By on September 9, 2018

President Donald Trump jumped on Twitter Sunday morning to rattle off a series of musings I couldn’t have cared less about. However, mixed in with the rest of them, was a reference to last month’s news that Ford abandoned its plans to import the Chinese-built Focus Active into the United States.

“‘Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs,'” Trump said in reference to a CNBC article from August. “This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!”

Whether or not you support the president, he has made a genuine effort to convince automakers to do their manufacturing within the United States. However, his comments on the matter make it seem as if he’s a tad confused on how things actually work. Perhaps we can attribute his statement to an unbridled optimism or a tongue-in-cheek jab at Ford. Otherwise, the only explanation is that he doesn’t have the best understanding of what’s happening with the industry — which would be mildly alarming. 

In 2017, Ford’s plan was to move Focus production out of Michigan and into a new facility in Mexico to save itself some cash. That strategy was later scrapped after NAFTA’s future began to look less promising and the company decided to shift production to China.

As you probably already know, Ford has vowed to gradually eliminate every 4-door car from it’s U.S. lineup to focus primarily on utility vehicles. The Chinese-built Focus Active, which is fundamentally a crossover, was to be the company’s only exception. However, Trump’s last round of auto tariff threats appears to have frightened the automaker away from the idea.

That makes it difficult to see if the president’s comments were a roundabout way of saying Ford should have stayed in the U.S. or a total misunderstanding of the situation. Normally, that would be fine. It’s unfair to expect a politician to be an expert on every single industry, but Trump made the automotive sector one of his pet projects since his first week in office. He should really have his finger on the pulse here.

However, Ford’s official reasons for ditching to the Focus Active have everything to do with the economics of business. “It basically boils down to how we deploy our resources,” Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America, explained. He said the introduction of new tariffs would result in the Focus Active’s U.S. price being “substantially higher.”

Ultimately, the comment was not a catastrophic faux pas on Trump’s part. But it does force up an eyebrow uncomfortably high on the head. The president doesn’t have to know the ins and outs of every manufacturer to have an informed opinion. However, if he’s going to be taking such an active role in shaping the auto industry’s future, we’d like to at least feel as if he’s plugged into what’s happening.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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108 Comments on “How Well Does Trump Understand What’s Happening Within the Auto Industry?...”


  • avatar
    megaphone

    Maybe Elon Musk should sit down with Trump and discuss the auto industry while smoking a doobie. Turn into a documentary called “Dazed and Confused” II.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Hilarious to think trump has ANY understanding on how the auto industry works. It’s all about shiny objects and staying in the news for trump. Also, Any help to the unions due to equality within the workforce for all races will not catch his interest. If anything it will cause him to hurt the United States and Canadian automobile workforce.

    • 0 avatar

      “Hilarious to think trump”

      LOL. That phrase sums up 2016 elections.

    • 0 avatar

      Trump is a complete IDIOT! Let’s look at another car industry case. Now even the EU bringing back the import tariffs on American cars to ZERO is not enough. Trump says it won’t do because Europeans buy their own cars. Perhaps this ought to be a sign that Detroit starts making cars both Americans and Europeans want to buy. Don’t forget that Detroit’s domestic market share went from over 95% in the early 60’s to less than half now.

      • 0 avatar

        Latest: Ford insists it won’t build Chinese-made car in U.S. despite Trump tweet! And the car will not come to the U.S. because of the higher U.S. import tariffs.

      • 0 avatar
        Mirko Reinhardt

        @voyager “Perhaps this ought to be a sign that Detroit starts making cars both Americans and Europeans want to buy.”
        Whoa! That would be quite a revolutionary approach: Treating consumers as if they were able to make their own decisions in a market economy?!

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        voyager: You clearly have no idea what the European automotive market is like. American cars might be the most amazing ever, manufactured in the most efficient way possible to keep sales price clearly below competitors, but could never sell well there because of taxation models that make anything else than absolutely strictly European-style minuscule-engine’s cars far more expensive thus rendering them unsellable. Also, because of the former having driven American cars out of the continent, Americans have a poor sales and service network, have poor brand recognition and a non-existent customer base (to which it’s the most cheap to re-sell products).

        • 0 avatar
          vagvoba

          American automakers historically have a sizable footprint in Europe (see Ford, Opel, and Chevrolet) both in terms of market presence and local manufacturing, so they were given a fair chance to compete.

