By on July 3, 2018

2018 Toyota Camry Georgetown Kentucky assembly plant - Image: Toyota

It’s no secret that the automotive industry has come out universally against the Trump administration’s proposal to increase import tariffs. Numerous manufacturers weighed in independently on the issue as trade groups rise in opposition to the U.S. Commerce Department’s national security investigation.

The industry’s claim that imported vehicles don’t pose a risk to the wellbeing of the United States seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Threats that the prospective import duties on parts could result in fewer, more-expensive automobiles being produced domestically have been heard — and rebuked — by President Trump.

“What’s really going to happen is there’s going to be no tax,” he told Fox News in a weekend broadcast. “You know why? They’re going to build their cars in America. They’re going to make them here.”

However, automakers, parts suppliers, and even local governments have submitted comments to the Commerce Department ahead of the hearings scheduled for July 19th — and they’re all incredibly negative. 

Despite the current administration billing itself as a friend to the industry (by helping to rollback fueling regulations and opening the door for autonomous testing), the tariff proposals seem to be straining the relationship. Bloomberg compiled some of the comments issued by manufacturers and the story remains the same. If the United States imposes a 25-percent import duty on parts and cars, automakers claim to have no choice but to raise prices and cut jobs.

The American Automotive Policy Council says tariffs would place a $83 billion tax burden on Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler that would ultimately be extended to their customers. It also said the decision to impose import duties would undermine the companies’ economic contributions within the United States.

GM went further, saying the prospect of retaliatory tariffs from other countries would hurt it and other automakers in markets around the world. It also said the White House’s decision would ultimately lead to “a smaller GM” and risked the automaker cutting domestic jobs. Presently, the company has 47 manufacturing facilities and employs about 110,000 people within the United States.

General Motors Flint Assembly

Toyota, which also has sizable investments in the country, said a 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles and parts would raise sticker prices on most of its fleet. For example, it estimated the Kentucky-built Camry sedan’s MSRP would increase by about $1,800.

While not as heavily invested in America, Nissan has still paid out $11.8 billion for U.S. manufacturing and employs thousands in the country. “Given the breadth and health of our operations here in the United States, we could easily meet the U.S. military’s requirements without the need to restrict importation of either automobiles or auto parts,” it said.

Mitsubishi also said the consequences of tariffs will be especially felt in local and regional economies, citing “rural Kentucky and suburban areas of southwestern Ohio” specifically.

States have also come out against the tariff proposals. Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), issued a letter to the Commerce Department saying the automotive industry brings in more than $1 billion in state tax revenue and employs about 60,000 Kansans. “While I understand the Administration’s desire to achieve a level playing field when it comes to international trade, I remain concerned about the continued growth of the automotive industry, a major economic contributor to Kansas and the nation,” Colyer wrote.

Public officials from Birmingham, Alabama, also weighed in by saying they’re “especially troubled” by the possibility of taxed auto parts. The city’s statement noted that more than 200 suppliers feed assembly plants for Mercedes-Benz in Tuscaloosa and Hyundai in Montgomery. “We grasp the Administration’s apprehensions about the balance of trade, but we are distressed by the significant negative effect on the automotive industry in Alabama and the tax revenue stream of the City of Birmingham were punitive tariffs to be placed on imported automotive parts,” the city said.

Daimler echoed this in its own statement. “New tariffs on imported parts will result in a reduction of vehicles being produced in Alabama,” it said in a comment to the Commerce Department. “Lower production volumes will result in fewer shifts with fewer U.S. employees.”

Mazda said the company might change plans to invest in its dealer network and in a new Alabama plant it’s building with Toyota if the tariff proposal goes through. It claimed the company’s greatest concern is that consumers will lose interest in buying cars and warned that “every area of the U.S. economy and employment will be affected, including research and development, manufacturing and sales.”

Volvo, which recently finished is first U.S. auto plant in South Carolina, has managed to fill roughly half of the promised 4,000 job openings it promised to create. However, now it’s saying “those U.S. jobs may not be created at all” if it can’t export freely.

BMW is the only manufacturer that exports more vehicles out of America than it sells domestically and it’s confronting the prospect of a trade war that could severely upset its business. Having already dumped $9 billion into its South Carolina plant, BMW believes tariffs on imported parts will increase the cost of building cars in the United States — hampering its ability to export and possibly forcing it to cut jobs.

Hyundai threw a curveball by stating that tariffs would hurt U.S. efforts to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. We’re not entirely sure how that would work, since Hyundai is a South Korean firm, but it’s a bizarre threat. More easily understandable were its claims that duties would hamper the companies future plans to expand manufacturing in America.

Volkswagen made what was probably the most easy to identify with statement. It “does not see how continuing imports of automobiles and automotive parts at current levels could impair U.S. national security” and believes that “this proposition — supported by no U.S. motor vehicle manufacturer — is implausible.”

That’s hard to argue with. While there are real threats from China stealing intellectual property and forcing government mandated business partnerships on foreign investors, a lot of the damage has already been done. The rest of the world doesn’t seem to have this problem. Likewise, while present-day European auto tariffs are higher than the United States’ on cars, U.S. truck tariffs are already incredibly high. The administration’s claim that this all amounts to a national security threat is a difficult to come to grips with.

However, there’s also confusion arising from the industry itself. While it’s understandable that tariffs and retaliatory duties will ultimately cost automakers money and escalate prices, the repeated claims of cutting domestic jobs and abandoning investments frequently feel like threats. While some jobs could be lost, the Trump administration’s entire strategy revolves around forcing manufacturers to set up shop within America’s borders or face high taxes.

It may not be an elegant solution, but it was one that worked incredibly well for China as automakers scrambled to get into a booming market. Would automakers really abandon their investments and eliminate staff just because the U.S. imposed new tariffs? Possibly, but it’s also hard to imagine it happening without other countries enforcing retaliatory taxes of their own. We can be reasonably certain that domestic tariffs will raise car prices, but we’re less inclined to believe in a mass exodus of automakers that still want to sell in the United States. At least, not until we know how the rest of the globe plans to respond.

[Images: Toyota; General Motors; BMW]

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248 Comments on “An Exhaustive List of Everything Automakers Want You to Know About Trump’s Import Investigation (Hint: Higher Prices, Fewer Jobs)...”


  • avatar
    Lockstops

    …and if the strategy works and the EU & the USA agree to remove all tariffs on cars? That would be pretty great, no?

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Sure. My six-year-old nephew also thinks it would be great if his strategy of throwing a temper tantrum worked and his mom and dad agreed to take him to Disney World.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        Is the situation now such that your six-year-old nephew has an extensive education and works hard only for his mom and dad to go to Disney World without him on his dime?

        • 0 avatar
          DearS

          Or has a 6 month technical education and makes as much money as his parents and manages it better and can pay for Disney World trips for all but kindly asks his parents to pay their way?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Right, six kajillion dollar trade deficit and let’s do nothing.

        Not saying this is the right move, but for how many more decades are we going to continue as such?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Mexico would probably suffer the most as its domestic market may not be large enough to sustain the number of autos that it produces.

    Canada may as well. Its market is approximately large enough to consume its auto production. According to Stats Canada, just over 2 million both manufactured and new vehicles sold in 2017. And it did just that prior to the Canada-US Auto Pact of the mid 1960’s.

    However the integration of Canadian and American plants is rather unique. Having to pay tariffs on parts moved between these would disrupt the process for months and lead to increased costs.

    The original Auto Pact and the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement were generally agreements between two nations with a level playing field. Adding Mexico and then negotiating free trade agreements with other developing nations or nations with tariffs on vehicles, tipped the scales.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I’m inclined to agree. The US-Canadian auto trade seems well balanced, as both are developed nations with unionized workforces, both with markets that buy each other’s production. While if push came to shove I’d prefer to buy an American built car, I don’t take much issue at all with buying a Canadian built one. I do take offense at the notion of buying a Mexican built one, especially something high margin like a GM truck that I know GM can build just fine in Ft Wayne or Flint and still make good money on.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        Canada has been the go to place for full size American sedans for decades with the GM plant in Oshawa, Ford’s St Thomas Assembly until recently, and Chrysler’s Brampton plant. They are all good plants with a great work force when operating.

        The Mexican auto plants are decent factories with hard working employees that churn out quality products under proper management, but NAFTA completely failed its supposed objective which is to elevate the Mexicans’ standard of living to make the region’s population flow stable. Instead the northward flow kept going so I see no logical reason for free trade with them if their poor see no benefit from the arrangement and are pushed by their governments to go to the US anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Charliej

          You really have no clue about Mexico. The government does not push people to go to the US. If you look the majority of people from south of the border going to the US are from Central America. Mexicans are not going to the US is large numbers any more. Mexico no longer has a surplus of people. The birth rate has dropped to where it is near the US birthrate of about two children per couple. Mexico has a thriving middle class, unlike the US which has a shrinking middle class. If you look at the economic figures Mexico is a rising country, while the US is in a decline. Whether it is a terminal decline is not known yet. Trump’s making the Mexican people scapegoats for America’s failure to advance makes no difference. If all Mexicans left the US, the American people would have a hard time getting enough food. The American people simply will not do what is necessary to grow their own food. The failure to fix the infrastructure of America is another failure that will cause an increasing decline in American life and business. America had better look at what it’s real problems are and forget the scapegoating, however popular it is with the fools who voted for Trump.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            You are absolutely correct about who is actually heading north. The way to stem it is to get the US involved in the countries much further south than Mexico and help them get on their feet which then helps the US as well much more effectively by reducing the flow of desperates. Not that you’ll ever hear than on Faux News.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Trump (and by extension, we are) is winning ! I don’t CARE WHERE the illegals are coming from, THEY MUST GO BACK. The “fools who voted for Trump” are SMARTER than you- they are WINNING ! Extreme-vetting WIN! Supreme court WIN ! WINNING !Trump
            FEEL THE BURN ?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Trump (and by extension, we are) is winning ! I don’t CARE WHERE the illegals are coming from, THEY MUST GO BACK. The “fools who voted for Trump” are SMARTER than you- they are WINNING ! Extreme-vetting WIN! Supreme court WIN ! WINNING !Trump
            FEEL THE BURN ?”

            go back to nearly having a stroke on your Youtube channel, Mr. Jones.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Many of “the fools who voted for Trump” are out of a job already and more are headed that way. Many of “the fools” who happened to be farmers are literally committing suicide in Iowa etc. Doesn’t look like a big WIN for either of them from this perspective. Their mistake was not being retired yet. The retired ones will likely have their WIN coming via Mulvaney.

            In addition, there are very likely ways to handle issues such as people crossing the borders that aren’t as reminiscent of Nazi atrocities.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Walter, some of us are doing really well. But thanks for the concern.

            Next, don’t you think comparisons like that really cheapen the Holacaust?

            Here is a breakdown:. Trump/Obama detained several thousand people for a relatively short amount of time in cages before releasing or deporting them.

            Hitler: systematically Gassed 11 million Jews and other “undesirables” in an effort to eliminate there genes from the collective Gene pool.

            The 2 in no way shape or form sound similar.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Walter – Link?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “are out of a job already and more are headed that way. Many of “the fools” who happened to be farmers are literally committing suicide in Iowa etc.”

            I’m gonna echo Super, got a link for all that gloom and doom Walter? All I’m seeing so far is a number of mills rebooting and rehiring folks:

            http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/jun/30/steel-mill-to-expand-add-500-new-worker/

            asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Deals/India-s-JSW-invests-500m-to-upgrade-US-steel-mill

            http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/in-granite-city-a-company-town-gets-back-to-business/article_b3441e28-cc59-5c56-ac0b-043c3a31f770.html

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    They need to get off their noble high horse. Car manufacturers aren’t in business to make vehicles, they’re in business to make money. Tariffs cost them money. Period.

    Besides, it doesn’t matter what manufacturers or any other expert says, the president does what he wants.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      If and to the extent that tariffs cost carmakers money (and they surely do), they will cost carbuyers money.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Tariffs are a cost passed on to the consumer.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Which is fine if the tariffs lead to greater total employment.

        • 0 avatar
          srh

          How much is one job worth?

          The tire tariffs cost US consumers in the neighborhood of $1M per job. Worth it?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Were they retaliatory tariffs imposed to balance tariffs placed on US manufactured tires, or were they a political favor used to redistribute wealth within the US? It helps that we now have a President who has the whole country’s interests at heart instead of one who turns Americans against one another to serve a cadre of globalists.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            ” It helps that we now have a President who has the whole country’s interests at heart instead of one who turns Americans against one another to serve a cadre of globalists.”

            amusing how you actually seem to believe that.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          Until 1913, the government of the United States of America was financed mostly by tariffs. Then the Federal Reserve Banks took over the finances of the country and the U.S. passed the (Unconstitutional) income tax.
          When the U.S. started deficit spending, that is spending more money than it took in- the “Federal” Reserve (neither of which is true) began loaning money to the U.S. government (at the interest rates that THEY set). Financing the Federal government with tariffs worked well for 137 years. And financing the Federal government with borrowed money has worked poorly for 105 years. Say we can’t go back ? Yes we could.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            scarey, no we can’t go back. The world has changed.

            Among other things, we’ve been learning since 1846 that tariffs kill jobs and reduce prosperity (Smoots-Hawley is a great example, if you care to look it up). Which learning has been the point of GATT/WTO, the Treaty of Rome, NAFTA, Mercosur, TPP and every other free(r) trade agreement entered into since 1944.

