is about $20 trillion annually, so you’re talking about 5%.

        We’ve been taking it up our collective a** for way too long, and love him or hate Trump (I didn’t vote), I give the orange one credit for attacking the US imbalance of trade. Even more importantly, China has been ripping us a new backside by stealing our IP. That s**t HAS to stop.

    • 0 avatar
      bufguy

      We have a trade surplus with Canada….yet the Dotard insults the Canadian Prime Minister while heaping praise on the Dictator of North Korea

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        ^says the guy who learns his vocab from the speeches of Little Fat Kim

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          TwoBelugas, it is a fact that the US runs a trade surplus with Canada, so what is your point?

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            I said vocab. Feel free to look up in the dictionary how that differs from “trade surplus”.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            TwoBelugas,the point of bufguy’s post was to point out that the US has a trade surplus with Canada, and Trump lies when he says otherwise and then heaps praise on Kim Jong-Un.

            Which part of this do you have a problem with?

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        bufguy, You are being awfully simplistic. US manufacturing got decimated not just by NAFTA and Mexico trade, but even with Canada. American businesses invested over twice as much with Canada (500 billion) vs Canada investing in America after NAFTA. Those are manufacturing that left America.

        But we import more oil, remember Shale oil is not possible to get to, so trade looks good, even if you are messing up your environment (same as in America).

        Our president allowed the pipeline to move forward (whereas previous administration didn’t – Keystone) yet Canada still applies tariffs for our agriculture.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “yet Canada still applies tariffs for our agriculture.”

          Canada’s agriculture industry or more specifically poultry and dairy would easily be overwhelmed and destroyed by the USA industry. There are more dairy cows in Wisconsin than all of Canada.
          Canada wanted to protect that industry so it NEGOTIATED protection into trade agreements with the USA. The USA more than makes up for it in other areas of trade. That is how the system works.
          T-rump is great at playing “reality TV” and his core demographic falls for it every time.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        We don’t have a trade surplus with Canada. We have a 17 billion dollar trade deficit with them.

        https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c1220.html

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          The US runs a trade surplus with Canada, because you have to count both goods and services, as the US Trade Representative’s Office acknowledges:

          https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/canada

          Trump lies when he says otherwise (gee, what a surprise!):

          http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/factcheck/ct-fact-check-trump-canada-trade-20180616-story.html

  • avatar
    hirostates12

    Do something now while we still have leverage or spend eternity kissing feet when their economy blows past ours.

  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    You guys really have no idea why the US has that trade deficit and why presidents of both parties have thought it a good thing to have – even an OBJECTIVE – going to back to Truman. Do you?

    Something something Thin Red Line something something irreversible and non-negotiable something something.

    Don’t worry, we’ll all find out soon enough now.

    • 0 avatar
      quot;scareyquot;

      What are these supposed benefits of a trade deficit ? Would that be CHEAP chinese crap for sale here ? Less manufacturing and jobs in our country ? Maybe you also like fewer emissions from American factories ? Offset of course by much more emissions into the air in China. Both republicans and democrats are to blame. Bill Clinton gave the Chinese Most Favored Nation status, and George Bush Junior made it permanent. Just because several Presidents of both parties were fooled, paid off, or corrupted does not mean it is a good idea. It still SUCKS. And we are broke ! —PLEASE EXPLAIN !

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        According to Wikipedia, MFN for China was granted in 1979 under Jimmy Carter’s administration. IIRC, Clinton had the chance to not renew MFN, but did it anyway.

        This all goes to reinforce my beliefs that the practice of our two party system is is not working for the average man in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      You mean where we slowly bleed our wealth away with purposely bad trade deals so the countries that we import from will be on our side in international relations (aka “buying your friends”). That concept isn’t working so well now that China is our largest trading partner with the largest trade surplus with the US, yet is rarely helpful to us.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “You mean where we slowly bleed our wealth away”

        Free and open markets benefit the 1%. That same 1% went to China to increase profits because China does not care about worker health, safety, quality of life et al. Purely capitalistic systems i.e. the one favoured in the USA invariable concentrates wealth and power and neglects the middle and lower class.
        It is much easier to blame foreign countries for the common man’s plight that to fix the problem in house.

        T-rump is just the current distraction in chief. Other presidents had their own ways of distracting the masses from the problem. Both sides of the political isle have worshiped at the altar of neoliberalism.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    What other imported vehicles are affected by this?

  • avatar

    Why not just declare default on all US debt to CHina and EU and be done with it. What they can do? Declare war with us? Stop selling all that garbage to us? Lets default and Start over collecting debt again. Rinse and repeat. Thats what China and EU want?

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Is this why the flags are at half mast at Wal Mart?

    I hope this doesn’t affect their wine prices. I’m partial to the World Championship Riesling and the Nasti Spumante.

  • avatar

    Stop the Invasion, Boycott Envision

    Go Trump!

  • avatar
    vehic1

    trumpy wants to start tariffs, auto and otherwise, all over the place, with most nations (maybe not Russia). People in most other countries don’t like trump, and don’t want their leaders to knuckle under to this knucklehead – so, these trade wars might not be so “easy to win”, and Americans with export-related employment might be Bigly losers. But what does he care?

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      The Trump-haters just ignore ALL the facts and keep running their mouths. As an American, I couldn’t care less if foreign leaders, foreigners, or Anti-America-Firsters hate Trump. Go ahead and spew your hate. The more Trump wins, more you will lose your minds, and the more we LAUGH at you. You are getting funnier every day. Robbie DeNero ? LMAO ! Hillary Clinton ? HAAHAHA ! Chucky Shumer ? LOL ! Nancy Pelosi ? Priceless ! Bill, Hillary, Comey, Loretta, and Barry in GITMO ? The Funniest Show on Earth ! Coming soon ! still waiting for an answer on why deficits are good…

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        “scarey”, trade deficits can be good or bad, depending on their relationship to other economic flows. As noted above, Japan has run a trade surplus every year since 1981, while the US has run a trade deficit every year since 1971. Yet, during the last 25 years, GDP per capita (in real dollars, which means adjusted for inflation) has fallen in Japan, while it has more than doubled in the US.