          However, many manufacturers (e.g. GM, VW, Honda) sell cars that are considered premium in the US as basic models in Europe, because that’s how much higher European quality standards are.

          Opel is a pedestrian brand with not-so-good reputation in Europe, yet GM was/is selling Opels in the US as premium Buicks.
          Sit in a VW Passat in Europe, then in the US, and you’ll see that the US versions have hard plastics everywhere, while the European versions have one level better quality materials.
          Also, did you realize that the US Acura TLX is sold as plain Honda Accord in Europe?

          The truth is that manufacturers sell the junk in the US mass market and keep the good stuff for Europe.

          Regarding engines, it’s only in the US that people think commuter cars need hundreds of horsepower and a large engine. In Germany you can buy a 116hp 3 series BMW with a 1.6l diesel engine. Apparently Germans consider that engine enough for the autobahn, while Mrs. Johnson thinks she needs over 200 hp to merge on the beltway with a 55 speed limit.
          Yet, cars are slowly getting more powerful in Europe as well, thanks to the development of highly efficient turbocharged engines, originally designed for that market, but now we are getting them in the US too.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            I suspect there would be many Germans who would be very happy to buy the “big” engines if they were paying US prices for fuel, the the German politicians have taken that choice away from them by putting $5 per gallon taxes on fuel.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            vagvoba: Those are not really ‘American manufacturers’, those are European manufacturers owned by american companies.

            I won’t even bother going into that crap you wrote about poor quality since it’s such BS. Having a few more expensive plastic pieces doesn’t make cars like VW ‘high quality’! Driving your FWD-platform Skoda-shared engine’d 2.0 Audi sure isn’t high quality compared to a lot of American cars…

            American cars were driven out of Europe exactly with a targeted strategy: punish the major difference between European and American cars, the engine size, and there you go. Consumers don’t want them, they’re definitely not better, but miniscule, high-strung, unreliable, laggy, horrible sounding downsized engines are the only thing that remain competitive in price / ownership costs after regulators colluded with VW.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If your company asigns you leased 116 HP BMW, are you gonna decline? Take the train instead? That’s part of how such tiny engine cars proliferate in Europe. Company cars don’t have to be European/German/etc domestics either, but it helps. Company cars are a huge part of the Euro car market.

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        The Master of the Deal’s strategy is simple. Make your first bid crazy-stupid. If they give you what you want, ask for more. If they don’t, publicly blame the other party.

        It only works until the other party stops caring about your antics. I think Europe is about to the point they’d rather set their fields on fire rather than deal with Trump.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Lol
    This is almost as funny as Mark Baruth negotiating a price on a new Buick.

  • avatar
    forward_look

    All it means is no Foci for us, and Trump will carry Michigan again next election.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Even “made in America” vehicles are full of Chinese-made parts. Not to mention imported steel and aluminum.

    I expect the price of all cars, regardless of nameplate, to increase 25% if he gets his way.

    I get that he wants to “stick it to the Chinese” and maybe they deserve (some of) it. But tariffs only stick it to the American consumers. The Chinese can sell their products elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Boff

    I guess, in theory, it makes sense to adjust product planning in anticipation of disruption of trade arrangements, but not if it means you’ve snookered yourself out of having any product to sell at all.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    “Anonymous.”

    Nailed it.

  • avatar
    Boff

    By the way, Trudeau’s “smug lesson on economics” was neither smug nor delivered by Trudeau. @JTrutheau

    • 0 avatar
      donatolla

      It would actually be quite important for the author to recognize this. It was pretty easy to see that it wasn’t the PM’s Twitter, never mind the fact that this would not be something a Canadian politician would do.

      • 0 avatar
        pdl2dmtl

        Yes, a Canadian politician would not use Twitter. Sarcasm…
        You forgot his tweet when he invited basically everybody to invade Canada and now they deal wih a tenfold illegal immigration each year since then.
        Do your homework before you open your mouth

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      Looks like Posky or Healey went back and deleted that whole portion of the article, with no acknowledgement of the correction. Any editor worth their paycheck wouldn’t try to hide an error like that.

      Stay classy, TTAC.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Focus on Trump all you will–but let’s face it, we all know that no President in our lifetimes has ever had any clue what a gallon of milk costs or what it takes, in the context of the middle class financial life, to buy a car or a house. Or to send your kids to college.