            And the US has prospered under these agreements, to the point where the ongoing expansion since 2009 has brought us to full employment and record manufacturing output.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            scarey. And like the Chinese the US capitalised on other nations IP.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “And the US has prospered under these agreements, to the point where the ongoing expansion since 2009 has brought us to full employment and record manufacturing output.”

            I encourage you to drive to just about any town or city in the Rust Belt and tell them this great news while people are overdosing on opioids and working at gas stations and McDonalds instead of mills and factories. In fact, the last 20 years or so have been so bad here in parts of Central Indiana that when an acquaintance was looking to hire people for manufacturing work in Kokomo Indiana, he literally couldn’t find enough people that could pass a drug test and ended up finding people down in Indianapolis to bring up north.

            The deindustrialization and de-unionization of the US has (IMO) been the single biggest driver of income inequality in the US over the last 30 years. It has absolutely decimated some communities, first the inner cities and now the small towns. CEOs that drive outsourcing to return ever-higher quarterly profits are rewarded lavishly with obscene pay by “activist” investors.

  • avatar
    WalterRohrl

    I’m no fan of the current administration but I would very much like to hear the defenders of the current administration that post here explain the thinking behind this proposal. How exactly are imports from Germany, Japan etc. a national security matter?

    And part two – Do you REALLY believe that the European people will fall all over themselves to buy Chevy Impalas and Malibus imported there from Detroit if Germany’s 10% import tariff goes away? As far as I can tell, we aren’t even buying them. I believe the president has stated that it’s “not fair” that US consumers buy all kinds of Mercedeses but Germany buys no Chevys and that it is all due to the tariff.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      To be honest the best product made by Ford, GM, and FCA is our full size pickup trucks. Those we should largely be proud to export, however I highly doubt anyone in Germany is really clamoring for a Sierra Denali HD.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        In fairness, they are among the best selling (The best in the F series case) without large export numbers. Yeah, I wouldn’t want my F150 super crew if I was back living in Naples Italy either but here in the US where roads are big and land is plentiful they are great. They are a uniquely American thing in that respect and you are right, they are quite good.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Art,
          The issue arises is yhe numbers of fullsize pickup sales will drop if competitive midsize pickups are offered.

          Anyone who thinks otherwise need to understand the chicken tax is a barrier not a tax. Or state “bit the US manufactures midsizers”. But even US midsizers are not exportable, or the US would be exporting midsizers now to profit from the global pickup boom.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            They may drop, but it would likely be by an insignificant number. Even when we got all of the trucks back some years ago they never came close to denting full-sized sales. The North American truck market is a regional thing that is unique based on how US society is set up. Japanese Kei cars don’t sell in huge numbers globally they are still loved in those markets even though they don’t work elsewhere. Same with the truck in the US. It just happens to be a big wealthy market.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          You wouldn’t want an F-150 living in any major US city or beach community either. Any European Medieval village you can fit, park, drive a luxury BMW/Merc or Euro SUV, Land Rover, minivan etc, you can fit an F-150 with slightly more effort or coordination.

          Yes tariffs are a huge deterrent, but they’re nothing compared to Europe’s non-tariff barriers. The price to fuel a US fullsize SUV in Europe alone, basically has them banned.

          Of course if Europe dropped its tariffs, that wouldn’t mean US vehicles would then flood their streets, nothing of the sort. But it’d be a step in the direction of balanced trade.

          Even US built Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans etc, would be a good place to start.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Many (most??) Hondas, Toyotas and Nissans ARE built in the US. But perhaps I misunderstood what you meant.

            Europe has high taxes on fuel but then also has excellent public transportation to show for it. I’d be willing to make that tradeoff.

            I don’t think there is a single large European branded SUV that is as long and wide as the average F150. Is the GLS450 the largest one? It’s way smaller than an F150.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Walter,
            I can agree with you about the public transport.

            Its a breeze. And you don’t arrive at your destination flustered.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The GLS is wider than you think. 76.1 inches width is purdy much fullsize, given the F-150’s 80″. Not even 2″ per side.

            Anyone that’s never driven 145″ wheelbase vehicles (most F-150 wb) might take a minute to adjust. So you go a little wider before you “cut”.

            Without exception everyone that goes from a small car, or under 100″ wheelbase, to behind the wheel of my F-150 will jump a curb their 1st time out. Not a big ordeal. The GLS 450 has a 121″ wheelbase.

            And most drivers require lots more room around them (driving) than they actually need or use.

            What I meant was “exporting” to Europe, US made (designed/built for the US market), Hondas, Toyotas, etc.

            One could say Europe’s fine “public transportation” was a direct result of extremely high fuel taxes. But it’s still a trade barrier, intentional or not. Considering Europe’s extreme protectionism, clearly it’s intentional.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Denver – I see about the Japanese. As it turns out many of them also manufacture their Europe focused offerings in Europe the same way they do here. Surely you don’t believe that the US should be the ONE country in the world where ALL auto manufacturing should take place?

            A total of 4″ more in width is a lot. That’s without mirrors. The GLS has very small mirrors. Add mirrors and it’s a total of 84.3″. The F150 WITH mirrors is 97″ wide per the Ford Fleet guide. That’s 13″ wider. The length is an even greater obstacle. The GLS is one of the largest European branded vehicles and rarely seen over there due to its size, that’s why it is built here in its main market. US Cities and Beach Communities are tight for trucks, but nothing compared to most Euro cities. Never mind traffic lanes, I’m thinking more of parking and parking garages as well as regular garages. If you think a standard 20×20 US garage is small, you haven’t seen a suburban European garage. US trucks, the one vehicle that the US does well, don’t have a chance of any meaningful volume even without any tariff.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            F-150 mirrors are for towing and could be reeled in for Europe, and US big cities. I absolutely have to fold mine in, or they’re over into the next parking space, in parking structures, beach communities etc, anywhere land/space is extremely valuable.

            Even if they fit in a standard “US Building Code” garage, fullsize pickups and often Tahoes, Expeditions, etc, are mostly for parking outside year round, and not family heirlooms worth fighting to squeeze into the garages day in, day out.

            F-150 and fullsize pickups and US SUVs are the extreme examples. There’s plenty of worthwhile “US market only” cars that would thrive, or at least sell good in Europe, midsize and under, and as I said tariffs aren’t the only trade barriers Europe imposes to protect its home/domestic automakers.

            Europe is a much bigger “market” than the US, with likewise plenty of wide open spaces and yes lots of F-150, fullsize pickup fans. 100,000 yearly F-150 sales in Europe wouldn’t be out of the question, and worthwhile for Ford.

            In London, big cities, etc, even Car Shows, what would be more “Exotic”? A Lambo or a Raptor?

            But even in the US, drivers of smaller cars are mostly inept and likely stuck driving a small car to avoid banging into things and other cars.

            For my work, I constantly have to momentarily block part of the street with my truck, but even if I leave 10 ft of access, you’d be amazed how many drivers throw up their hands and need me to guide them through the “too narrow” opening.

            Too, the look on their face in priceless when I’m swinging my F-150 around, in a parking situation, crossing well into their comfort zone.

            European drivers aren’t much different, especially if you’re not used to and didn’t grow up driving fullsize pickups/SUVs. You might be aghast just driving next to them, yes even in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Denver –

            Which American cars have a chance of doing well?:

            Ford: Focus, Fiesta, EcoSport, Fusion, and Escape are already derived from Europe and are not “American”. I think that leaves the Edge and the Explorer. Europe has plenty of options in place of them and actually the Edge is already for sale in some of the markets. Transit and TC are already from there as well, in fact they have two more options in between those.

            FCA: Not seeing many options there for “volume” penetration that aren’t already FROM there. The best ones are already for sale over there, i.e. the Wrangler. Charger, 300, Challenger are niche at best over there. Actually the 300 and the Minivan were for sale as Lancia’s and flopped. I don’t think Sergio has the marketing chops to do any better.

            GM – The Spark and Cruze are Korean and already sold over there under different names. The Regal IS an Opel and now sold to PSA, we buy it from them. Encore/Trax is sold over there as an Opel (Mokka) already but that was sold to the French as well.

            Malibu and Impala are also-rans just like here especially without a wagon format.

            What else? Equinox maybe. Traverse and its ilk are likely too big but again plenty of other options already exist, its a crowded market with more brands than we have over here.

            Colorado and Canyon – See EuroRanger – very small market. Bigger trucks and SUV’s unlikely due to reasons you yourself gave (gas prices).

            What am I missing? There is a reason the US makers are reducing their offerings over here, nobody HERE wants them, there isn’t going to be any export magic fairy dust.

            That mirror stat is for the standard F150 mirrors not the tow ones. NOBODY likes having to fold mirrors in constantly even if electric. I don’t really think you’ve ever been to a European city or village. the old part of Quebec City comes sort of close but nothing else does on this continent.

            And finally, NO, the market is not larger than the US market. 2017 vehicle sales in EU/EFTA was a bit over 15 million.

            Most of Europe does NOT have the same kind of wide-open spaces that are common in the US unless you are including the steppes of Mongolia or areas well outside of “Europe” such as that. A 97″ wide vehicle is a non-starter for the average driver or area over there, the only sales are to enthusiasts or people who have to have something “Ami” for some reason. Similar to the people over here who had to have a Hummer H1. Sure, it CAN work, but it’s an awful lot of trouble, no way will the F150 or any other full size ever get to 100k sales over there, and that’s not even getting started on the play-skool plastic interior. The new Ram probably has the best shot with its interior but they can’t seem to even roll it out over here, so…

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            This isn’t just about Big 3 automakers. Toyota, Nissan, even a few German automakers building in the US are faced with European tariffs/non-tariff barriers.

            The Big 3 are building so many cars and truck in Mexico and overseas, it should be even less about them.

            And why should there be European specific car designs and engines. That alone screams of underhanded Euro protectionism.

            It’s clear you haven’t been to some of the extremely challenging places to park an F-150, or fullsize anything in the US.

            What would frustrate you, or some, is entertaining to me. I love a challenging parking area, don’t mind folding in my mirrors, and newer mid-trim/luxo pickups do it automatically.

            I laugh since it’s totally worth it. It’s way better than driving something I’d hate, just for the few seconds I’d save parking it.

            2005 and older “base” F-150s came with pedestal/paddle mirrors that looked funny on a fullsize truck (and cheapskate), but they worked just fine except for towing a full width trailer.

            Yes, Yes mirrors, but you still have to swing wide anything greater that 100″ wheelbase or you crash. That’s plenty of European market SUVs and passenger vans, even with tiny mirrors.

            If European consumers don’t mind their very limited choices, thanks to tight Euro policy, politics and trade barriers, that’s fine, as long as they know why.
            99% of those I’ve talked to don’t have a clue.

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            So, what are all these “non-tariff barriers” you keep going on about? You’d better list them because I can’t think of any (and no, high fuel prices aren’t a “barrier”)

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Walter,
            I just travelled from Meaux an outer Parisan suburb (50km) to Gare de l’Est. It took 20 minutes! A suburban train travelled near on 30 miles in 20 minutes. Incredible.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yes, high fuel prices/taxes are a non-tariff barrier, ipso facto.

            Any “market specific” changes that have to made, whether it be safety, lighting or emissions, are non-tariff barriers.

            When Toyota had to design/build from the ground up, a car specifically for Europe, basically a split between a Camry and Corolla, that’s a trade barrier, non-tariff.

            Ford and GM have had to do similar, rather than simply selling in Europe what they already had for sale elsewhere.

            There’s probably other brands I’m forgetting, and even more that still can’t overcome the protective non-tariff barriers set up by Europe, even if they can absorb the direct money tariffs or pass them on to Euro consumers.

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            No, fuel prices aren’t a barrier. They apply to all vehicles regardless of where they’re made. Given that there are more makes of car available in the EU and elsewhere in Europe the “barriers” you refer to mustn’t be very effective!
            VW make a special North American model, the Atlas. Is this also a response to a non-tariff barrier? Volvo make special North American trucks with engines sticking out the front. More barriers?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If you’re implying Euro non-tariff barriers cut both ways, harming European automakers too, yep I agree.

            Euro automakers simply conformed around artificially high fuel prices. But along with other technical barriers, Euro protectionism (lack of imports) created some of the crappiest cars known to mankind, definitely unfit for US consumption.

            All this makes European tiny cars with tiny engines less than relevant in North America.

            Except the US accepts any tiny car, any way import automakers want to make them. Despite cheap fuel, there’s plenty of US consumers desiring subcompact fuel savers.

            European gas guzzlers are welcome too.
            V12? No problem! Or anything in between.
            Their biggest obstacle is putting them on a boat.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I wouldn’t call myself a defender, but I do see the argument in the sense of a manufacturing base being vital for national security should you look at it from a historical perspective. In WWII all of those car plants and manpower were mobilized to construct the weapons of war. It was a massive task and may be more of one today, however it likely would have been an impossible tak without the infrastructure in place already. I do believe there is some merit in that.