        Economics is complicated.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          Still have not heard why trade deficits can be good.
          Is it because it finances exorbitant spending levels and deficits in government spending, making an untenable financial position possible which will lead to financial collapse and ruin when the compound interest overtakes the ability to repay it EVER ? Is THAT it ?

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            Still haven’t heard anybody explaining just how trade deficits are going to go way. The US runs a deficit with China. Suppose imports from China are banned. Result: no deficit with China. Now, who’s going to make all this stuff instead? Not the US which has almost full employment. Where is this workforce that’s looking for boring, repetitive, low paid jobs soldering together ipads or whatever?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        scarey,
        There is one aspect of trade Trump and hisxUltra Nationalists are not realising.

        American business interest globally is huge. What happens to a brand when it becomes “uncool” to buy and own?

        I read outside of trade US global business is worth $1.8 trillion a year to the US. This is why you have the standard of living you do. Even a 10% decline in this would be catastrophic to the US economy.

        You guys better start learning what sode your bread is buttered on.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Atlanta Fed raises U.S. second quarter GDP view to 4.8 percent
          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-fed/atlanta-fed-raises-us-second-quarter-gdp-view-to-48-percent-idUSKBN1JA2DM

          Next Trump will force the freeloading Europeans to raise their defense spending to the the levels they promised – decades ago.

          I don’t think awarding a Nobel to this prez will bend him the way it did to the previous prez w/ his fake Nobel for Nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          BigAl- thank you for stating your case w/o insulting me or my Prez, EVEN THOUGH WE DISAGREE.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        SCAREY

        I agree with you. Thank you

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        Libs: “trumpy wants to start tariffs, auto and otherwise, all over the place, with most nations (maybe not Russia). People in most other countries don’t like trump, and don’t want their leaders to knuckle under to this knucklehead – so, these trade wars might not be so “easy to win”, and Americans with export-related employment might be Bigly losers. But what does he care? ”

        Cons: “The Trump-haters just ignore ALL the facts and keep running their mouths. As an American, I couldn’t care less if foreign leaders, foreigners, or Anti-America-Firsters hate Trump. Go ahead and spew your hate. The more Trump wins, more you will lose your minds, and the more we LAUGH at you”

        I see the middle school clique mindset is alive and well. Thanks for the laughs. This back-and-forth banter can be quite entertaining. That being said, hitching your wagon to either side may not be a good idea in the event that said wagon loses control and goes either off the cliff or into a wall.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Blame Lyndon Johnson for the chicken tax and every administration after.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Yes, US haters loved the previous prez – so much they awarded him the first Nobel for Nothing – and he gladly took it, as it fit w/ all his previous “achievements”

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Osama got the Nobel in less than 1 year in office i believe.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          I almost, almost, felt sorry for the Kenyan, he actually thought he earned that Nobel. He thought he earned a lot of things in his life though. It’s sad what liberalism does to people. He then kept the cycle going, giving Ellen the Medal of Freedom. Liberalism: Let’s find a cure.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/barack-obama-stephen-colbert-nobel-peace-prize-a7367321.html

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            You really, really have an issue with Mr Obama’s race, don’t you?

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            redapple and sub-600, when you offer gratuitous insults to others, you reveal much more about yourselves than you do about your supposed target. Which goes to Ce he sin’s point.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      @Vehic1, it’s about time to start putting out Bernie yard signs again. There’s some honest work for you.

      I get your point, US citizens should be envious of other countries. Have you picked out where you’ll be going to?

  • avatar
    gtem

    Good start, let’s hit them on assemblies/components next, both OEMs and aftermarket parts. It’ll hurt while we’re forced to bring back things like circuit board printing capabilities in-country that have been entirely wiped out, but the end result will be a more robust manufacturing base.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      BS. Outmoded industries are not coming back,for good reason. Prosperity for the US has always been about leading in technology and innovation, which is the key to maintaining a high wage economy.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        You think it’s A-okay to not even have the capability to print circuits in-house anymore? And explain to me how that is an “outmoded” industry? You’re just rattling off stale neo-con/neo-lib talking points, the people who happily sold this country and its workforce down the river.

        I also assume you don’t do much wrenching on your own cars, because otherwise you’d be equally riled about the absolutely p*ss-poor quality of most Chinese sourced aftermarket parts and components. Gates used to be a rock solid timing belt kit option until they started to package in Chinese idler bearings and tensioners, they are now known for failures at low mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “which is the key to maintaining a high wage economy.”

        I missed this gem as well. Hoo jeez, where exactly do you live? Do you have even the slightest bit of exposure to the manufacturing sector (both the factory worker side and the engineering side?). Us outsourcing all of that stuff did absolutely nothing to “maintaining” high wages and everything to do with lower-education people moving from a model of 1 high wage earner supporting the family with a good paying union factory job to both parents scraping by with low-wage retail work. On the white collar side of things, if things continued on their path, outsourcing to India/China of the engineering functions would only continue and accelerate. A lot of engineering work at places like AC Delco and Remy here in Central Indiana left for China along with the manufacturing of the parts.

        You have the ultimate “let them eat cake” mentality.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Nope, just a strong attachment to reality and a pragmatic outlook. And yes, I worked for manufacturing companies (including a Tier 1 supplier to automotive OEMs) for many years.

          In global terms, the US has always been a high-wage economy, relying on the productivity of its workforce to deliver more sophisticated, higher-value goods than other countries produce.

          That hasn’t changed, but it’s a race that never ends. And it’s why manufacturing in the US has continued to grow, even as the sector has continued to evolve.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Well then my guess is that you’re on the white collar side of things, and live in a nice safe place that’s a good long drive away from people that work (or worked) with their hands. As productivity of the workforce increased, said workforce saw very little (read: none) of the increased profits. Instead they saw mass layoffs and outsourcing at an incredible scale.