    This isn’t a Trump thing. Don’t fool yourselves.

  • avatar
    mike978

    So American made cars are between five and fifteen tomes more expensive than buying Chinese ones!!
    Glad we are sticking it to China and if Ford couldn’t figure out how to make a compact crossover in a reasonable country and then sell it in the US then that is Ford’s fault. Plenty of manufacturers have that worked out.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      You’re making the mistake of assuming the USA is the primary market for the Focus Active.

      Based on what Ford said today, the Focus Active is designed mostly for Chinese and other foreign buyers, and they were hoping to send a few over for a few Americans who might want one. In other words, it’s a niche vehicle in the US and a volume vehicle elsewhere.

      But, the unpredictability in tariffs (and government policy in general) means that Ford might make money, or might lose money, if they import a few extra units for American consumers. So, in the interest of caution, they’re just going to forget the American market for this car — and focus on selling them to the foreigners they designed the car for.

      The decision faced by Ford is pretty similar to the problems Harley-Davidson faced as a result of Trump’s tariffs, with a pretty similar result.

      And, yes, any competent economist could have predicted this, if they know how Ford or Harley-Davidson’s supply chain is put together.

      The problem we have here is that we have a president who ignores the fundamentals of economics and, instead, optimizes our national trade policy for maximum swagger — rather than for economic growth for middle-class Americans. maximum swagger is what Trump voters demanded, of course, and now they’re starting to see how poorly that works in the real world.

      And, yes, economists and annoying know-it-all liberals DID warn Trump voters about this. But, they didn’t listen — and now we all have to live with the damage.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      Well, the Focus Actice isn’t only made in China, it’s also made in a nice 52-year-old unionized plant in Germany. (alongside the Focus Trend, the Focus Titanium, the Focus ST-Line, the Focus Vignale and the Focus Cool&Connect, hatchback and wagon, gas and diesel, 6-speed manual and 8-speed auto)

      …maybe those could be imported? Can’t be expensive, with all those German unfair trade things going on…

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Trump probably understands the auto industry as well as he understands anything, which is to say, not at all.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      remove “Trump” and replace w/ “BO” and you’d be correct

      Trump was a success well before his historic win ag/ a corrupt political machine

      BO was a media creation

      Trump understands economics, BO never did

      • 0 avatar
        AthensSlim

        Careful, you’ve got the Kool-Aid on your face.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        “Trump was a success well before his historic win …”

        Only if you equate bankruptcy with success.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          ..or if you equate having a famous name a success.
          He has spent a lifetime becoming the most known man/name in the world. If that was his goal I’d say he is successful. I’d actually say he was already succesful 20 years ago.
          I still believe that if ‘doing the right thing’ was something that could make him more famous, the he would ‘do the right thing’. Right now he seems to get more attention doing some things that a lot of people don’t like, so the media and ‘the left’ are ‘feeding the troll’ more or less.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        Multiple bankruptcies leading to a career as a has-been developer on a reality show constitute success in America now? How the mighty have fallen.

  • avatar
    TimK

    Overcapacity is just that, doesn’t matter where it’s located. Courtesy of some whack-job central bankers, the world is about to get another lesson in the science of rope pushing.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    By observing how well Trump has done with the economy up to this point – I would say something as relatively simple as the auto industry shouldn’t be hard to figure out. Anyone that thinks an all American auto would cost 5-15x as much should never be in a public office mucih less taken seriously. I see the TDS is strong in the comment sections, I’m going to enjoy the upcoming election season as much as I did in 2016.

    “But it does force up an eyebrow uncomfortably high on the head”

    I did like your Trudeau joke though.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Do you give Obama the same credit?

      https://www.macrotrends.net/2481/stock-market-performance-by-president

      The data says you should. Frankly the sitting president has rather limited ability alone to have major effects. But the sitting president gets the glory, or raspberry, so what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        BO had the worst recovery after a major recession since FDR

        Trump set about dismantling BOnomics the day he took office

        BO said repeatedly Trump’s claims of faster growth were impossible

        But what you said is true, historically the media gives the prez ownership of the economy from the day he takes office:

        I remember that RR got saddled w/ Carter’s lousy economy and the MSM blamed him even though his program had not actually taken effect yet

        I also remember when Clinton got credit for a growing economy even though the “Clinton recovery” actually started the better part of year before he took office – and remember too that Clinton’s economic program never got enacted

        Only now is the MSM trying to give credit to a former prez – because the economy is doing so well when most all predicted disaster – because Trump.