      As to part 2, no, I doubt Europeans will buy current Chevys. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be of benefit to US makers. Ford in particular and FCA (I left GM out since they are all but done in Europe) would likely find it easier to import cars that they could sell in smaller volume and could focus on profitable trims. Take the ST twins (and RS). Rather than setting up Mexican production where they would be dependent on selling a ton of cars that people really don’t want here, they could simply import from plants in Europe. The volume models to keep the plants going are popular there and the models sold here could sell at a premium without having to subsidize all the ones nobody wants. Still, federalazation is an issue and common standards would need to be worked out.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        Art – Thanks.

        To your 1st point, it seems that we have plenty of manufacturing capacity here relative to the automotive industry and in fact the import brands of all people keep building more. If a WW3 mobilization was needed, wouldn’t Mr. Trump just nationalize all the foreign plants and put the UAW workers to work at all of them to build Tanks with a Hyundai logo etc? In any case, the weaponry manufacturers for planes, guns, Hummers or whatever and the like are all already in place and producing, Mr. Trump is I believe having his people go around the globe trying to sell more of their products.

        2nd point – Can’t (and doesn’t) Ford already import from Germany? Since we only have a 2.5% tariff on a Focus RS, that $1000 is basically immaterial on a $40k car. I think you may have that one turned around. Trump wants the 10% Euro tariff dropped so we can sell more Chevy’s or F150’s or Cherokee’s or whatever to a people that are hardly clamoring for them.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I’ll echo what Art said. And Walter you mentioned their existing 10% tariff as well. Why should we not have a tariff going in their direction as well?

        The infrastructure stuff as it relates to national security cannot be overstated, and yes a lot of it DOES go back to the auto industry. Kokomo and Anderson Indiana used to be Remy/Delphi hotbeds of circuit board design and manufacturing, until it all got outsourced to China. So it wasn’t automation of the manufacturing of circuit boards that resulted in hundreds of lost jobs, and note that along with the production, the design/engineering went along with it. A lot of the people that keep saying “oh it’s just automation, people should re-educate” should take note that all of the design and engineering was outsourced as well in this case.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          One of the proposals was that BOTH sides eliminate ALL auto proposals which would include their 10% as well as presumably our 2.5% and 25% chicken tax… My point was that even if Europe removes theirs does anyone REALLY think that will all of a sudden increase Euro purchases of American BRANDED vehicles? And if so, which ones? The only people who think that full size pickups would sell well over there obviously don’t have a passport and have never left North America. What else is there? The Europeans WILL buy more of BMW and MB’s products that are built here but I doubt many will buy a Grand Cherokee over an X5 etc.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            GTEM – After rereading what you wrote and assuming that the circuit board example it true, then wouldn’t it make more sense to phase in a VERY high tariff on those SPECIFIC components that we should have expertise in? As it stands even with a 25% tariff a manufacturer can do the math and decide if it is more cost effective to keep it offshore, i.e. it won’t change that component’s source. But if that component knowledge is critical to be onshore, then tariff that 1000% and you can perhaps make a logical argument that there IS in fact a national security angle for that component. On the other hand currently we are wanting to tax/tariff lugnuts etc using the same national security argument.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          gtem,
          It seems you only concentrate on tariffs and not the technical barriers the US has. These technical barriers cost the US consumer over $13 billion a year.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Al, please feel free to drop some knowledge on me, I’m genuinely non-sarcastically curious.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            gtem,
            Just use Google. I’m on my phone so it makes it hard.

            Google “cost of US vehicle technical barriers on cars”. Its not hard.

            Then Google the average amount US vehicles recieve via handouts, etc.

            You’ll find the EU’s 10% is very reasonable.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Am I hearing you right? Suddenly you’re a tariff sympathizer? But only when it comes to Europe’s excessive tariffs and their other non-tariff barriers?

            Europe’s tariffs are held against viable autos, instead of just pretend pickup that exist only in your mind and a couple horrible pickups from China?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Art,
        They didn’t buy “Chevy”.

        Opel and Vauxhall couldn’t compete.

        The amount of Chevs sold would amount to enthusiasts.

        Plus US vehicles need to improve quality to be given a serious look outside of the US and/or become alot cheaper.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Ford is profitable in Europe. GM could not compete, that doesn’t mean America can’t compete.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Vehicles designed for the American market generally cannot complete in Europe.

            As others have noted, one reason is the size of the streets and lack of parking.

            Another is fuel prices.

            And the European vehicle market is as or perhaps even more competitive than the one in North America. Peugeot, Citroen, Seat, Dacia, Suzuki, Skoda are all available there. Yes some share ownership but their dealers still compete. And there are more models available from Fiat and VW than in N.A.

            Whereas models from GM, Chrysler and Ford were or are available and generally have poor sales.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        Art, 2 points.

        It has been evident since the 1960s that, in the event of a major war, a country will fight that war with what it had on hand at the outset. Modern technology means that (i) there won’t be a 2-year period in which to build up new forces and equipment and (ii) building additional equipment will not be a case of modifying existing industrial capacity, but building specialized facilities for high-tech planes, other vehicles and gear, which will take much longer than it has in the past.

        The whole “national security” excuse is a lie, pure and simple.

        Beyond this, there is no reason why US-built vehicles cannot be successfully exported. BMW alone exports 3 times the number of US built vehicles to non-NAFTA markets that GM does, and M-B, Honda and Nissan also have substantial export sales from the US to non-NAFTA markets. The fault is not trade laws, but management decisions within GM and Ford, in particular.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          ECT, completely not true. Look at pictures of Iraq in 2003 and the vehicles vs 2008 or so. We developed an entire class of vehicle (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) or MRAP and fielded it. War has become a chess match and you have to be able to quickly counter a threat. I was an Engineer so that is the example I saw first hand…there are others. I doubt I’d be here though if we were partying like it was 2003 and clearing routes by sticking our heads out of the air hatches on Vietnam era M113s. The threat evolves quickly and you have to as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Art. Again a misrepresentation of the truth (not just the engineer bit either).

            It takes years to develop specialised military hardware.

            WTF are you spewing ….. mate.

            This is from a person who is involved in military equipment engineering.

            Really?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            OK, Al, Who in the he!! do you think you are. Are you proclaiming I was not in fact a Combat Engineer in Southeast Baghdad circa 2009? Were you there? Or were you just on the internet proclaiming to know everything. Look at pictures of Route Clearance patrols circa 2003-2005…The vehicles are incredibly different (flat bottoms with a focus on bullet resistance vs V hulls with a focus on blast survivability after 2006 or so. I never said they engineered them…We in fact purchased them and in a couple of cases ramped up production. My point was to show that you often deployed new hardware over the course of a war in response to the OP who said that didn’t typically happen. I can tell you 100 percent had I been in a vehicle of the type used 2003-2004 when I was doing my missions at a later date I would not be here arguing with your pompous kiester. But what do I know, I was just there whereas you, well I’m sure youve read allllll about it. Probably play Call of Duty on your Xbox too so you could tell me allll about how to clear a room as well or perform a breach. Go ahead, I’m all ears though they do ring a bit from all the blasts. But I probably “misrepresented” that to the VA too. You pompous piece of trash. And mods, feel free to ban if Ive crossed the line…frankly if this sort of buffoonery is allowe dfrom the likes of Al I could care less.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Art,
            Designing any type of assualt vehicle takes years.

            Funny you mentioned V hulled APC/ASLASVS etc. Whilst the US were welding scrap metal onto Hummers Australia offered the US V hulleded Bushmasters for your forces and your Congress knocked it on the head because it wasn’t US made.

            The mods carried out on the lines was quite agricultural in many cases.

            It takes years to engineer significant and complex military hardware.

            I’m even educated in battle damage repair. I know the work you guys had to do because you were provided with inadequate materiel. Hummer were not the best for starters.

            ert raised a point which I believe he’s correct describing the effectiveness of in country manufacturing if a big war was to occur.

            And you don’t know my line of work either.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            You are right Al, I don’t know your line of work…hence my lack of assumptions and spouting off about what you do (or have done) for a living. But that is how normal non internet trolls act.

            Next I find your “Not US Made” bit sketchy…The Gun Trucks we utilized were RG-31’s, built by I believe BAE systems in South Africa. I’m not sure where the Husky MDV (The vehicle I operated) was built, but I know the powertrain was a Mercedes diesel (that would run with a hole blown through the block). The Buffalo was I believe from Alabama somewhere, but I could be wrong. It was a Mack Truck underneath though so I believe US.

            Yes, the HMMWV was not optimal for this work because it was designed to replace the jeep, not run over mines that would penetrate a Tank. Again, my point was that we FIELDED new equipment to confront an emerging threat fairly rapidly…not that we designed it rapidly although the bulk of time in the procurment process is currently the testing and contracting stuff…not the design. War makes a lot of those requirements get streamlined. We have historically been able to bring stuff from paper to battlefield quickly should the need arise. Look at the P-51 Mustang and the Atomic Bomb. Companies move quicker when the numbers on the check get larger.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            General Clark wrote a very good book on the Manhatten Project. He oversaw the project. That took years.

            The P-51 was almost a UK design. It was more or less designed. As impressive as the reported time period took to have it fly from a drawing is a beat up.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Of course it took years, but we literally went from theory to dropping the bomb in 5 years. Given the tech involved and the state of the art at the time that is insane and would not havve been as quick had there not been a war going on. War CAN accelerate timelines.

            And again, my point was you field new stuff during warfare no matter how you get it. Public Relations if nothing else mandated that the US Army field something to counter the IED threat because the American People weren’t going to tolerate 3-400 a month getting killed by farmers with fertilizer. They in turn turned to the EFP, which could defeat the new V hulled vehicles but was more difficult to construct and emplace (you have to press a copper plate to some pretty tight specs and you have to aim it). We then rapidly fielded Armor to counteract that (which saved my life). This all happened relatively quickly…hence the war cost being measured in the trillions. In peace time it would have moved much slower but the American People werent down with Rumsfeld’s “You go to war with the Army you’ve got” crap.

            I work with a ton of engineers (not combat, systems, network, and industrial)) in my line of work. 2 things hold true…First you think the world revolves around you. In reality you do what the heck you are told and if management tells you to work faster you B1+ch and moan but you do it. Secondly, ICS/SCADA engineers never give a crap about security. I could care less about either…you don’t sign my checks and my name won’t come up when your company gets sued and the Plantiff’s lawyer uses terms like “lack of due care and dillegence” in assessing the damages. Frankly you guys make my current job easy money…always plenty of low hanging fruit for the report.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      I, and many I know would _immediately_ be cash in hand to buy Challengers, Camaros, Chargers, maybe even Durangos if the price is right. Not to mention Jeeps, even though those are selling ok already. Mustang sells well too, now that it’s been properly re-introduced to the EU market.

      Sure, the the market share for muscle and pony cars wouldn’t be huge but it would probably be a meaningful number as a niche customer base. Same with pickups: they would have their own customer base here. Huge US SUVs would also find an ok following despite the incompatibility with narrow roads in some countries. US vans used to be very popular a few decades ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I did see several Mustangs my last couple of trips over (and a few Raptors strangely). This was completely different than when I lived there in the late 90’s early 2000’s and never saw one.

        A good car like that could carve out a niche similar to something like the 3 series here. There are Americans that want a car with European flavor so they buy them. Europe has a similar mindset with respect to US cars to a degree…I think the fact that all of the Mustangs I saw were 5.0’s supports this.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        Assuming you are in Europe why would you think that the price would be reduced by more than 10% which is the tariff amount? And is that 10% that has always been there all that’s stopping you from buying a Challenger so far?

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          Actually the tariff is 10% plus VAT on that tariff as well (and VAT is over 20% in many EU countries)! Then they slap VAT on the car’s whole sales price. And then in many countries that is used as a basis to calculate the registration tax. It adds up.

          What has been the biggest obstacle is the regulations prohibiting the registration of a US import without making extensive and expensive changes. DOT approved windows and lights have not been allowed, you have had to change them. How difficult this is depends on the EU country.

          Then there’s the CO2-based taxation in many countries meaning that cheating small turbo engine’d cars like Volkswagens have low tax and then a US vehicle has _multiple times_ that tax even thought their real-world emissions might be very close to each other. In some countries the registration tax difference between a VW Passat and a Charger can be 6-8000€ versus 20000€!! A hybrid Passat might have only about 2000€ and a Charger 20000€! No wait, I checked: Chargers might be taxed 30000€! More expensive cars with large typically American engines are taxed at similar percentages but due to their value that sum can be massively more. Sure, that’s not explicitly an import tax on non-EU vehicles but that’s why those taxes were put in place and that’s exactly what they’re achieving. (This massive registration tax for large naturally aspirated non-emissions-test-cheating engine’d cars only applies to some countries, not the majority of the EU)

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            The VAT is applied equally, not on imports, so its a dud comparison.

            Also look at how thw VAT is applied and to whom.

            I can make a comment US State taxes are a barrier to imports. Which is incorrect.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @WalterRohrl – trade is regulated and agreements are subject to congressional approval. The only way T-rump can unilaterally impose tariffs is to say that imports pose a threat to national security. Any country can make that claim but have avoided it since “the nuclear option” causes much collateral damage and long range contamination of international trade.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        Yes I know all that (it’s my point, really) but saying something and it being true are two different things. I am asking for someone who defends Trump to explain why this is true.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        Congress has granted the executive branch broad powers to negotiate trade. This is why Trump was able to unilaterally drop out of TPP.