            If in the past the shift from mass labor participation in agrarian production to resource mining and then on to factories has accomodated the numbers of people as well as trending in a upward direction in wages (as you note), then the current trend of de-industrialization and consolidation around high-value manufacturing and mass automation has moved many of these masses on to much LOWER paying retail jobs. In the grand scheme of things, is it progress for the country? And don’t just say “but.. but… GDP grew!”

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            The US economy has been growing since Q3 of 2009, reached a state that economists deemed full employment in 2016, and has continued to grow since.

            The reality is that technology is not going to be uninvented, and the legions of unskilled jobs that have been lost are never coming back. But there are more jobs today than ever before.

            We’re now at a stage where skilled jobs are going begging because employers can’t find people with the skills necessary to doing the work, and unskilled workers are begging for jobs that no longer exist. The only solutions that can work is skills training/retraining. Which Republicans in Congress have refused to even consider, year after year.

            And yea, I happily confess to having been an executive. Coming as I did from a very nondescript background, the day when I could afford to pay someone else for car maintenance instead of having to do it myself was something I considered a significant achievement. As was being able to buy new instead of used, come to think of it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I agree fully in massively investing into trades/non-4-year alternatives or pathways starting from junior/seniors finishing highschool to put them on tracks into things like culinary training, warehouse management, plumbing, etc. Things that we can’t run our country without, that there is demand for, and that pay a livable wage. What I don’t think is reasonable is how some people seem to flippantly think we can just teach unemployed factory workers Javascripting skills and introduce them into the sweet paying tech field if they weren’t such hard-headed resistant-to-change dopes. I’m in automation and am well aware of the opportunities that exist in the fields of automation support and maintenance and setup without a higher-ed degree, but that is simply not for everyone, it still requires quite a bit of smarts and problem solving skills.

            I’m giving you a hard time about your far-removed status because the disconnect is tangible even through a computer screen, and I think a better appreciation of the travails of your fellow man might sway your opinion, as they did mine after I lived for a while in a working class area and married into a steel-town family. The shutting down of a single factory (rather than eventual transition to automation) can have horrific effects to the health of a neighborhood, as I saw on Indianapolis’ east side with the closed RCA plant and some shuttered “dirty” industries that used to enable the local inhabitants to raise families and function as a community.

            To my point about seeing first hand how laughably horrible some of the outsourced Chinese car parts are, simply dismissing that with “I’m wealthy enough to not deal with that” is a pretty lame dodging of the point and further speaks to your snob-tier isolation from what many of us see and experience (and are unhappy about) with the outsourcing of our component manufacturing. I always appreciate the opportunity to drive down to the junkyard on the weekend to pick up some odds and ends for whatever beater I’m driving (better used original parts than the new Chinese junk), it is a window into the lives of a huge portion of the population you seem happy to avoid.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “reached a state that economists deemed full employment in 2016, and has continued to grow since.”

            And yet we’re losing hundreds of good paying union jobs to Mexico (Carrier and United, more recently Rexnord, that’s just in Indianapolis). Anderson Indiana is a shell of itself, just about all of that went to China, not automation.

            “But there are more jobs today than ever before.”
            On the lower end of the scale, these are almost universally lower paying jobs than what was lost. Families that used to get by with a single working parent with good benefits now have both parents struggling with crappy McJobs to stay afloat.

            You’re talking about all these things at an ivory tower level, like maybe what you read in the Economist or WSJ or National Review or something. 3 years ago I lived next to a couple in their 70s that ended up working well into their retirement at the neighborhood Kroger just to have some semblance of health coverage after the decent jobs moved left. Relatives that work a mish-mash of part time Home Depot jobs, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            gtem, I confess to being a meritocrat, but I’m not a snob. I know where I came from, and where a substantial part of my family still is.

            I’ve also been a student of history throughout my life, and I understand that technology is disruptive, but it cannot be undone.

            I’m an Old Fart. In my “semi-retirement”, I provide sophisticated legal and business consulting services to technology start-ups at bargain rates compared to any traditional law or consulting firm(no overheads to pay). I can do this because technology now enables it – 25 years ago, it would have been impossible.

            I have also met a number of people in IT services who used to have jobs in manufacturing that technology took away. They’ve made the transition from working with machinery to working with computers, and have found it a very logical adaptation of their brainpower and inclinations

            My wife started her own real estate brokerage some years ago. Again, technology enable her to do do this successfully. Today, technology is disrupting that industry, and will almost certainly destroy the traditional real estate brokerage model. That’s life, and people will have to adapt.

            This orchestra has played before. The Luddites thought that if they destroyed mechanical looms, it would preserve their livelihood as weavers. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, technology killed millions of jobs in agriculture, while creating many more jobs in manufacturing. 100 years later, it’s been busy killing those manufacturing jobs, while creating many more jobs in IT and other services – which is precisely why the US is at full employment today.

            As many have observed, there is a profound mismatch of supply and demand in the US job market today, and the only way to address it is to provide retraining services to the displaced. The alternative is ignore them, which I do not support.

            I don’t mean to be partisan (I’m an independent, as I despise them all), but it is notable that President Obama sent a bill to Congress to provide retraining to displaced industrial workers during each year of his presidency, which congressional Republicans refused to even consider.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “I have also met a number of people in IT services who used to have jobs in manufacturing that technology took away. They’ve made the transition from working with machinery to working with computers, and have found it a very logical adaptation of their brainpower and inclinations”

            There are a “number of people” but the majority of unskilled laborers have ended up in dead end minimum wage retail work. Now, we could get into a discussion on just what it takes to motivate someone to retrain to not end up in that position, that is something worth debating. I’d also posit that there are simply not enough of these specialized IT jobs to absorb the number of un/under-employed people that traditionally would enter the manufacturing field in the form of low-skill labor.