        • 0 avatar
          Erikstrawn

          Economic growth can be compared to charging a battery. If you put it on a trickle charge, the lead plates develop uniformly and have resilience. If you put it on fast charge, you’ll recover quicker, but there won’t be any resilience. Obama purposely took a long-term approach to economic growth after the disaster that was the Bush economy. Trump took office and immediately turned the charger up to “FAST CHARGE”. Sure, the stock market is on fire, but at what point does it all crash again? The Trump economy is built on pump-and-dump, not strong economic principles.

          But I don’t expect you’ll believe it.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      You guys are hilarious, Mr. magic wand couldn’t achieve what every other single president got in their sleep, and claims 1% growth is the new normal, in come Trumps with over 4% growth and it’s suddenly because of Obama. It’s even funnier because Obama had low interest rates for his entire presidency and still couldn’t manage to make a dent in the economy.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    So tariffs are bad because Ford’s too debt-riddled and incompetent to build cars here? Half the reason for these tariff threats is to browbeat bad corporate citizens like Ford into not trying boost their margins at the expense of American workers. It’s laughable to continue to witness people who otherwise probably describe themselves as pro-union liberals start siding with big business because they hate Trump.

    I think the president understands the auto industry just fine. Better than TTAC editors understand how to confirm they’re quoting the Canadian PM’s real Twitter account, at least…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The effects of Trump’s trade policies will ramp up gradually, over the next several years. It’s not just the auto sector that will be punished.

    The Chinese are looking for new markets to provide fruit that was imported from the US.

    If Trump is foolish enough to implement further tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports I would seriously consider off loading Boeing, Apple, GE or any of the US stocks where the US is competitive.

    I fear we, the world will enter a deep recession very soon due to Trump’s idiotic actions.

    He is clueless and if all turns to sh!t I somehow think the US will be worse off due to the rest of the world paying closer attention to each other.

    Sad, so sad, my heart goes out to all those who will lose unnecessarily.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Completely wrong. But then again Australia has no auto industry.

      Trump is negotiating knowing that China has more to lose than the US

      Same w/ Canada – Canada is losing jobs and the US is gaining jobs – last report was US up 200,000+, Canada down 50,000+.

      Canada will stand to lose its auto industry if they do not stop certain practices, such as using NAFTA loopholes to allow Chinese goods into the US that damage US industry

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Thornmark,
        Having an auto industry doesn’t really make for a better nation.

        Why would you want an industry that actually costs money to support?

        Would you not be better with an independent, self supporting, unprotected industry that contributes to the economy and doesn’t require life support?

        So, you are an avid supporter of welfare, like the auto industry requires for its existence?

        You are unusual. Maybe the US government should subsidise your very socialist paradigms.

        Maybe with your attitude a collective should be formed like the Soviets and othe Communist nations had to ensure supply of autos.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Conceptually, I think we are better off having good manufacturing jobs as well as service sector work. A good, healthy economy should provide opportunity for all levels of skill. So, the more made here the better. But does Trump have any idea of what he is doing? Not at all. He is hurting the very people he promised to help. Frankly, one has to wonder what happened to Trump…listen to him from the 90s and compare to today…

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Ahhh click bait. The whiners are out in full force. Can we get some moronic 25th talk up in here?

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    Trumps trade team is the best in the business.

    51k Canadians are filling out unemployment paperwork because enviro wennies legislated manufacturing out of the country. Dairy tariffs on US milk and cheese are 300% really socks it to Canadian consumers. and telecom is the reason I pay 25 cents a minute to talk to a Canadian equipment vendor. Handful of Indian tribes have locked up pipeline for 20 years. Added cost of paint to exposed pipe sitting in fields, waiting of injunctions to clear. No company can plan or schedule cost when in litigation. Fair trade or Canadian can have a recession and move car assembly back to the US. We have enough capacity to absorb their output.

    Tariffs are the blunt instruments of leveraging our economy to a level playing field. China and Canada will yield because there no other place to go with economies built on assembly of foreign made parts.

    As for Chinese car, good luck with that. Flat tire on the Impala and had to scrape paint from inside the socket to make it fit. Rear hubs are trashed at 66k. All Chinese parts and will never buy a domestic sedan…ever. Wonder why Chevy discounts their bi annual 20% discount…Chinese parts. Trumps target is shutting the loophole in NAFTA allowing Asian source parts and materials a back door. All car manufactures exploted this loophole and now it’s almost closed.