        The national security farce is to try to get his tariffs past the WTO.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lou,
        I can see after Trump (hopefully) the POTUS will have his powers curtailed.

        This might be the easiest way for the US to atone the world for life after Trump.

        The Europeans did this to Royal Heads a long time ago. They just caused unecessary angst (and wars).

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          BigTrollFromOz-
          I have a que4stion for you. In your supposed home country of Australia, do the subjects there have the right of freedom of speech, like we citizens do here in America ? Or can your government muzzle you like the government in Canada does ITS subjects ?
          serious question.
          Wondering why you don’t post THERE where your opinion might count for something.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            You are on a Canadian owned and operated website. Are you saying this website is potentially being censored by the Canadian Gov’t? Right now you are the one trolling.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @scarey: you obviously have no concept of history, politics or the law.

            What of the American national security establishments encroachment on the rights of both citizens and visitors.

            In reality and in the law, both Australians and Canadians have more freedom form government encroachment than do Americans.

            Your use of the phrase ‘illegal’ in regards to income tax indicates that you belong to or agree with the ‘Freeman on the Land’ movement which is about as extremist as they come.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @WalterRohrl – You are correct, @”scarey” is the troll here. I have yet to see any comments of value.
            “Free speech” unfortunately is often interpreted as “free verbal effluvia”.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      I think a number of U.S. made vehicles would do well in Germany: Corvettes, Camaros, Volts, Bolts, Cadillacs, Mustangs, Jeeps, VW Passats, VW Atlases, BMW X3s & X5s, Mercedes GLE, Ram Promaster vans,

      Japan is a different story. A few years ago Nissan tryed importing a Thailand built Micra. The Japanese people stopped buying Nissans. We should let the North Koreans use the country for target practice.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        With a 10% lower price the Corvette and Camaro may sell a few more than they currently do, neither are volume models even over here. The Volt was sold as the Opel Ampera and didn’t sell, just like here. The Bolt, who knows. Mustangs and Jeeps do OK, better than anyone expected but aren’t lighting the world on fire.

        The Passat and Atlas were created specifically for the US market, presumably the Euro’s don’t want them.

        Te X3, X5, GLE are already sold there. Trump may in fact see an increase of German branded vehicles in Germany, no surprise there.

        And the ProMaster IS A FIAT THAT IS BASICALLY REBADGED AS A RAM and has been sold there for years.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          @Walter—
          Section 1 of the Constitution Act 1982 gives Canadians the right to free speech, but with “reasonable limits.” This ensures that almost anything one says can be considered unconstitutional and subject to legal prosecution. You have a right to speak your mind, but be careful of what you say.

          Many Canadian officials have been quoted saying that freedom of speech is an American concept. This point is reinforced by section one of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom which states free expression is limited by, “such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

          The modern era is seeing a dramatic shift regarding freedom of speech, meaning that free speech is no longer entirely absolute. It has become more debated regarding what is classified as hate speech and what is still protected by free speech.

          In Canada, hate speech is criminalized by section 319 The Criminal Code of Canada; it is meant to counter racism and bigotry. The law was put in place to prevent the incitation of violence and the promotion of hatred. Cases regarding section 319 are relatively rare and even require the consent of the attorney general to press charges, which is something very few other sections require.

          However, there is still plenty debate within the country whether the law has made Canada a more harmonious nation or if this law has farfetched hopes. Nonetheless, this law promotes compromise and even a more communal country.

          In America the most vile and hateful speech is protected under the constitution. American’s have absolute freedom, from fighting for their right to new legislation to voicing your displeasure regarding a particular group, both are protected.
          This particular debate on which is better, absolute freedom or controlled freedom, will continue to be prevalent for a long time.
          I did not imply that the Canadian government is censoring this website, but may be doing so INDIRECTLY due to its laws. In the U.S., banning racist or any other type of comments and content is up to the owners of the website to do or not to do, as they prefer.
          But I was asking Bigal about the laws in his country. NOT TROLLING.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            One does not have the absolute right to freely say whatever one wants whenever one wants wherever one wants in the US either. I realize that’s being a bit pedantic but it is true in the absolute sense.

            I do appreciate the info re: Canada and would be very interested in an additional response from someone who is actually Canadian and knows about this topic as well. I know someone last week make an interesting argument about YOU yourself actually being French Canadian but you refuted that assertion :-)

            Maybe the Canadians are onto something though. I don’t understand how racism, racist speech or racist behavior could ever add anything to a civilized society. It certainly does not make the targeted person or group more “free”. One’s own rights seem like they should stop when they infringe on the rights of another to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

            Edit: I think this response and scarey’s somehow got out of order and should have been a few posts above.

            I also see a response from Arthur Dailey asking something about illegal income taxes that were referenced in scarey’s post but that I don’t see now. Maybe something was edited/deleted?

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            Too late to edit again: Now I see where you referenced income taxes being “unconstitutional” (way at the top in one of the first threads). Nothing was deleted/edited.

            Hmmm.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            scarey, as someone who is a citizen of both Canada and the US, who has lived and worked on both countries, I can assure you that the right to freedom of speech is alive and well in both countries.

            Both countries have similar limits on freedom of speech, libel and slander being the obvious example. Canada also allows a court to ban publication of proceedings in a preliminary inquiry, in order to protect the right of an accused to trial by an impartial jury. The US bans publication of proceedings of grand juries, which is broadly similar (if less democratic).

            The prohibition of “hate speech” is something I strongly disagree with, but its use is at worst VERY limited, and at best non-existent (not my area of law).

            The notion that “many Canadian officials have been quoted saying that freedom of speech is an American concept” is, in my experience, simply not true.

            It is true that Canada is a more harmonious society than the US. In particular, living in Toronto is seeing people whose heritage is from all parts of the world getting along with each other, not just professionally but also socially, which is not about laws but the product of living in a surprisingly tolerant society. It was never like this in Georgia.

            Which is not to say that Canada is any sort of social paradise. I work and socialize with people who are black, brown, muslim and from other backgrounds, and I get that their experience of life is fraught with difficulties that I don’t experience. But in global terms, the Canadian situation is exceptional.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Wow -“scarey” had an interesting post.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ect sums things up nicely. Free speech or freedom to do what ever one wants ends when it interferes with my freedom of actions or speech.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Peter,
        Over half the vehicles you mentioned are already manufactured in the EU.

        Plus the US vehicles need to be modified to suit global vehicle standards from US only standards.

        So, unless all the vehicles are re-engineered they are useless.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          BAFO: BS!

          Over half of the vehicles that Peter mentioned are not manufactured in the EU.

          The ‘modifications’ you talk about is either picking a different part from the shelf or merely putting on a different stamp.

          You also neglect to see that the volume of US manufactured vehicles exported to the EU for sure has a chance to be increased dramatically! As you said: many German brand cars are already made in the US, and that can be increased and the amount of them made in the EU can be decreased. Especially since the great business environment in the US favours investment there and everyone knows how problematic the business environment (and costs) can be in EU countries.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Locky,
            Don’t you think the US Big 3 would be exporting the few mentioned now?

            BMW and Mercedes already export from the US to the EU.

            And you are incorrect. Half the vehicles are made in the EU and designed in the EU.

      • 0 avatar
        Ce he sin

        Many of those are already on sale in Germany though, either supplied from the US (Mustang, various Jeeps, X3, X5, Merc GLE) or from elsewhere (Passat and the Fiat equivalent of the Promaster van.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Besides the issue of industrial capacity and industrial diversity, which cannot be understated, the artificial trade deficit that currently plagues the US is a economic existential threat to our nation.

      y = c + i + g + nx

      National Income = consumption + investment + government expenditures + net exports. Net exports in the US equation is a huge negative number (-$500B, -2.5% GDP), and it creates shockwaves through the economy that over time affect consumption and net investment. We compensate for net imports by increasing government spending. Under normal circumstances the federal deficit and trade imbalance would put downward pressure on the dollar. Generally, US exports would rise and US imports would decline, the exception to this rule is if the US is a particularly hot economy with robust secular growth that attracts capital. Then investment rises to compensate for net imports. The trade deficit remains wide, but foreign direct investment rises, and GDP growth continues. This was sort of how the late 90s worked.

      However, the US is not a hot economy with robust secular growth, thus the dollar should trade substantially lower against other currencies as people demand foreign currency and as the US runs deficits. But currency rebalancing hasn’t happened because foreign countries invest trillions of dollars in US treasuries to counteract currency exchange movements. The Chinese and Japanese both hold approximately $1T USD, and the EU cumulatively holds about the same.

      Consider the implications. Hundreds of billions of dollars each year are converted from privately-held middle class wealth to government spending. Dumb. The only thing the government is doing is building the world’s biggest healthcare and pension crisis. Prior to tax reform, trillions of private held foreign profits could not be easily repatriated, and those profits were turned into artificial foreign investment that was basically given to the hedge fund scammers who fueled the subprime mortgage crisis. Dumb.

      The deficit is an existential threat to the US and to the rest of the world. But the world will never desist because their way of life depends on the massive rip off of the American middle class. How will Japan service its massive public debt without ripping off the US? How will China grow without ripping off the US? How will the EU pay pension and healthcare costs for their aging population without ripping of the US?

      Obviously, the only way the rip-off can perpetuate is if foreign countries have allies in the United States. They do. Wall Street benefits from the capital account surplus caused by the trade deficit. It has made many men overnight billionaires, and it has made wealthy plutocrats even more insanely wealthy. It allows them to artificially develop foreign consumer markets so they don’t have to cater to Americans. Very few of these people do not want to trade the guarantee of perpetual capital account surplus for the possibility of secular growth in the US.

      Allowing industry to conspire against its own people is another threat to US national security.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        So, work harder, distribute wealth better with better education and health.

        Then compete.

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          It’s working wonders in Australia.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ BAfO

          Government subsidies and externalizing cost is not the solution to every problem, particularly if the problem has nothing to do with these issues.

          The EU doesn’t maintain a 25% tariff on imported vehicles because other industrialized nations produce inefficiently. Quite the contrary.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Then why does the US need a 25% tax on pickups? Where are the US pickups globally? There is a global pickup boom.

            I hear people such as yourself allude to the fact “they should be like us” in relation to vehicle regulations, etc so the US can export pickups.

            But even US midsizers are not exported. Why?

            1. Wrong design standards.
            2. Reduced capability
            3. Less efficient
            4. Expensive for their quality.

            I really think you need to understand US vehicles need to improve in many areas before you can export them.

            BMW and Mercedes Benz are the 2 largest US vehicle exporters in the US. And Trump is fncking them over. This is not the action of an intelligent opreator.

            The US uses different vehicle standards as well. In 2015 this was equal to $13 billion if converted to a tariff.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Because pickups of the American genre are a unique product that exists primarily in the US (and in Canada to a lesser extent). There is no easier way to acquire US industrial wealth than to move the production of a nation-specific product offshore.

            Chicken tax was created to retaliate against tariffs on American goods. Regardless, it is largely academic as one commenter likes to point out because foreign content is creeping into American vehicles, including trucks, regardless of pre-existing regulations.

            I don’t think the rest of the world should adopt US standards. Our footprint-based standards are terrible. They are damaging the domestic market, and moving US vehicle design contrary to the mass-based standards found elsewhere. Our crash standards aren’t much better.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            If your total regulatory and tariff structure is to support a unique product don’t complain no one buys your stuff.

            Do what the rest of us are doing to encourage the Big 3 to produce exportable product.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ BAfO

            I don’t complain that no one buys pickups. They don’t make sense outside of the US and Canada, and they barely make sense here.

            There are; however, other popular vehicles of US origin, mainly muscle cars, SUVs, offroaders, etc. that are taxed and regulated out of other markets. In the case of China, they force manufacturers to build popular imports in the Chinese market to prevent their terms of trade from deteriorating.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            The US can’t compete with imported cars that are shipped across the oceans, with the added costs to ship them over salt and a 2,5% import tariff.

            What I’m saying regardless of who and how much tariffs there are on US exports the US right now can’t compete.

            US cars are of a quality, design standard and efficiency not suitable in many mature markets.

            No matter what tariffs that are changed US vehicles are not competitive.

            The Chicken Tax proves this. The US is not competitive building pickups and even midsizers.

            Get off your nonsense and be objective and most important honest.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          BAFO, there is a VAT paid _on the import tariff_. There _is_ a VAT on imported products in the EU in addition to the normal VAT on sales price which is equal to domestic market players. And it’s a lot higher than US sales taxes.

          Also: no, only a couple of the cars mentioned in that list are made in the EU, and even out of those some are made in the US with a different business model. Above all the main point is even some cars currently made in the EU for the EU will most likely have their production moved from within the EU to the US. And there is no reason to believe that the opposite would occur, that US vehicle production for the US market would be shifted to the EU. The USA is a better business environment.

          • 0 avatar
            Ce he sin

            There’s VAT on tariffs, yes, but there’s no “VAT on imported products in the EU in addition to the normal VAT on sales price”

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Locky,
            No different than US State taxes.

            Import tariffs are the only taxes that affect unequally.

            Again, don’t confuse how taxation, levies, excises, tariffs, etc work.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          Do you mean REdistribute wealth ? Is that what they do in the land down under ? What is needed is less redistribution and more working to get ahead. We are heading that direction now. WINNING !

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        TW5, what you say is nonsense. Balance of trade is only one type of funds flow, and does not imperil the US.