            “100 years later, it’s been busy killing those manufacturing jobs, while creating many more jobs in IT and other services – which is precisely why the US is at full employment today.”

            Full employment by some “on paper” government metric perhaps, but judging by the jobless rate in the inner cities and many down and out smaller towns and cities, we are far from being out of the woods with these vaunted IT jobs you keep touting. There are in overall numbers fewer good paying jobs for the working class masses to transition to. You keep implying that things are fine, and I’m trying to drive the point home that living in close proximity to those most devastated by de-industrialization, that they most certainly are not. And retraining all of these people in IT jobs is a preposterously far flung and naive idea. I’m advocating for a re-industrialization with modern automated factories which still need quite a few people to run. And yes many jobs in a modern factory or warehouse need specialized training.

            Someone else in the thread mentioned it, at the end of the day a country is built on a bedrock of mining things, growing things, and building things. Anything else is nice cream on top but without the former, the latter is on very unstable ground.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            gtem, with all respect, we need to focus on the future, not the past.

            Unskilled people have to be retrained or they will inevitably be sidelined. It cannot be otherwise.

            I’ve been around a long time, and modern manufacturing plants are vastly different for the plants I visited in the 1970s. Most notably, there are very few people, and a lot more machines/robots. These latter being operated by highly skilled people.

            As a result, UAW membership has fallen from 1.5 million to fewer than 400,000. Tariffs or no tariffs, those jobs are not coming back. Ever.

            As I’ve noted elsewhere, the largest US companies today (by market capitalization) are Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft and Amazon. Nary a manufacturing company amongst them, which reflects the broader economic shift to a post-industrial economy – and which I’ve observed throughout my adult life.

            The day when a kid could leave high school, walk into the local factory and walk out again at retirement are over. In the meantime, US companies – including the 4 cited above – dominate the heights of the new global economy.

            Which brings me back to my original point – the US has always built for the future, not the past, and should continue to do so. How we take care of those who get left behind is a real issue, and I strongly support the concept of a social safety net that works to integrate those people into the new economy, or provide for them if they can’t.

            “a country is built on a bedrock of mining things, growing things, and building things”. With all due respect, this was the basis of communist economies in the USSR from 1919 to 1989, and in Eastern Europe from 1945 through 1989. It failed miserably.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “and I strongly support the concept of a social safety net that works to integrate those people into the new economy, or provide for them if they can’t.”

            Subsidizing these jobs *is* the social safety net.

            “That’s life, learn to code” is how you get revolutions and I’d rather not end up with my head on a pike because of the initials on my business card.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “I strongly support the concept of a social safety net… or provide for them if they can’t.”

            This is where I fundamentally disagree. Temporary assistance, sure. Outsourcing a bunch of jobs to China and then sticking people on welfare (or a Wal-mart job where they strongly rely on govt benefits) is exactly what I’d like our country to avoid. As I’ve seen with my own eyes over and over again, there is an incredibly degenerative effect on communities where the stable well paying jobs left and were replaced by low end retail and welfare. Families fall apart, single moms who can simply have some more kids without a father and get more assistance, total reliance on public funds for basic sustenance. I’m absolutely against any sort of UBI. I really and truly believe that there is a lot of value in a person going to work every day and having the pride of providing for their family. I can’t emphasize that enough. There is a vast difference in the less-well-off neighborhoods that I’ve been in between the areas that are “working class” and the areas that are “welfare class.”

            Government intervention and policy to promote the existence of accessible lower skill jobs (as well as assistance for training in higher skill jobs) is the path I’d prefer to take. Even if the overall cost is higher versus letting the “free” market sap all of our industry and putting everyone on welfare paid for by the IT-dwelling mid/upper class, I argue we will benefit from a stronger more stable society with less inequality, and a stronger country from a national security perspective.

            I encourage you to take a look at “Coming Apart” by Charles Murray. He’s a classic libertarian sort of guy that wrote this book back in 2012(ish?), focusing on the degradation of communities and social engagement among the white working class compared to the educated upper class. Things like marriage rates, drug use, etc. It is a very good read, especially within the context of the Trump phenomenon.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well, I was in China yesterday, now Amsterdam and talking to people there is one aspect of the way in which Trump is dealing that will throw a spanner in the works.

    Trump negates to recognise the value of US multinational influence in all the countries he’s trying to fnck over.

    The people in these counties will slow down buying US brands. Not a good Omen for US business.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      Uh-huh, sure you were.

    • 0 avatar
      pmirp1

      Bil Al from Oz, Are you joking? American brands mean nothing for America, if American brands are manufactured in China and southeast Asia and other countries.

      What is left in America?

      Perhaps before globetrotting you should stop in America and see how the Midwest is decimated. So many shells of factories.

      Yes, a few get rich. The higher ups in companies get to show profits. Yet the majority of people lose good paying jobs. Many minorities who used to work factory jobs, now can’t find jobs in America. Everyone now has to have a degree. Yet there are people in every society that are only good with their hands and not so much with their brains. We have outsourced all our blue collar jobs to China and other countries. We are becoming a class based society with a middle class that is increasingly smaller in size.

      So before talking to people in other countries about American brands, come talk to people in American heartland. See the shells of factories still standing. If only people paid attention to why Trump became president (outside the non-stop Russian stories), they would learn a lot.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “So before talking to people in other countries about American brands, come talk to people in American heartland. See the shells of factories still standing. If only people paid attention to why Trump became president (outside the non-stop Russian stories), they would learn a lot.”

        Amen. I used to be more of a free-trade libertarian sort until I moved to the industrial Midwest and saw the lasting damage to small towns and urban communities by the loss of our manufacturing base.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        pmrip,
        I will not disagree the old manufacturing jobs are gone, but most went due to automation.

        The US is not alone with these job losses.

        I don’t agree with the way China does business, but we must look at facts. China has also lost over 30 million manufacturing jobs in the past decade due to automation.

        I really think for some its just to hard a fact to accept that maybe the US is not as competitive as you once were.