    Chinese cannot build a bagger that will last a year, (pot metal worm gears), crappy unsupported controls, there’s hope for a car. When I Teflon coat a Chinese scale for sticky products, the stainless turns gold color due to low nickel content. And god forbid you laser cut stainless flat stock, the sheet explodes micro holes everywhere sue to air pockets and must switch to water jet.

    Trump threat of tariffs brought a fair trade deal with Mexico and silly Canadians still think they’re in a tri lateral agreement…amateurs against Trumps pros. We’re done getting hosed on trade deals while building other economies. Bring business back, lower taxes, cut spending and regulations and it will offset higher wages, build more businesses and lower the National debt. Everyone wins.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      S’truth. The economy is roaring.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        the Liane,
        Almost as good as the Aussie economy and the foundation of the US economy was built by his predecessor. Now Trump will overheat the US with his sugar hit economics.

        Then when all turns to sh!t you will have less to rebuild with …. because of the current isolationist US position.

        So sad how the Trump fools live day to day like welfare recipients and not want a secure future.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      +++++exactly

      Trump is negotiating from a position of strength. And, unlike occupant of the WH (who thought “Austrian” was a language), Trump actually understands economics and negotiation.

      the Iran deal was BO’s idea of negotiations, were the US lost on every level

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      +++++exactly

      Trump is negotiating from a position of strength. And, unlike the former occupant of the WH (who thought “Austrian” was a language), Trump actually understands economics and negotiating.

      the Iran deal was BO’s idea of negotiations, were the US lost on every level

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Finally a rational comment. The other thing that the Trump team realizes is that they need to create an environment that makes it attractive to build products in the US. Hence Trump is reversing Obama policies and as a result the cost of energy, corporate taxes, and regulations are all being reduced to lower the cost of doing business. And surprise, surprise (at least to the media and Democrats) – business and consumer confidence are at all time highs, business investment is up, employment is up, and tax revenues are up – all things that Obama was never able to accomplish with his more regulation, more costly energy, and higher tax economic policies.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Hey, a Baruth brother left our roster! Quick, post liberal clickbait!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Hastily written click-bait with really no analysis. But the GiC’s name sure is good for SEO, engagement, and a $h1t show of you’re stupid, no you’re stupid comments from many who don’t understand either side of the argument. Let the cripple-fight begin.

    This site has gone so downhill – not VS complete fault – got to get them clicks.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Ya’ll shoulda sold to JB and RF, then you’d have a chance. With this type of click bait? nada

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    Not long ago all the self-appointed political “experts” were saying Trump didn’t understand politics and couldn’t possibly win a national election. They were tremendously wrong.
    But I’m sure the self-appointed auto industry “experts” are different. LOL.

  • avatar
    ernest

    The question isn’t whether Trump understands the Auto Business. The question is, does the Auto Business understand Trump ties Trade and Foreign Policy together- and will cheerfully use one to achieve goals in the other. Anyone who thinks Trumps Economic and Trade Team doesn’t know what they’re doing hasn’t been paying attention the past two years. The US economy is on fire, records are being broken month after month.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      ernest,
      You as an atypical Trump supporter live on the hope that the US will revert to the 50s and 60s. This ain’t go’in to happen.

      Look outside of the US and make some educated assessments. All is not perfect and yes there are those populist right wing nationalists like Trump out there, but they are not gaining enough traction …. luckily.

      It’s the US alone and the rest of the World can’t and will not follow the US. We need globalisation. The US appears to be prepared to forfeit its living standard to appease those of your ilk.

      Eventually after the good work of GW and OB is exhausted by Trump and his sugar hit economics the US economy will hit a recession and will not recover to current levels.

      There is a large part of most countries where people use credit like the US is currently doing to live the life …. then fall on their a$$es. The only problem is the bankruptsy rules for countries is not as easy as you would think.

      The US economic sugar hit is nearly over.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Another anti-Trump hit piece. Posky’s TDS is palpable and he’ll prove as prescient as Paul Krugman and Mark Cuban. Wasn’t this site on a campaign to curb “political hackery” a couple of months ago? Apparently it continues to contribute to it instead. Trump, for someone who doesn’t have a clue, continues to shepard an incredible economic recovery that his opponents said wasn’t possible. With JB gone this site is on life support, I feel bad for Steph and Corey.