        Consider this – the US has run a trade deficit every year since 1981, while Japan has run a trade surplus every year since the early 1970s. In 1981, Japan’s per capita GDP was 67.8% of the US level. In 2017, it was down to 64.6% of the US level. So, notwithstanding that Japan’s been consistently in surplus on trade in goods and services while the US has been consistently in deficit, the US economy has grown faster than Japan’s.

        And by the way, government spending in the US, as a percentage of GDP, is significantly lower than in almost all other developed countries.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ ect

          This is a matter of economic science, not a battle of narratives between laypeople.

          I’m glad you’ve finally discovered that Japan’s parasitic mercantilism has hurt their country. It has also hurt the United States.

          In fact, the tandem of Japan and China leeching the economic lifeblood out of this country is one of the primary reasons our national debt has exploded to $20T, rather than the $10T surplus the CBO forecast in the late 90s.

          At times there can be a natural to sustain a trade deficit. As I explained before, this generally happens when capital flows back into the country running a trade deficit. However, robust secular growth is not bringing capital back into the US. There is no growth. The federal deficit has been higher than real GDP growth for years. Capital has been flowing into the US markets for 20 years specifically to alter currency exchange rates and widen the trade deficit.

          Obviously, a huge current account (trade) deficit and massive capital account surplus is the wet dream of people in C-suites and on Wall Street. The number of ordinary people who follow the conventional wisdom of the Pied Piper Plutocracy is absolutely stunning.

          There is nothing organic, secular, natural or economically useful about this trade deficit. It is global redistribution of wealth for the amusement of the gilded capitalist class who don’t think it’s fair or useful that the American middle class should be so well off. They are redistributing our wealth, the cost of which is borne disproportionately by the young and the lower-middle class.

          This is not capitalism.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            LOL, everything you say is alt-right nonsense, nothing to do with economic reality.

            In admittedly oversimplified terms, US businesses and investors receive a huge stream of income from their investments abroad. This is paid in US dollars. To obtain those dollars, foreign countries send goods to the US – hence the trade deficit, but not an overall payments deficit.

            And by the way, “US investors” includes everyone who is a member of a pension plan or owns mutual fund units. Which is a lot of people.

            The national debt has nothing to with trade – it’s the result of Republican administrations (Bush 43 and Trump) delivering a combination of large spending increases and big tax reductions (the latter mostly for the already very wealthy, but that’s another subject).

            President Clinton, who had the great good fortune to preside over an economic boom he did nothing to create, noted in 2000 that the US government was running surpluses that would, if continued, completely pay off the national debt by 2010. His successor, as it turned out, had very different plans.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      You must have missed class the day that we learned that the Imported cars themselves are not the National Security Issue, but the lost manufacturing capacity, and the steel and aluminum industries that are crucial to making weapons and war equipment (ships, tanks, guns, ammo, missiles, armored vehicles, uniforms, etc.) are the national security issue. Think strategically. Whether or not the Germans ever buy Chevies, the playing field must be levelled.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        Missed class? Hardly. But thanks for attempting to be insulting or funny.

        So to actually answer the question I posed (How is this a “National Security” issue), please answer in lieu of Mr. Trump who hasn’t seemed to provide much of any detail.

        How many cars used to be manufactured in the US? How many now?

        How many auto plants in total in the US did there use to be vs how many are there now?

        Are we currently outsourcing production of Ships, tanks, guns, ammo, armored vehicles, and uniforms? Last time I checked we were giving assault vehicles to the local PD, shouldn’t we be storing them instead for when we need them for the invasion?

        So what capability is lost? ALL of the import factories will be nationalized in time of need if push comes to shove to build more of whatever is needed etc…

        When did Canada and their Steel for example become an enemy? When the war comes won’t we just cross the border and take what we believe to be ours anyway?

        Look in your own closet. Are all your clothes American? They exist, you just have to make the choice. You’re possibly wearing Chinese shoes currently, IDK.

        Maybe we should stop buying gasoline made with oil that comes from our “friends” overseas. That might do more for the deficit than anything else. It seems to be to be a greater danger to keep making vehicles that guzzle gas at an alarming rate than smaller ones that don’t so that we don’t run out of oil when the war comes…

        The biggest buy-American proponent I know, Jack Baruth, practically Captain America himself, who consistently talks about buying everything he can American made, went out and bought the ONE American branded half-ton pickup truck variant that is made in Mexico instead of the US in the most expensive trim with the largest engine. The f’n imports are building their full size trucks here and built new plants to do so in.

        National Security, my foot. Add these tariffs to the existing prices matched to the current low wages and then a couple of years later we’ll learn all about lost manufacturing capability when people stop buying new cars altogether and plants start shutting down again and get leveled for more condos (or prisons).

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          How did we win World War II ? Manufacturing. Bombers, fighters, tanks, rifles, machine guns, ships, ammunition, bombs (including three atomic ones- one tested July 15th, and two dropped on Japan on August 6th and 9th, 1945) bomb sights, radios, uniforms, parachutes, helmets, submarines, jeeps, trucks, tires, airplanes, and many other items.
          And by getting behind our men in uniform, including my Father, and our President.
          We have lost over 50,000 factories. Three where I worked.
          By the way, if I choose to insult you, you will KNOW IT.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @scarey: and what would lead you to believe that any war that threatened North America would be an extended, non-nuclear war?
            Any major modern war, between major powers would be ‘come as you are’ with only the equipment that is readily available.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            You already mentioned all that stuff in your first answer.

            Have we stopped producing a single one of those items in the USA since WWII? In fact we seem to sell such items to whoever wants to buy them. Mr. Trump apparently has some of his people going to the Farnborough air show in two weeks to attempt to sell war planes to other countries so they can presumably use them against us should they turn on us.

            How that makes sense I don’t know but apparently we have tons of excess production capacity to fill…

            We’ve been in several wars, excuse me, “conflicts” since WWII. I’m sure at this very minute there is someone somewhere in America working on producing more of each of the items on your list.

            Getting BMW to assemble a 3-series in the USA instead of Germany isn’t going to make one whit of difference to any of that. So I’m still waiting on a good answer as to how imported vehicles constitute a “National Security” threat.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            scarey, our President was a draft dodger – he never wore a uniform, thanks to a wealthy father who bought a doctor’s letter about a non-existent condition.

            And, as I, Arthur Dailey and WalterRohrl have already noted, there won’t be ample time to build/convert industrial capacity. Each side will fight with what it has on hand, and the result will be extremely bloody for all involved.

            As I have already pointed out, industrial output in the US has doubled since NAFTA was signed, while direct manufacturing employment has declined by 1/3. Technology is killing unskilled/low-skilled manufacturing jobs, not trade deals.

          • 0 avatar
            pdog_phatpat

            @ECT Well, since some are ignoring the Housekeeping post that is now on another page….At least he wasnt a CITIZEN dodger. ;)

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Scarey,
            The ALLIES won. Not America.

            America, Auustralia had marginal losses compared to many Allies.

            WE (US, Australia, Canada, NZ) won financially. All that reconstruction wasn’t free. We gave sweet fnck all away and profited for decades. Now many have caught up and we need to compete. We had it easy for decades since the war.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ Walter

          I provided ample explanation. Read it and stop trolling.

  • avatar
    vvk

    Given the anti-American reactions all around the world, the notion that any non-national automaker would support US military needs in an event of an armed conflict is supremely laughable. The only automakets we can truly rely on are GM, Ford, Chrysler and Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      All this talk would quickly evaporate should the Russians ever decide to move Westward. If the Red Army is in the Fulda Gap, Merkel would be buddy buddy with whomever is in the White-house be it Trump, Hillary, Or the AntiChrist. The US is a difficult country to invade for anyone…The 2 Oceans are still formidable obstacles and going nuclear still pretty much ensures all the nasty things it would have back in the 80’s. Western Europe? well its much easier with no ocean in the way.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “should the Russians ever decide to move Westward”

        In the last 20 years it’s mostly been NATO moving Eastward (with Russia finally pushing back in Georgia and now Ukraine).

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ gtem

          I’m not sure if I would refer to the Clinton state department as NATO. Regardless, something of American origin has definitely been encroaching on Russia’s western border.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            “I’m not sure if I would refer to the Clinton state department as NATO. Regardless, something of American origin has definitely been encroaching on Russia’s western border.”

            Actually not at all. Not the Russian border. Russia’s neighbouring countries’ borders. Which are independent, sovereign countries and not the property of Russia even though Russia seems to have the misconception that they are Russia’s property: they’ve been plundering their neighbours, (stealing everything they can from Ukraine for example) and meddling in their politics incredibly egregiously.

            Independent nations can join the EU or NATO if they wish, even if they are Russia’s neighbour. Actually evidence clearly proves that _especially_ Russia’s neighbours need the protection of NATO – from Russia’s crimes which include ethnic cleansing, gross human rights violations, plundering…

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Lockstops

            I’m sure Russia’s neighbors do need protection, but the US State Dept was there looting the place. Many of the people involved are now household names.

            We have no way of knowing precisely what happened, but it looks like Putin invaded Crimea as a double cross or as an act of aggression against the state dept. The result was Russian sanctions, and international military conflagrations that threatened to push the US to war.

            Maybe we will learn what happened there some day.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            the Clinton (HRC) State department was more akin to a $$laundering department than anything else…

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          gtem, it’s worth remembering that NATO did not move eastward, it was pulled. When the Soviet Union and communist governments in Eastern Europe collapsed, and the Russian troops occupying eastern Europe went home, every former member of the Warsaw Pact, plus the Baltic States, clamored to be allowed into NATO.

          There was, in fact, considerable debate in NATO about admitting these new countries, and the eventual decision to do so was not universally supported.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Remember Ukraine desired NATO membership. It was not granted to appease Russia. In retrospect…

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I have spent considerable time in the former Eastern Bloc to include Poland, Romania, and Lithuania. A Lithuanian woman literally spit at the mention of Putin. Additionally I saw an old man sitting on a bed at the former KGB Prison in Vilnius sobbing. Also literally had the President of Romania shake my team’s hand and thank us for being there while making an impassioned speech about why they would never sleep on Russia (Was there on NATO business). These people have a fear and hatred for Russia that I don’t believe we in America can grasp even if you went back to the generation of the American Revolution. There is no love, at least that I could find, for “Mother Russia” in that part of the world. It is a vastly different mindset than you find in Western Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Imagine Mexico joining at mutual defense treaty with China and then having the PLA conduct mass tank drills within 100 miles of the Texas border. You think the US might react… strongly?

            The Monroe Doctrine is de-facto in effect, aside from Venezuela and Cuba. The other great powers know not to go stomping in our (America’s) backyard and stay an ocean away on either side of us. Russia has no such natural defense barrier, quite the opposite it has open steppe that is easily traversable. Russia’s solution is defense in depth, ie maximum land mass to retreat through. This unfortunately comes at the expense of her eastern European neighbors (they want friendly/aligned governments next to it, just like the US does). When said neighbors decide to bolster up against Russia by way of cozying up to the US and hosting US troops there, Russia reacts.

            Before the Soviet Union dominated Poland and the Baltics, the Poles had been in Moscow (way back in Tsarist times). That feud is ages old and can’t just be laid at the feet of mean old Putin. Russia is not the Soviet Union, they have no territorial aspirations in Europe but they do want geopolitical stability. Their much bigger worry is China, this goes back to when Mao took over and got fiesty after the Soviets denounced Stalinism. China has stripped the land on their side of the border bare, the Russian side is basically untouched natural resources (timber, gold, gas/oil, and the largest fresh body of water on Earth Lake Baikal). My father is from the Siberian Far East and remembers the columns of tanks brought up to the border on train cars when the Chinese would get sh*tty on the border. No-one there gave a hoot about any sort of threat from America.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            On the topic of Ukraine: it had not one but TWO “color” revolutions sponsored by the US State Department, Victoria Nuland made absolutely no bones about in a public speech talking about the $20 billion the State Dept. had poured in to “support democracy” in that country, in addition to the leaked phone call where they were hand-picking the post-Maidan Ukrainian leadership (“Yats” and co). Not saying there wasn’t mass dissatisfaction with the massively corrupt leadership of Ukraine under Yanukovich, but it always had been corrupt and continues to be incredibly corrupt and mafia-like with the new bosses. The goal was always to hook Ukraine on an IMF loan and bring in NATO. The very first move the new Western-Ukrainian govt made (of all things) was to inflame the Russian speaking Eastern/Southern part of their country by forcing the single official language to become Ukrainian and renaming cities and having Ukrainian nationalists toppling Lenins (the comparison to Confederate statue toppling in the US is quite apt). Russia picked up on the resentment of many Russian speaking Ukrainians in the coal mining and industrial regions (“while we worked, they protested in Kiev”) and poured in weapons and advisors and we now have a fratricidal civil conflict there. And Crimea of course, which was in a tenuous position for Russia since the Soviet collapse. As long as a Russia-friendly govt was in power things were okay with a lease on the territory for their naval base, but with the second State-Dept coup underway, they made their move. As long as Ukraine maintains a territorial claim to Crimea and has a simmering conflict in the East, they will not be able to join NATO (members cannot join with preexisting border conflicts).