        The World owes the US nothing, or Australia for that matter. You must compete.

        Your auto industry (Big 3) only survive through protection as does parts of your agri industry and pharma/medical.

        Maybe you should look at what is choking and making those industries not as competitive.

        The US is a high income nation, manufacturing of old can be done anywhere. Why would you reduce your living standards chasing coal when you should be dealing in diamonds.

        What made America Great were the people and if those people were alive today listening to the whining and snivelling by you guys they would throw up in disgust wondering what happened to the people of the US.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          “…the old manufacturing jobs are gone, but most went due to automation.”…another recycled urban myth, it’s too bad these tired talking points aren’t lost to automation.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Actually, they have been lost to automation. Since NAFTA was signed, US Manufacturing output (in real terms, so adjusted for inflation) has doubled. During the same period, direct manufacturing employment has fallen by 1/3. So we have 2/3 the workforce making twice as much stuff. That’s because of technology.

            Ideology should not blind you to reality.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            EXAMPLE-

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            EXAMPLE- I was employed at a comp.any known as General Something, as a product designer for refrigerators. (You can guess which company). Then the company started an ‘engineering’ facility in India and laid off/early retired the entire engineering department where I worked. For some reason, which remains a MYSTERY, the quality of the designs and products did not improve- in fact they went down. Later, the entire appliance business was sold to the Chinese.
            EXAMPLE 2- I was employed by a very famous maker of locking pliers with the word VISE in the name. It had been a family-owned business, and very profitable for over 75 years. The family sold it to a company with RUBBER in the name. Wages were cut from ~$19/hr to two tiers – $9/hr and $13/hr. Keep in mind that this was a very profitable business already. Goals were set to increase profits, which is fine. Profits increased EVERY MONTH that I was there, and in fact every month for several years. But that was not good enough. In 2008, the factory closed and moved to China, where the product was produced with LESS automation and more human power.
            Manufacturing job losses may be due to automation in some cases, but not all. I was there. It is due to executive greed, and is always accompanied by the parasitical hollowing-out of the whole company by CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and those making multi-million dollar salaries.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            scarey thanks for the real world examples. And I agree in full. It’s a disease increasingly common to just about all publicly traded companies it seems: investors need a spectacular quarter, increasing profits every single quarter. They don’t care about long term sustainability of the business, and they definitely don’t care about American workers or the country for that matter. They just want their immediate cut.

        • 0 avatar
          pmirp1

          Big Al from Oz, you could not be more wrong when you blame loss of jobs in America MAINLY due to automation.

          Tell me who puts together all those iphones in large factories in China by hand? Who makes the shirts we buy at Walmarts and amazons? Who makes the shoes? Those are just three examples. There are thousands more items you can see at Home Depot and other retailers that are made in China by millions of Chinese physical labor. As well as with machines. Those same jobs could be done in America. But it is not. Why not automate American plants? Why?

          Make no mistake, the biggest reason companies go to China and outsource jobs to India, or Philippines or wherever, is cost advantages. Cheap labor.

          In short term, that works, margins improve. Stocks go up in price. In long term, you see a shell of a company. Worse customer satisfaction. Loss of intellectual property. And here, we see people losing jobs (middle class blue collar jobs). With money concentrated in hands of few, the middle class gets decimated.

          As for American auto industry, I know there is an agenda in your themes. Its your thing. I won’t address, because the demise of American auto industry has its roots in many same evils as what is hurting American corporations (short term profits in contrast to long term stability).

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Here is reality – US manufacturing output has doubled since NAFTA was signed, while direct manufacturing employment has declined by a third (Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis data). The reason is technology.

            If it were economical to automate US plants to make the stuff that is now imported from China and elsewhere, it would happen. It hasn’t happened, because it’s not feasible.

            In the meantime, steel prices in the US have risen by close to 40% this year, based on published date, in response to the new tariffs. Which will punish US companies that make high-value products that are sold in export markets.

            The tariffs on steel and (especially) aluminum will cost many more manufacturing jobs than they can possibly “revive” in steel and aluminum production. This is complete stupidity.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “US manufacturing output has doubled since NAFTA was signed”

            While that’s all well and good, that just means we’ve focused in on high-margin high-value manufacturing (jet engines, etc), while totally hollowing out things like appliance manufacturing and other durable goods, and within the automotive context various assemblies and components and industrial manufacturing (bearings, steel tubes, wire, etc). This lower-value tier is the kind of manufacturing you used to see spread out across the country in smaller cities. The mass-outsourcing of this sector of manufacturing is what many of us are concerned about and would like to bring back.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @gtem

            Very nice.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      BTW, BiGal- I have been to Mars. In 1989.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I’m in Germany now.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          Are you On Her Majesty’s *cough*cough* Service ? You must lead a charming life. -Cloudy in The French Connection

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            “scarey”, I don’t know what BAFO’s current job is, but I sent many years working for global companies in positions where I was travelling internationally for 1/4 to 1/3 of the year. When planning these trips, one typically tries to group multiple locations in the same area in a given trip, just for efficiency and cost effectiveness.

            So, when I went to Europe or Asia or Latin America, I would often group multiple locations into the same trip, to take care of whatever was going on. I presume BAFO is doing the same.

            I can well understand that people who are not engaged in global business may not understand this, but you should not criticize BAFO for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            IIRC, BigAl is an engineer in the Australian air force.

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Big Al, I’m afraid your polling size is a bit too small for my taste.

      In other polling data, my 2 kids have decided that they don’t like spinach, so they feel there must be a 500% tariff imposed by our local Kroger.

      And if you’re running all over the world to get a “pulse” on Trump, all I can say is you wasted a ton of frequent flyer miles to subtly toss in a Trump bash. You’re a little late to that party.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    If the Chinese remove the 25% tax on vehicle imports will the US remove the 25% Chicken Tax and allow UNECE vehicles in?

    Many countries are allowing FMVSS vehicles in.