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @GTEM, the situation is not quite the same. Mexico has no reason to fear an invasion from the US. We can’t even agree on how to patrol the border and enforce it. There isn’t 50 years of recent history of the United States brutally enslaving the Mexican people and forcibly occupying their nation. We arent moving tanks into Tijuana and Juarez to “protect the English speaking population”. The Soviet Union brutalized these countries. Putin was a member of the apparatus that did it. It is natural that they would gravitate towards the enemies of that nation. The forces that the US has in the region would be little more than a speedbump should the Russians advance. They know this. Those nations simply want to make sure that the West wouldn’t simply give them over to Russia like Poland to Hitler should Putin decide he wants to return.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            I agree it’s not the same as far as background or pretexts. But again, for the sake of a mental exercise, imagine a major power’s armor within 100 miles of our borders conducting drills, on the territory of a country they have a mutual defense treaty with. Might make us pretty jumpy, no? Remember the whole Cuban missile crisis? That was a Soviet response to us putting missiles in Turkey that could reach Moscow. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed there.

            We’ve gotten our hands plenty dirty in Central and South America making sure things went our way as far as election results, or coups when they didn’t. The tiny nation of Cuba was the only one truly ballsy and strong enough to resist (with the Soviets’ backing, of course).

            I don’t know if it’s my fairly unique combination of Russian background and growing up in the US, but I find it interesting when American colleagues dig their heels in and under no circumstances are willing to “put the shoe on the other foot” or admit to any nasty business that the US partakes in on the global stage in the name of geopolitics. It’s not always America = moral and righteous and good. We’re just better than most others at putting a bow on our machinations.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I don’t disagree GTEM with respect to your assertion that we in the US don’t always have the moral high ground. We have made plenty of mistakes. But in this case we do. The Baltic and former Eastern Bloc nation’s have every right and reason to move away from Russia and towards the West. Furthermore Russia routinely puts on exercises on those nation’s borders and frankly, within them sometimes. Aside from granting NATO membership to soverign nation’s that requested it, there had been no exercises in the Baltics until long after Georgia, Crimea, and the Ukraine. If Russia wants all these nation to not fear the bear, all she needed to do is respect their borders and soverignty. They didn’t now nation’s like Lithuania are scared.

            I had an exercise in Kaunus before I retired. The requested we wear our uniforms around town to reassure the populace we were there and not abandoning them. I haven’t been asked or even allowed to be in uniform in a foreign city since 9-11. Those peoe are scared. If Russia doesn’t like it they should quit scaring them. And if you look at Lithuiania over the last century you’d be worried too.

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          The Russians decided decades ago to move Westward. They just suffered a setback and had to temporarily withdraw, when trying to keep up with Reagan’s military buildup bankrupted their commie a$$e$. Just like Trump is doing to the democrats right now. WINNING !

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            As military historians state, geography never changes. And Russians have a long memory. Their psyche requires a glacis between their homeland and any potential invaders.

            We in North America (except the Indigenous population) have no memory of being invaded. Or of scorched earth. Or ethnic genocide.

            They also desire unfettered access to a warm water seaport.

            The USA and NATO did double cross Russia (Yeltsin) by admitting former Eastern Bloc nations. One reason why Yeltsin was ousted.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Succinctly and well stated Arthur. It doesn’t excuse the treatment of the Baltics/Poland/Hungary/etc by the Soviets and I understand those countries’ motivations to partner up with a big kid on the playground now (US), but we need to go back farther in history (Mongol horde, Poland/Lithuania, Sweden, Napoleon, Hitler) to appreciate Russian apprehension and reaction to funny business near their borders. The US has never had 25 million people wiped out in a do-or die military struggle on their home turf. On my dad’s side of the family quite literally not a single man came back to his great grandfather’s village in the far east from the war. They were called up in the initial draft in June/July 1941 and were part of the famous Siberian divisions defending Moscow in November/December before the big Soviet counter-attack (great grandpa is MIA). Besides our Moscow defender we have vets in the family that fought near Kharkov (POW, lived), Leningrad (Hero of Soviet Union, lived), and Konigsberg (wounded, lived). My dad’s father figure growing up after his own father passed early on (non war related, hunting accident) was a one-legged WW2 vet. There’s a very good reason why May 9th is like Christmas and New Years and Independence and Memorial Day rolled up into one over there.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Arthur Dailey, NATO did NOT double-cross Russia. When the Soviet Union and its satellite governments in Eastern Europe implode, every single former member of the Warsaw Pact, plus the Baltic States, clamored to be admitted into NATO. The mantra at the time was “we’re finally rid of the Russians, and we need to ensure that they can NEVER come back”. At the time, NATO agonized over the question of expansion, but finally acquiesced to a powerful combination of pressure from the East and public opinion in the West.

            About a decade ago, I attended a briefing at NATO headquarters in Brussels by a Czech official. He offered that, when he did his compulsory military service in the 80’s, the regiment he was assigned to trained to a plan that in the event of hostilities with NATO they were to be in Lyons, France in 9 days. There was no pretence about defence, only offence. And as we know from Soviet archives, that offence include early and extensive first use of NBW weapons.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “NATO did NOT double-cross Russia”

            ect Arthur is referring to the verbal agreement between Gorbachev and Bush Sr where the Soviet Union would peacefully disband the Warsaw Pact and withdraw all of the Soviet garrisons, and in return NATO would not absorb these nations, bringing NATO to Russia’s door step. Again, I fully understand those Eastern European neighbors wanting NATO, but that’s not what’s being discussed. I’d point to Finland as playing it particularly smart. They gave the SU a bloody nose/Pyrrhic victory in 1940, but then at the end WW2 were able to maintain neutrality and never did become a NATO member, although they are a “partner.”

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            GTEM those nation’s need only look to the West’s deference over Poland at the start of WWII to see why formal membership in the alliance is really the only option.

            Secondly, as a practical matter NATO now needs those nations in the alliance if they want to continue to be a counter Ballance to Russia. Why? Turkey. Turkey is by far the second largest Army in NATO and I would argue that Russia has made such political inroads there that they couldn’t be counted on if it he crap hit the fan with Russia.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Art you make very strong points and I can’t disagree with the Baltic’s’ etc perspective. My one ask is to consider the Russian historical perspective as well (while certainly not ignoring Soviet atrocities and repression). I’ve really enjoyed the reasoned and engaging discussion and debate.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      As if ‘anti-American’ cheap talk was something new. It’s just been on hiatus for a bit. I can’t say that it’s a small minority but it’s not everyone, that’s for sure!

      They like to run their mouths when they don’t have to stand by any of it. Or face up to actually paying for stuff that the US is now paying for on their behalf. But hey, that’s the way socialists roll.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @ect: Respectfully I submit this posting by noted columnist Eric Margolis, in regards to American/Nato promises to the former Russian/SU leaders.

        https://ericmargolis.com/2017/12/sorry-chump-you-didnt-have-it-in-writing/

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Claiming “national security risks” is the only way the current occupant of the WhiteHouse or any other occupant can unilaterally apply tariffs.

      “The only automakets we can truly rely on are GM, Ford, Chrysler and Tesla.”

      That is laughable because in the event of a large scale war, any manufacturing plant sitting on USA soil could be “conscripted” for military use.

      “anti-American reactions” isn’t so much “anti-American” but anti-tariff or anti-T-rump. Many “foreign” politicians/diplomats feel that they need to wait out the current administration.

      T-rump’s entire trade posture is “win win” for him because any concessions obtained on trade will be seen as a victory by his followers. Any failure will play to that same base since it will be blamed upon foreigners, deep state and liberals.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Hint: Trump is negotiating.

    And from what I have read much of Canadian and Mexican “production” is really just assembling parts from other nations like China – they use NAFTA to get what are really other nations’ goods into the US via Canada and Mexico.

    Anyone who had been watching has seen that the end plan for many manufacturers was to import vehicles from China. That is now proving abortive.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Agreed…Not a whole lot different than “Building” small trucks in the US by shipping the Bed and the Chassis separate and putting the 4 bolts in to attach the bed in California and calling it “US Made” like back in the day.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      thornmark, what you say is not true (much as the alt-right wants it to be true). Every shipment into the US from Canada or Mexico (and vice versa) has to be accompanied by a NAFTA Certificate certifying the NAFTA content of the goods. No NAFTA Certificate, or too low a % of NAFTA content, means the goods cannot enter duty-free.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    “For example, it estimated the Kentucky-built Camry sedan’s MSRP would increase by about $1,800.”

    What?! What about the Camry being more American than Chevys or Fords? SUPPORT AMERICA, BUY A TOYOTA (where the parts are imported and the profits are exported).

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That figure seems high to me ($1,800) and feels like fear mongering on Toyota’s part.

      But +$1800? So all they’re saying is no discounts during “Toyotathon”?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Even if one takes this worst case scenario at face value, what does it really mean? You have to skip the leather and maybe the Nav? And honestly if you really want to put this into perspective for US Car buyers, well how much does this add to the monthly payment on the 36 month lease or the 84 month finance. Like 30 bucks a month maybe? And you and I both know, given the source, this number is likely inflated.

      Heck the left has been telling everyone they need to buy smaller cars for decades and has no issue making gas more costly to accomplish this. They should be on board with this theoretically if it makes cars cost more. “Oh no, I cant afford the Camrry…guess I’ll get the Carolla”. Isn’t this what they’ve been trying to do for years anyway?

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Adjusted for inflation, didn’t we used to pay far more than an additional $1,800 for a Camry before Bill Clinton offshored all of our manufacturing jobs in exchange for personal wealth? It didn’t matter though, because middle class median wages were so much higher; probably purely a coincidence.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @ToddAtlasF1: remarkably American median wage rates adjusted to inflation and representing ‘spending power’ peaked when unionization rates were at their peak.

          As union density decreased so did the earning power of Americans. Coincidental?

    • 0 avatar
      WalterRohrl

      I would rather that American Workers benefit from assembling a Camry in the US than American Executives benefit from building a Buick Envision in China.

      You are the one shopping Civic Si (Made in Canada, HQ in Japan) and Toyota 86 (Made in Japan, HQ in Japan) instead of Focus ST. I’m actually amazed you’d ever consider a Toyota though.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        But what can one buy built in the US in that segment. My Fiesta ST is Mexican Assembled with the powertrain coming from the UK. Is there a small sporty car built in the US? I’d love to buy one, but I didn’t want a pony car. The Cruze is built in the US, but no “hot” variant. Toyota is setting up shop in Huntsville to build the Carolla, but again, not exactly a hot subcompact. I try to buy American, but I’m not going to bring home an Escape when I want a hot hatch because ‘Murica!

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          And the Focus ST is Hecho in Mexico too I believe, so why should it get special consideration?

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Never mind…I just pulled up a sticker and saw the ST was assembled in Michigan. My mistake. I did drive one though and it wasn’t what I was after.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            “I did drive one and it wasn’t what I was after”

            Well, good on you for at least giving it a shot. But that’s the thing, not every automaker is going to build every car or version thereof in the US, if nothing else that would raise prices in and of itself as the economies of scale would not make any sense. More likely what would happen is that many cars or versions thereof would just not be offered anymore (or even less than the current case) and the populace can either drive an F150 or suck it. Ergo, people buy less cars and the manufacturers need less people to assemble and produce them and then there are less people that can afford to buy them and so on which is what the post is about.

            At least you don’t go around telling everyone that Ford is the greatest automaker in the world but then shop everything else without even looking at the Ford(s) in the category (small, sporty-ish cars). You are looking for and buying the best you can for your money. I’m assuming you looked at US built, US owned first and then cast your net further.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @walterRohl I actually preferred the Focus ST to the WRX and the GTI. Trouble is the Fiesta was more fun than all of them and as I was keeping my F150 the small size was no issue. Guess I’m an anomaly in that I love both the F150 and the Fiesta ST. I am saddened Ford is abandoning this market… Cars like the SHO, The Contour and Focus SVT are some of my fondest automotive memories. I’m just not a Mustang guy, as good as it is. If the Fusion Sport had a manual and some SVT love thrown at the Suspension it would be internet legend for 20 years.

            Anyway, yeah had I been shopping in that segment it would have come down to the Civic SI or the Focus ST unless I wanted to jump to the RS vs Type R. The problem with the Civic is that I’d have to look at it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      John,
      A US nail and screw manufacturer in the US just closed shop and 500 lost their jobs because of the tight margins in manufacturing.

      The US will lose the very manufacturing Trump claims the US needs.

      It is far easier to set up a steel mill in the event of war than have to educate/train a big piece of manufacturing, then rebuild or import all the machines. There should be plenty of empty factories.

      The loss to US manufacturing from steel and aluminium tariffs has a far net negative effect on US security than no tariffs.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      To be fair John even now dropping below 70% domestic content, the Camry is still thoroughly more American made than the Hermosillo Fusion, that much you can’t deny.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Once again: we’ll see how this works out.

    My money’s on there being some slight bump in domestic production, accompanied by claims of “biggest economic boon EVAAARRRRRR.”

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Winning or is this just trump whining? This current president has found a way to slow sales and products for many industries.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Industrial propaganda designed to convince the average American that the trade deficit for goods, including automobiles, in not actually in crisis, and political expedience demands that we ignore the problem. They also claim that attempting to address the crisis using the same tools as every other nation will cause a crisis for the United States.

    Clearly, it’s better to remain in crisis than to risk trying to address the crisis, claim the corporate beggars who hit up the American taxpayer for tens of billions in unpaid or below-market loans.

    I will gladly pay $1,800 to close the trade deficit. It would probably be the first marginal benefit I’ve ever received for a rise in average transaction price. And if it doesn’t work, and we merely force the rest of the world to burn with us, well, that’s not a bad minimax at all. Of course, the rest of the world could always liberalize, and then we wouldn’t be playing a zero-sum-game, but I’m not certain they have the intellectual temerity to pull it off.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I feel the same about gas. I would pay more if it meant we were energy independent and the next time the crap hit the fan in the Middle East I got to read in the newspaper about Elements of the People’s Liberation Army deploying to support stability operations in rather than Elements of the 82d and 101st Airbone deploying again to the region.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Interesting take.

        As I have been browsing the interwebs I’ve seen two takes on how these tariffs could be considered successful:

        1. Automakers pay them (and by extension the consumer) and this tax money flows in to the government coffers making up for some of the tax money lost in the tax cut.

        2. The threat drags everyone to the negotiation table and we end up living on a “flat earth” (existing trading partners with tariffs dismantle them.)

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          So in your point 1 then everyone that has been “winning” with the tax cuts will then be losing with car prices so the net effect will at best be nil overall but those at the top will “WIN YUGE” since they still only need one car per person or whatever and pay a little more for it but they take home the biggest tax cuts far in excess of the little people.

          Trickle-up, in other words.

          2. Do you think the goal posts will be moved again if Europe for one says OK no car tariffs whatsoever now dismantle your 2.5/25% tariffs?

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Walter

            The trade deficit is trickle up. Closing the deficit is trickle down, assuming the net decline is more than the net incidence of tax on the lower middle class.

            Mind, the middle class are not the backbone of new car buyers, and they tend to limit transaction price more strictly. They will probably not pay a disproportionate incidence of the tax.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Walter,
            If people end up paying for vehicle tariffs, Trump has sucessfully transferred the tax burden from business and the rich to the worker. The vey people he cares so much about.

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            @TW5 – How is the middle class not the backbone of vehicle purchasers almost by default?

            The poors can’t afford new cars.

            The 1% by definition are going to, if we are generous, buy maybe 2% of the cars. OK, let’s assume the richies’ cars cost 10x those of the middle class, they still are only spending 20% of the total and thus 20% of the tariff costs.

            So that leaves 80%. Let’s say the next 9% from the top buys 30% worth of total tariffs.

            That leaves 50% of the total tariff burden on the middle class, or at least that part of it that buys new.

            It’s totally on them. And that proportion of the price is a much greater burden on them than those above them on the income scale who by definition have more disposable income.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Walter,
            Your comment will be put forward by the EU to the US.

            The EU from what I can understand has been working in the background with all the vehicle manufacturing nations to arrive at your suggestion of a level playing field. I do think there is an accord reached between them.

            If the Chicken Tax goes the Big 3 are going to lose out to more competitive pickups coming to the US.

            Trump has already signalled that the agreement is not in the best interest of the US. This then leads me to believe Trump is not sincere about tariffs.

            I hope the EU/Japan/Korea proposal is delivered, because when Trump knocks it back you will see plenty of fireworks regarding yje true intentions of the US. This needs to be exposed.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ Principal Dan

          The other possible outcomes:

          3. The auto manufacturers actually move final assembly and component production to the NAFTA zone, since we can’t seem to renegotiate this outcome with Canada.

          4. Canada helps the US renegotiate NAFTA and the NAFTA rules effectively accomplish the objective without tariffs (I think everyone has given up on this one though).

          #3 has a sting in the tail because it opens the door for manufacturers to beg for more federal, state, and local taxpayer funds. I suppose this isn’t the worst outcome, though. Sometimes you have to pay for what you need.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @TW5 – but what to do in the interim?

            How fast can one actually open a factory?

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Principal Dan

            It will probably be something similar to my previous post. Mfgs will beg for tax abatements and below market financing from the DOE. Memorandums will be signed to move suppliers and final assembly to the US. The tariffs will still hit, but the losses to the auto industry will be mitigated by below market financing and other abatements.

            This could be a miscalculation on my part, though. Raising manufacturing capacity globally could be the last thing the auto industry’s mind. They could simply rearrange their supply chains and drop foreign-built models, e.g. Jeep Renegade.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I haven’t seen anybody state “current US vehicle manufacturing capacity” compared to “current US vehicle demand.”

            That would be an interesting contrast. How much more factory space would actually be needed?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ Art

        Energy independence would be great, but there are some extenuating circumstances.

        A great deal of America’s political capital with nations like Saudi Arabia, Canada, Venezuela, etc is predicated on oil trade. If we stop buying from them, the strength of our ties will actually be somewhat diminished.

        Also, the only way we could remain insulated in a global oil shortage would be to maintain a ban on oil exports. Banning exports actually reduces the price of oil in the US market, which undermines exploration and production. This was part of the reason oil production dropped considerably during the 80s, 90s, and 00s.

        If we can get to the point where we produce as much as we use, that will be a good outcome, but I’m not sure we can pay a slightly higher price to insulate ourselves from the reality of global oil production and demand.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Our relationship with the Saudis and the rest of the UAE (who use wahhabi extremism/jihad in foreign countries as a vent valve to preserve power in their own fiefdoms) is predicated entirely on them trading their oil in US dollars and thus propping up the value of our currency. That’s my take on it anyways. People like bin Laden hated us for having a military base on their holy land even more than they hated us for our support of Israel. If we had not helped the Saudis confront Saddam in the Gulf War, there’s a reasonable chance they would have been forced into an uneasy alliance cooperation with Israel for mutual assistance and the Middle East might look very different (in a good way) today.

        • 0 avatar
          Jagboi

          @TW5
          What oil export ban? China buys 300,000 barrels a day from the US right now.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “I will gladly pay $1,800 to close the trade deficit.”

      But will the other 325.7 million Americans be willing to pay it?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        About 250 million of those don’t have $1,800 in cash.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @LOU, not to be a prick, but well, yeah I guess I’m a prick in that I’ve really quit giving a darn about that. The looting that happens to me every April 15th has really made me not care. I write that big check, get angry, and then cease to care while people spend the next 365 days carping about how somehow the fruits of my 40’s are based on something other than my working my kiester off for 20 years and complaining I should pay more. So I quit caring. You cant swing that 1800 for a Camry???Go see Steve Lang. He will get you into something at a nice weekly rate. Not my problem. Flame on, but remember, it is people like me funding all this nonsense.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @Art: Then do you prefer a) increasing taxes on corporations, b) increasing taxes on the ‘very rich’, c) decreasing money spent on weapons and munitions, d) not investing in national infrastructure, e) decreasing the money spent on corrections/prisons/policing, or f) decreasing the money spent on medicare, education, social benefits, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Arthur. First off, I would prefer the elimination of so called “credits” like the Earned Income Credit that allow societal leeches to get back more than they paid and simply takes my money and gives it to someone who didn’t earn it. How much would be saved if tax credits simply became a zero sum game where credits could only take you to a zero tax burdon…not beyond it.

            With respect to education, I taught. Trust me plenty of room to make cuts. I think back on the number of administrators my elementary school had versus the one I taught in that had 1/3 the number of students. Yeah, I have no issue cutting a chunk of those high paying jobs and returning them to the classroom.

            Also, as a military retiree, yeah plenty of waste to cut there too. I’m good with that.

            The thing is, when you aren’t paying anything towards any of that waste, as is the case with roughly half the country you tend to not notice it. So yeah, cut em all.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Another anti-Trump hit piece. Good grief. The fact that automakers and the Industrial Media Complex are complaining tells me that President Trump is doing the right thing. Anyone who thinks another $1,800 is going to stop anyone from buying a car is mistaken. The gravy train is coming to a halt, if foreign companies think they can do without the U.S. market, fine. Let’s see who blinks first.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      That’s $1800 on a relatively inexpensive car that’s already made in the US. And the last time I checked, Ford and GM weren’t foreign companies, nor do they have anything to “blink” about.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Buy pre-owned if you can’t afford it, or hold off on the Yosemite Sam mud flaps. It’s time to address the trade deficit.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          I thought this is all about national security? Just ask Trump.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          I think that’s the whole point though. The trade deficit isn’t going to be addressed if people don’t actually spend money. $1800 extra for a Camry probably means at least $4-5K for an F-150 Lariat. Yeah, that’ll help Truck Month be a success.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            So buy an XLT and live with 17 inch rims instead of 22’s and waaa….no sunroof on your truck.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        Toyota was bragging how the Camry was “super duper American content” a few years back. Today it’s down to the low 60s I think. But that won’t stop the bros driving Mexican made Tacomas from flying a ginormous American flag in the bed.

        • 0 avatar
          WalterRohrl

          Tacomas? They seem to make many of them in Texas. Try Crew Cab Silverados and Sierras instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            But the Tacomas are not exportable in quantity.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            @WalterRohrl

            google “Tacoma Baja Assembly”

          • 0 avatar
            WalterRohrl

            TwoBeluga – Oh, I know they have assembly in Baja as well. Google Production Qty of CrewCab Sierra and Silverado vs Qty of Baja Tacoma…

            What is it, about 100K Tacomas in Baja and another 100K in Texas?

            How many CrewCab Silverado and Sierras are produced in Mexico? Way more than than the total Tacoma volume I would wager.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Or just buy an F series

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      @ Sub-600:

      Correctamundo.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      @ Sub-600

      The piece is relatively balanced, but the point and counterpoint doesn’t start until the bottom. The top is a recitation of industry talking points, which is more or less necessary, if you’re going to feature any counterarguments.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      $1800 cash on the hood really does sell cars don’t you think? or the dealers wouldn’t do it all the time.

      Seriously, there are so many cars that are not profitable and got cancelled these days (sedans), imagine how much another $1800 tariff can do?

      Spare me the trade deficit. If you really want it gone you’ll want to reduce oil imports. But no, oil is cheap and oil is productivity, so we’ll keep driving 25mpg V6 instead of 40mpg 4 cylinder or 55mpg hybrid or EVs.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        But it has been predicted that the US will be a net exporter of crude in the coming years (2022 or so IIRC). The rising price of oil is likely to accelerate that. We are like 85 percent self reliant now with respect to energy. We have been a net exporter of refined petroleum for several years now. It isn’t 1979 anymore…we as a nation have made huge strides. Electrification of the nations vehicle fleet will likely increase that though it really isn’t needed at this point with respect to energy usage though there are certainly other factors that make it desirable in the long run.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    It’s a very, very big tax on cars. Carmakers? They don’t like it. Huge amounts of uncertainty has been introduced now for all forms of car investment and production.

    The US is just comparatively better at producing PhDs, Microsoft Office, and Iphones than producing cars. Therefore, in the absence of trade barriers, expect less domestic car production, not more.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Robbie,
      You’re quite correct.

      The US is only competitive at advanced manufacturing and tech. Its a high wage country that isn’t competitive against its peers in vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Robbie

        And this is in part why we are great… Seeing the giant Caterpillar agricultural machine from the taxi as soon as you leave the airport after a 14 hour flight on your Boeing plane, 10,000 or so miles from home; realizing that all major hotels are American, and that everyone is using Apple Iphones, and that everyone aspires to a PhD from a US university. That hospital you drive past on the other side of the world? It is filled with American inventions, and American products.

        And no, America’s greatness does not flow from our ability to put together technologically trivial pickup trucks with the aid of a 25% tariff and some unschooled manual labor.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Australia is in a similar position as the US, but we were spared Trump’s Tariff Tantrums.

          So are we not a security issue for the US or is it because we import 5 times what the US imports from us? But you don’t hear us whine about the poorer pay and work conditions of the US worker. Blaming the US and applying tariffs on US product.

          Those nasty low paid Americans!

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            @Al you are not a security reason to the US for the same reasons most countries are not a security risk to the US…should you become one we have the ability to reduce your nation to a cinder…hence you dont become a risk.

            To quote Morgan Freeman from Deep Impact with respect to the trade stuff…”It may seem like we have each other bent over the same barrel, but it only seems that way.”

            You may not like that, and it may not be like that one day, but that is the Nature of the World Order. You are Russia, China, or the US or you are a country that alies with one of them…and no chicken tax or midsized truck is going to change that. Happy 4th of July.

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            “Trump’s Tariff Tantrums” seems to be trolling…

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Art,
            I realise that Australia is not a threat to the US. My statement is to reflect on Trump’s actions towards the Canadians, Mexicans, EU, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Remarkably both sides of this argument have some valid points.

            Economists generally work on the premise that 3% (approx) of the ‘working age’ population are unemployable.

            An unemployment rate of less than 4% is considered to be ‘full employment’. That is because at any one time 4% are changing/between jobs, transitioning, etc.

            Traditional blue collar jobs are or have largely been replaced by technology. Manufacturing, mining, etc.

            In the lifetime of many of the B&B, other jobs such as truck/public transit/cab drivers will also probably be replaced by technology. Also most cashier jobs in retail.

            And there will be many other jobs/professions eliminated by technology during or lifetimes. Perhaps even the oldest profession?

            That is why having an educated population is so important. The higher the worker’s education level, the quicker they can learn new tasks/skills and the more adaptable they are.