    Korea has just removed import taxes on vehicles and gave exception to US FMVSS standard vehicles.

    What did the US allow for Korea? Nothing, the 25% Chicken Tax remains and the US will not accept Korean UNECE vehicle design.

    I do believe Trump is not after fair trade. This will bring him unstuck, with the rubbery trade figures he throws around to appease the Trump Ultra Nationalists.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – FMVSS and UNECE autos are virtually the same now. But despite all this “protectionism”, how did Big 3 automakers go from dominating the US market to becoming bit players, with it now dominated by import/offshore brands?

      How about you stop the BS train and show another large meaningful car market more open to import brands, with more classes of vehicles available than the US?

    • 0 avatar
      civicjohn

      Big Al, are you one of the 4-star Generals in that awesome Aussie force of 30k? Wonder who you’ll ring up if you mates ever have a problem?

      I guess your next stop is India? Dude, I like most of your posts, but really tire of your subtle US bashing.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      @BigalFromOx—AHA ! You said the words “Chinese” and “chicken” in the same sentence. Foe about 5 years now, the U.S. has allowed chicken to be imported from China WITHOUT ANY LABELING STATING THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN, as long as the chicken has been processed (cooked or canned or packed) before shipping. This is a BIG DEAL with me. I wrote to McDonald’s to inquire about Chinese chicken, and was told that ALL chicken in U.S. McDonald’s restaurants comes ONLY FROM AMERICA. I also wrote Burger King and Taco Bell three times each, and received no answers. You know what THAT means. Then, I wrote to Campbell’s Soup/Swanson and received a letter saying that they too use ONLY AMERICAN chicken.
      P.S.- you use the term “Trump Ultra Nationalists”. If you mean Trump supporters who are Anti-Globalists, I would take that term as a compliment. Thank you.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    The US should simply impose a Mirror Image Rule.

    Make US tariffs = to tariffs imposed on US goods for each country. That’s eminently fair.

    Do the same for immigration. e.g., for Mexico, apply the rules Mexico has for invaders to their country.

    Australia has some of the most restrictive immigration rules in the world, I know from South Africans who are finding that out as yet another country descends into hell due to the Left. Maybe the US should invite Indonesia to move to Australia and provide them a naval escort – to help the poor, Now that would be fun to watch what the big bloviators from Oz would say.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      “Make US tariffs = to tariffs imposed on US goods for each country.”

      That’s not a bad idea with China, but our big trade beef with them isn’t so much tariffs as it is IP theft. They have relatively little IP to steal, so it wouldn’t actually help all that much.

      As for our major trading partners, the US’s average tariff burden is already the same as the EU’s and higher than Canada’s and Japan’s. I have a hard time seeing the US deciding to unilaterally reduce tariffs on Canadian and Japanese exports.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      thornmark,
      If the US did as you stated your trade imbalance would worsen. Add to that non tariff barriers imposed by the US removed you would find most manufacturing would of left the US as opposed to the loss of jobs (whilst increasing manufacturing output) through automation.

      No one is taking US jobs. As some industries mature new ones come on line and the older industries move to countries that are more competitive at using older manfacturing technology, more labour intensive.

      If you want to compete with those countries your living standards will match them as well.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    As a side note, history reveals the LBJ tariff was imposed for domestic political reasons not related to chickens:

    “The official reason given for choosing light trucks was that American imports of Volkswagen vans from West Germany were close in dollar value to the lost American sales of chickens to Europe. But recently released audio tapes from the Johnson White House suggest that the President may have had another motive. The tapes show that in January 1964, President Johnson was trying to persuade Walter Reuther, the U.A.W.’s president, not to call a strike just before the 1964 election and to support the President’s civil rights agenda. The tapes also show that Mr. Reuther wanted President Johnson to respond to Volkswagen’s growing shipments to the United States, although the labor leader was more concerned with the Beetle than the vans.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/30/business/license-pollute-special-report-light-trucks-increase-profits-but-foul-air-more.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

  • avatar
    redapple

    A few Vital points if I may:
    1- China tariffs on us?? Bring it. Per census.gov. China export to US- 506 Billion. US export to China 129 B. So, they CANT win this contest.
    2- The ag products they import are mostly FUNGIBLE. Therefore. China Tariff impact negligible.
    3- Fair trade is needed and logically proper. The only thing that creates wealth for a country is MINING, AGRICULTURE and MANUFACTURING. You create nothing selling each other hamburgers and insurance policies.
    4- Since our military has to be the protector of the world (Germany, Canada, France etc) we need a strong economy to pay for this. (money is part of a strong military as well as THE WILL TO FIGHT. Previously mentioned countries hide from the fights mostly. Token help was offered after we FIRST STEPPED UP) We need a healthy manufacturing base to make the these things and PAY FOR IT.

    Queue Lib hate (foreign paper tigers) storm in 3..2..1..go

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      redapple,
      Hey mate, wait a minute. It seems the average white Trump Ultra Nationalist would have trouble counting to 10, some moght understand compounding interest, but that would be very few.

      There is one thing China has on the US …. consumption and production.

      You are thinking like the average European of the late 19th Century. They said “what can America achieve, they produce cheap low quality mass produced goods, nowheres near as good as our European wares”.

      Chine uses and produces half the world’s steel, so what does the West produce, let alone the US. So how much sway does Chuna have there?

      Who uses the most oil? You guessed it China.

      China can cause many issues and it will cost Americans.

      Tread carefully, the US is only 20% of the global economy and Trump so far has p!ssed off over 50% of the global economy.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        You might want to consider putting aside your hatred for OUR PRESIDENT long enough to make your points. I can see you now- eyes bulging, veins standing out, pointedly pounding on the keys while pumping out insults about OUR PRESIDENT which is really NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how we run our country- and trying to remember the points that you were wanting to make when you sat down at the keyboard. (Assuming that the topic at hand is NOT just an excuse for spouting your ill-informed opinions about OUR PRESIDENT, our country in general, and our solutions to decades-old problems which you do not understand.) I will restrain myself from calling you names, telling you to worry about your own country, insulting your Queen and the Royal family, questioning your motives, making fun of you accent and the way you talk, and insulting your country because as you can tell, I AM SUCH A NICE GUY and am really a soft-spoken and shy individual. …LOL

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        people like you are what got Trump elected

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          Thank you. Thumbs up !

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            responding to the being from Oz who thinks people who inhabit the “new” class are superior – that false sense of superiority is total hubris

            I remember when I told people Reagan would be prez – same sense of entitled delusion as RR won two of the greatest blowouts in US history

            but I’m sure you helped on the pro side too in getting Trump elected, heck he basically ran against the female distillation of corruption

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        We’re 4% of the world’s population and 20% of its economy. Maybe you should want to be like us. I know I don’t want to be like you.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          Of course, that also means that 80% of the world’s economic production is outside of the US. Seems like a silly idea to get into a food fight with them all.

      • 0 avatar
        civicjohn

        Big Al,

        You are really showing your bias:

        “It seems the average white Trump Ultra Nationalist would have trouble counting to 10, some moght understand compounding interest, but that would be very few.”

        You care to back that up with ANY facts? Hell, you can’t even spell if you want to get all technical.

        “You guys better start learning what sode your bread is buttered on.”

        You better start learning how to spell if you expect to be taken seriously.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          No amount of Spellcheck is going to get BAFO taken seriously. You must be new here to give him the benefit of the doubt. 99% simply ignore him, I can’t believe you fell for it!

          He’s just here to disrupt the site, I’ve seen him on several US automotive sites doing the same, but has never been seen on any Australian sites I frequent. He’s unstoppable, rapid fire and trolling us has to be a full time gig for him. Unknown what his motivation is, and I’m not convinced he’s ever been to Australia.

          He can’t spell but claims to be an aerospace tech engineer, to gain credibility I guess. I’d be impressed if he’s allowed on the floor to squeeze mop.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          civic john,
          My bias directed at Trump is based on maths, historical data and morals.

          The guy is not working for the US’es best interests. Its more about him at the expense of all. Trump is a turncoat and he will turn at the drop of a hat to sate his ego. Scary stuff this man is made of.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah but the high ground was built on Arkancide?

            The President sees himself somewhat as the savior ordained by God who is going to bring the 80s back to MAGA or whatever. His ego is not going to tolerate deviating far from this belief. Can he be trusted? Probably to a basic extent but not much further. Will he help himself and cadres over Joe Six Pack? Yes of course to some degree provided he maintains his I am the Highlander belief system. Will he wheel and deal to accomplish goals and would he sell your interests short to do so? Absolutely and probably already has done so (I argue NK was deal with pro war/neocon/Hillary Intelligencia for Syria and Iran). Did you ever have a choice? Nope, because let freedumb ring.

            If this man can manage to not destroy the world and come through on even half of what he says, he’ll be the greatest president since Kennedy (who did after all save the world in 1962 despite everything else).

          • 0 avatar
            civicjohn

            BAFO,

            You forgot to add your contempt for those who voted for him.

            I won’t ask for your moral compass direction, you still can’t spell worth a d**m, and I’ll take him every day as apposed to our previous “Apologist in Chief”.

            America has nothing to apologize for, we’ve made our mistakes, and we’ve probably rebuilt 1/2 of the freaking world.

            Quite frankly, I seriously doubt your “maths”, I suggest you get back to your TV and start digging on some CNN.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        1,2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      redapple, where to begin? A few key points, using your numbering for ease of reference

      2 – indeed, agricultural products are fungible, so it will be easy for Chinese buyers to shift to suppliers in other countries. Which is precisely why US farmers are VERY worried about retaliatory tariffs on their products

      3- “The only thing that creates wealth for a country is MINING, AGRICULTURE and MANUFACTURING. You create nothing selling each other hamburgers and insurance policies.”

      Really? How quaint your thinking is. US companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, IBM, Disney, Amazon and many others have a different perspective. In fact, the top 4 US companies by market capitalization are Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google) and Amazon.

      We’re in the 21st century, not the 19th.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Kennedy didn’t save the world from anything, he got played by Kruschev. The Soviet end game was the removal of the missies from Turkey. Kruschev never wanted to start a war, as he put it, “over an island 6,000 miles away”. JFK’s massive ego betrayed him.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Actually, I’d argue JFK DID save the world. He was under UNGODLY pressure from his military advisors to take direct military action against Cuba. If he had, then you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. But I give most of the credit to ending the crisis to RFK, anyway. The guy was one hell of a back-channel operator. He’s the Kennedy who should have been president.

          Far as the removal of the missiles in Turkey was concerned, they were becoming obsolete anyway.

          (Of course, JFK brought some of this on himself – the Bay of Pigs fiasco was the key reason why the Russians wanted nukes in Cuba in the first place, and JFK’s health-related failure at the summit with Khruschev led the Russian to believe that he could roll JFK at will, which wasn’t the case.)

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Good points, FreedMike…I count Kennedy as one of our “good” Presidents. He was a very inspirational speaker, who HATED communism, and loved America. It is true that he got very little in the way of bills through congress, and that he was personally an immoral unfaithful husband. But he was a role model for many, mainly because h personal life was covered-up by the (left-wing mostly) press. Thus, he symbolized everything good about America. He is on my list of “good” Presidents mostly because of the number of f#cking scumbags who have been President following his assassination. His murder was the point when the elites took control of America. Trump is taking it back from the elites who killed Kennedy. Believe it or not.
            That being said, Kennedy caused the Cuban missile crisis by appearing so weak at his summit with Nikita Krushchev. Krushchev thought him a spoiled rich kid, which he was, and easy to fool and push around. This led to the Cuban crisis, and the building of the Berlin Wall. Kennedy got out of the Cuban crisis partly due to luck, and the fact that the USSR was not ready for a nuclear war. The Berlin Wall remained until 1989.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    It used to be a pretty good deal to be a white, Christian male in America, but I believe they now feel pretty threatened. Thus Trump.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Yeah…nobody has any legitimate gripes. If you have any beef with the status quo you are a racist. Great strategy for pissing everybody off on both sides.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Yeah…nobody has any legitimate gripes. If you have any beef with the status quo you are a racist. Great strategy for angering everybody off on both sides.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Art, there are many legitimate gripes. The average guy is often getting screwed, one way or another. The question is, who exactly deserves the blame for this, and who is simply exploiting these very real grievances.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Dats raysis.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Art,
        Who has greater advantage than you in the US? I hear the Trump Ultra Nationalist claim America is the freest nation, but yet they cry how unfair all is for them.