            Unfortunately for North America, American educational standards are falling behind. The number of engineers that China and India graduate each year is staggering. And accordingly, the number of patents they register or the technical improvements they realize are increasing.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            American educational standards are falling because quotas have taken the place of achievement. Universities are becoming assisted living communities for children who require remedial classes at an alarming rate.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I’m supposed to believe fewer jobs? I know markets technology etc change but all this non tariff stuff sure has already resulted in massive job losses.

    Hard to believeit’s gonna get worse. Once Mexico was opened up it was all over.

    Maybe they mean fewer jobs in Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jerome,
      The US is at full employment. Where are these people coming from?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ BAfO

        Full employment ignores labor force participation which is still at historically low levels, particularly among the young, who don’t have access to decent-paying semiskilled or unskilled employment. This demographic chooses to borrow money (school loans) to live, which is double trouble for the US economy.

        We still need to create another 10M-20M jobs at the bottom end of the spectrum to get lower-middle class wages out of the doldrums. Then we can talk about offshoring jobs or liberalizing immigration quotas.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Um, TW5,
          What a load of nonsense. Where do you pluck this from?

          The US is at what is termed full employment.

          The only way the US can improve productivity is with robotics.

          The Japanese and Germans are the largest producers of this equipment. If Trump keeps up his nonsense the likelyhood of this equipment coming to the US might incur an export tariff. The Chinese now are starting to become quite involved in the manufacture of industrial robotics.

          Its great you release all this nonsense, but most of what you put forward is spin, half truths with omissions.

          Get real. I do believe TTAC should demand what organisation you are aligned (funded) to.

          I’m sorry for you. Its sad.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ BAfO

            I appreciate that you want to participate in this discussion, but you’re tossing around statistics and labels you don’t understand.

            Labor force participation was 67% of the population during peak Baby Boomer (1997-98ish). It was still around 66% when Obama took office in Jan 2009. During his presidency the labor force participation rate dropped to 63% and it has never recovered. That’s about 10M people not working.

            Labor force participation rates for the elderly have actually skyrocketed during the last 2 decades, which means about 10M-15M Americans are simply choosing not to enter the workforce. A large number of these people are under-24 years of age. These demographics have experienced plummeting labor force participation due to economic stagnation, poor wages, high healthcare costs, and access to government subsidized credit.

            Labor force participation is independent of employment rate. We can have full employment and still have 10M young people sitting at home because they can’t find a job with wages substantial enough to pay for school, lodging, etc.

            And this discussion doesn’t even include the number of people who were underemployed, particularly those who were forced into 29hr weeks in order to skirt the Obamacare mandate.

            Long story short, this country is still a mess. We don’t need to be offshoring. We need to be onshoring and pushing people back into the labor force. Student loans should have a work requirement.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al – TW5 is correct. There is always a portion of the populace that drops out of the workforce and are not actively searching for jobs.
            Education has unfortunately focused on “higher” education i.e.degrees or higher.
            There hasn’t been enough focus on vocational/trade education.
            With that being said, There will always be a portion of the populace that will not gravitate to or be suited for any skilled job (trade,diploma, degree etc.)

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            And anyone whose unemployment insurance runs out drops off the unemployment rolls. Nowadays, ANY job, even part-time is counted by the government as one job. Thanks to Obama making 29 hours a week “full time”. Full time needs to mean 40 hours a week again. Many people with part-time jobs are looking for full-time jobs. Only when they have them will we have true full employment.
            TRUST THE PLAN. ThankQ

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            I fully understand the portion which studies have shown to be 3-3.5% of the working population. They are genuinely unemployable. Generally with mental health issue.

            TW5 factoring these people is nonsense.

            Sorry, facts are facts.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            How many others are in my position of working because I can. I have been considering working 2-3 days per week.

            Who is going to force me to work?

            I think you need to understand the data and information you put forward.

            Maybe if you did your views would be different.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          TW5, Since NAFTA was signed, US manufacturing output (in constant dollars) has doubled, while direct manufacturing employment has fallen by about 1/3. This is due to technology, which has wiped out unskilled and low-skilled jobs in manufacturing during this period, just as it wiped about agricultural jobs 100 years earlier.

          Jobs lost to technology are not coming back. Ever.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            ECT you’re making quite an assumption. Look at numbers of factories closed, a number you simply cannot ignore. US manufacturers have optimized on producing high value add things like jet engines and automated some other things to be sure (stamping and welding and paint in a car factory is a prime example), but we’ve gutted our durable goods manufacturing segment that used to make up the backbone of many a small town and city. Think appliances, bearings, sheet and tube steel, etc. if it was simply technology all of those small towns would have automated factories (with plenty of skilled and good paying jobs still) humming along instead of ruins and opioids.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            gtem, I am not making assumptions, I am reporting data.

            The economy is always evolving, and since the beginning of the industrial revolution technology has been driving that shift. In developed economies, the trend has been towards ever more complex products requiring greater skills to produce. As part of this ongoing evolution, products made by unskilled labour move elsewhere, as those places catch up to former developed country skills standards.

            The race never ends. Developed countries need to continually upgrade their work force and their offerings, as developing countries upgrade theirs.

            My favourite example is the HP-12c calculator, which has been in production since 1981. As a result of job changes, I bought 4 of them over about a 15-year period. The first was made in the US, the second in Singapore, the third in Malaysia and the fourth in China. I’ve no idea where it’s assembled today.

            In each case, those countries (and their wage scales) developed to the point where it was no longer economic for HP to assemble this product there, so they moved assembly to a new location. That’s the way of the world, and it’s not about to change.

            The brutal reality is that unskilled manufacturing jobs are not coming back to the US.

            The US is at a point where skilled jobs are going begging and the unskilled are begging for jobs. We need to focus on continuing to upgrade the workforce to handle the jobs that are and will be in demand, not seeking to recreate a past that is gone forever.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Rather than these tariffs I’d like to see the Automobile Information Disclosure Act amended to require every new vehicle for sale to have a large windshield banner declaring where it was assembled and a rear window banner declaring its highest parts-content nation.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      And list the differences between US vehicle regulations and the rest of the world and the cost to the US consumer.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Tell me where cars are cheaper than the US. How much is a new BMW 340i in Australia? In Germany? I can walk into my local dealer and buy one for $51K, or lease it at a subsidized rate predicated on the idea that BMW can export it when I’m done and resell it as a used car for more than anyone would ever pay here. How much is a new 300 hp pickup truck in Australia? Here, I could spend days wading through a dozen options for less than $35K. If you’re worried about what something costs consumers, maybe you should look at the pricetags in some of the places that impose tariffs on US products.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Todd,
          Market size, offerings and trims vary first up.

          Taxation is different as well.

          Try comparing largeer sellers in Australia.

          Australia has a market with more on offer, even trims on vehicles.

          Our higher wages and better work conditions impact vehicle costs.

          I’ve noticed the same in the EU.

          The comparison you made is like comparing a mum and pop business against a chain operation.

          At the end of the day our market moves more vehicles than the US. So our pricing must be okay.

          I can buy a Coke in Thailand cheaper than the US. So Thailand is obviously better off than the US.

          Its horses for courses.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I’m not buying it. US GDP per capita leads Australia by 18%. If you’ve got higher average wages, it is just through neglecting to count a huge percentage of your country’s population as human beings. Maybe there won’t be a day of reckoning for a Ponzi scheme built on an ignored atrocity, but I wouldn’t count on it. No wonder some Australians are tempted to focus on other people’s problems. Anything is better than acknowledging what’s moving under their feet.

            What do you actually get for your ‘high’ wages? Do you live in big homes on large lots? Does food make up a meaningless percentage of your household budget, allowing you to make choices primarily guided by your desire to avoid heart disease? Is abundance the greatest threat to your health? Are your kids bored by material things by the age of twelve? Do fuel costs never influence your behavior? What does a big number at the top of your tax return do for you over there? It does great things for your political class, but does $80K a year let anyone live better than a college student in Australia?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            GDP per capita is not the best measure of performance.

            1. GDP is only on tradable goods.
            2. It also includes taxation and government business. Australia and the US as a percentage of GDP pay similar tax. Its how its broken down.
            3. Health costs in the US are double Australia. There is $6k per year you can deduct off of US GDP.
            4. Insurance costs are higher in the US. There is another $2k you can wipe off of your GDP.
            5. Wall (finance/banking) represents a larger chunk of US GDP. (how much of that makes it to the populace).
            6. etc.

            I think you’ll find countries on similar GDPs can have different standards of living, average pay.

            The US has some costs adding to GDP, not much different to Scandanavian countries with high GDP caused by taxation between 50-60% of GDP. But of the high taxes the money does make it back via services, which are more expensive than private sector services.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Todd,
            Actually the average size of an Aussie home is larger than the US.

            High GDP generally translate to a higher standard of living.

            I look at it this way. Two guys at work and earn the same, but yet there is one or two who look like they earn a lot less and others seem to live better.

            We essentially live better. Sorry. This is supported by the fact we have the second highest HDI (standard of living in the world) the second highest median wealth, highest minimum wage, one of the best retirements.

            Like I’ve been stating the US has pretty much all it needs, its just how you are using and sharing that is the issue in the US that needs fixing.

            Less disparity will quell much of the angst of the US working poor.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @AL, less than the cost to convert a model to Right Hand Drive, which of course you must do to sell in your Country. Why not “homogenize” with the vast majority of the world that puts their steering wheel on the left hand side of the car or at least allow those that don’t care which side they drive on to have the option? I drove a RHD Opel Vuxhaul in Naples Italy…a challenging place to drive anything and once I figured out the whole left hand shifting bit it wasnt rocket science. Clean your own darned house before you get on her constantly spewing drivel and hatred about mine.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Ajla I like your thinking. I think the Envision would be adequately stymied, as well as a good portion of crew cab GM and RAM 2500s, Fusions too.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’m picturing a Ma and Pa Kettle style comedy routine with them squinting at the banner: “Final assembly… well how the heck do you pronounce that?!?!?”

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      Are you making the assumption that people will pay more for more US contents?

      I’ll pay more for Japanese and European contents for sure, but US is not much of a premium over Mexico or Korea.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’m making the assumption that many consumers either don’t know where their vehicle was built & its parts content or are under a false impression on those things.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        see @Panda…I too love me some European metal, but I would only lease…I’m not paying for the car, I’m paying for them to take it back before the warranty is up, and in my experience it is a worthwhile expenditure if you must have it.

        And I’d pay zero more for Japanese versus Korean. A quality appliance is a quality appliance no matter where it is made so why pay more.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Let’s see here:

    1) Trump and his supporters believe that US auto industry is the only one being pushed around, so we’ll tax everyone else, and they will not retaliate.

    2) Europe, Mexico, China, Korea, Japan, and maybe Canada cry foul.

    3) Everyone reduces their import and export.

    4) US will sell fewer cars in China (they’re stealing our IP according to Trump), China will let Japan, Europe, and Korea sell more cars there (via JV) instead.

    5) Europe, Japan, Korea, Mexico will build and import parts from each others.

    6) US average vehicle cost increase $1800, some people get more jobs (machine operators, robot companies) back while others lose more jobs (retail, finance, services)

    7) Europe, China, Mexico retaliate with tariff

    8) US double down with tariff

    9) Recession.

    p.s. people are not stupid, US does not have an absolute say in trade. If you mess with Korea too much they will not be so friendly with the base we have there. Maybe they’ll refuse our missile defense system there too (Russia may throw in some bone and let them import all the excess cars that we have tariff on, if they refuse to let us install the missile defense there).

    The reason we have so many bases all over the world and USD circulating around the world is because we pay the world off with imports, and we get our influence in their local politics.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Well if you are going to go down this rabbit hole at least follow it to where it ends historically @PandaBear

      10) Some Archduke gets blasted in the street

      11) Another war to end all wars.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    OK BAFO, I’ll explain the “Chicken tax” for you, since apparently you’re not familiar with it, and totally new ground for you.

    It “stays”, even if not useful for anything, except maybe to slightly enhance the sales of Toyota and Nissan pickups, especially midsize, and possibly a few extra Honda Ridgeline sales a year, just for the simple reason of countering the “European Chicken tax” I’m positive you’re hearing about for the 1st time right here.

    So I can see why you’re completely confused! Poor thing…

    There needs to be an agreement for either side to drop their respective Chicken tax. Why would the US drop theirs out of the clear blue, when there’s so much to be gained for US automakers in Europe, especially Toyota, Nissan, Honda and a few others.

    That’s OK, there’s no “dumb questions” here!

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “Adolph Hitler’s art school application is rejected, the next thing you know, the U.S. drops two atom bombs on Japan”

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      You really think one single art school dropout did all that? It would have been someone else if you believe one guy can do it:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Thyssen

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    I think the use of chicken tax in these comments should turn into a drinking game.

    Of course U.S. autos have been subsidized at some level or other, but so has Korean, European, And Japanese.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I think the use of chicken tax in these comments should turn into a drinking game.

      I only caution against that because I wish none of you harm. I’m not certain anyone would survive.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I just read the EU is in the process of organising all major vehicle manufacturers to drop ALL tariffs on vehicles.

    This is to be presented to the White House. Trump is already stated it is not acceptable (if it occurs).

    This great news, all we need to resolve are the technical barriers.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    How does trump know that the automakers will rush to build more factories in the US – instead of waiting 2.5 years, for an administration change? Building cars here won’t help at all with the export market, either.


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