        So, to the Trump Ultra Nationalist, is America free? Or, is the white man subjected to a harsher life than all? If so, highlight how being a white Ultra Nationalist male is disadvantaged.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Change:

      The Dem party spent 40 years disaggregating U.S for political gain, until finally the largest cohort in the country chose to vote as though it were an ethnic group.

      Unexpectedly.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    So, if anybody is thinking about buying a Volvo XC60, you better act fast.

    Production has shifted to China.

    If you still want a Swedish made one, the supply is finite. If you don’t really care where it’s built, they are about to get a lot more expensive.

    Hopefully Volvo decides to get some XC60 production going in South Carolina in short order.

    • 0 avatar
      barksdale

      Link? S90 production is supposed to shift to China (or has already) but this is the first I’ve heard of XC60 stopping production in Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        Garrett

        Don’t have a link handy, but heard that production had shifted from a salesman, and there are folks on Swedespeed that have referenced their vehicles being shipped from China to the US.

        XC60 is also no longer available for OSD either.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Considering that Trump is threatening 25% tariffs on EU-produced cars, buying a Swedish-made one isn’t going to save you very much.

      In fact, a passing grade in your first Econ 101 midterm (or a basic familiarity with profit margins on SUVs and pickups) should tell you that, if we institute tariffs on foreign car imports generally, buying an American-made car isn’t going to save you all that much, either.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Astigmatism,
        Actually, after the final loophole was closed regarding the Chicken Tax US pickup prices inflated 25%. So US built or US protected product will increase, most likely at the price of the tariff.

        Add to this a less competitive price for export and you will see a drop in US living standards in the US. This will reduce imports into the US, but with a corresponding drop in US exports.

        An example is pickups. How many US made pickups are exported? Especially right now with high demand in the global market. US pickup manufacturers are not competitive or the Tacoma would be exported.

        The Trump ultra Nationalists will then blame the World for their woes, not their ways.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – Everything went up in price following the “final loophole” (as you call it). So are you blaming US inflated on Chicken tax loopholes?

          Except Chicken tax loopholes still remain. And that “final loophole” ending, again as you claim, preceded the wild import fury known simply as The Mini Truck Craze.

          The Tacoma is redundant and too similar to the Hilux. US fullsize pickups incuding those wildly “protected” Tundras and Titans, face stiff technical barriers and high tariffs (no loopholes) in the markets they would sell the most in. The rest of the markets are just scraps, not worth doing.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          *US inflation

          @BAFO – When fabricating history, do you just figure it was so long ago, no one will remember or take time to verify?

          Can you contribute anything that’s not crackpot or deception?

  • avatar
    bking12762

    Forgive me, my Austrian school economics is speaking. Regarding trade balance, I’m trying to understand why an balance/imbalance with a country means anything (good or bad). America has a huge trade imbalance with Saudi Arabia. So what? They provide a product at a price we are willing to buy. Same with Ecuador. We could grow bananas in North Dakota if we wanted to, but it is simply more efficient and cost effective to import them. EVERY one of those dollars sent overseas eventually comes back to the US to be redeemed.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think the idea here is to protect the North Dakota banana producers even if it is less efficient and less cost effective.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      And that’s why you’d be surprised to see how few Americans still own waterfront properties in La Jolla, or mansions in Bel Air.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Nonsense, bking. Everyone knows that trade imbalances are bad. That’s why I’m imposing 40% tariffs on my local supermarket until they start buying more from me, and growing my own dairy cows, vegetables, chickens and pigs and making my own aluminum foil.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Woah, the big-brain grocery store comparison, watch out folks.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          I’m convinced by your thorough rebuttal.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Comparing two massively powerful countries and their economies and how they interact and drawing an analogy to a consumer purchasing goods at a store needs no rebuttal, it’s an incredibly asinine comparison to make in the first place. It’s on you to prove how this is a tenable analogy.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            gtem,
            There are 3 large economic regions. Don’t forget the EU. As disorganised as the EU appears it still has some clout.

          • 0 avatar
            IBx1

            ^^ The EU is propped up by Germany and usurped by everyone else, and Germany is experiencing even more drain from within its borders thanks to Merkel. They may have clout, but they don’t have money.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            IBx1
            From what I can gather countries will target certain GOP strongholds in a concerted effort.

            In the instance of the current beligerant stance by Trump will impact his support base. This is to minimise the negative outcomes of Trump’s Trade War.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Here in Canada this tariff thing has dominated the news for a week now.

    I’ve gained more knowledge from reading these comments, then I ever learned from the MSN.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Relax, If wage growth stays flat you’all be driving Chinese mobility scooters to Walmart.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Al Gore lands a tarpon off the coast of Kansas, film at 11:00.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    This Chinese trade situation may put a dent in the fireworks supply, I’m going to the reservation tomorrow to stock up. I hide them in a box of oily rags that I store near the furnace.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is going to put a kink in Ford’s no cars for old men plan (I argue Ford as a backup plan would import small cars from China and Europe if need be. Now it looks like they won’t be able too).

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Be careful what you wish for. You think you will get more jobs in the US with trade war, but you may end up with fewer.

    Full blown trade war may accelerate automation, and all of the jobs will be gone from both sides.

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