  • avatar
    Lawyer Applegate

    Trump is a demented fool who understands nothing other than how to whip the rabble into a yowling foam of bigoted derpitude.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    “With JB gone this site is on life support”

    Did JB leave?

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I don’t know if he cares to understand how the auto industry works. He understands his base–at least the side of his base that aren’t billionaires. They’re the ones who once had high-paying, low-skill-necessary jobs in the auto factories, textile mills, steel plants, coal mines, etc., and blame low-wage countries for that not being the case anymore. Most agree that this wasn’t the only reason for the disappearance of those jobs, but Donald Trump promised to bring them back–and these displaced workers heard him in 2016 and voted accordingly.

    I disagree with most of what President Trump has done–either for ethical reasons or because his actions and proposals seem to be of dubious merit–and I doubt that his posturing about tariffs will have much effect, but if he can bring those jobs back, more power to him.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    People in the West, not just the US need to take stock of what’s occurring.

    The West is declining, this decline is going to accelerate due to the current US position, led by the economic ignorance, the “Fools”.

    To put it simply there is only two ways to make money, yes two.

    1st. Capital growth. Capital growth is to invest in an existing asset and hope for an increase in value. This is the riskiest form of investment.

    2nd. Create something that doesn’t exist of value. Build a home, computer software …… a highway or rapid transit, etc.

    The current global issue is way too much reliance has been placed on capital growth since the GFC. Trillions of dollars has been invested in the wrong places.

    Where and what do we have for all that QE money that most OECD nations invested? Inflated share prices. Low quality loans to emerging markets, etc.

    Trump has been bankrupt a couple of times and yet he supposedly has billions. What does he created that didn’t exist before? Debt is all he has with little else, like the US.

    This is where the Chinese have an advantage. They has massive scope to create a country that hasn’t existed before. To create tangible assets, not just overly inflate searching for capital growth.

    We in the West really screwed up here we squandered trillions to appease the 1% and created little for all.

    Trump leads the way with the continuation of creating little of value for the US other than debt. Borrowing can be of value if its invested wisely, the US currently leads the World in borrowing and having the monetary gains ending up in the wrong places.

    All will not end well.

    • 0 avatar
      TimK

      “This is where the Chinese have an advantage. They has massive scope to create a country that hasn’t existed before. To create tangible assets, not just overly inflate searching for capital growth.”

      The Chinese “miracle” is mostly debt-based. They also receive massive defacto subsides from compliant nations like Australia and those in Africa where China is able to strip mine raw materials at low cost. The free trade fools here in the U.S. Government were seduced in the ’90s by Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan with their scheme to export our inflation to China in exchange for a flood of consumer goods. It worked out quite well for the big banks and the likes of Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, the rest of working America got pink slips and closets full of plastic bullshit.

      Trump for all his faults is trying a new tack with China, seeking some kind of balance in the NWO scheme of crazy.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      It really depends on where we set ‘the end’ and how we interpret ‘well’.
      He is trying to make America depend more on it self, both as a producer and consumer of goods, and separate it more from the world to rebuild the economy from within.
      I think it’s a bad idea, and I disagree wildly with it, but I understand why he wants to try it. It did kinda work for Germany before WW2
      (Lets hope he stops at that. Considering the US already has what, 1/3? of the worlds military there is nothing we can do to stop him if he really really wants something badly enough.)

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Zykotec,
        But what Trump is trying to create is not of value as most or all can be had cheaper elsewhere.

        Just because the US produces vehicles doesn’t mean the US is producing value.

        The only way vehicles will be of value for the US is to export. How can the US improve exports when the cost of production rises due to metal and vehicle parts tariffs and other nations counter US tariffs with their own tariffs.

        The rest of the world has resisted destroying multilateral trade with all major manufacturers using the same standards …. other than the US.

        So it will mean a more isolated US.

        The Nazis devalued the German Mark, so do you think the US will halve the value of the USD?

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          Like I said, I don’t think it’s a good idea. But I guess the point is to try to force the US into producing what the US needs, and make people pay for things made in the US. So that internally the economy can function.
          Compared to the rest of the world the US dollar will be devalued, but then at least maybe the US can become a low cost country and actually export things again? I’m not sure he can understand concepts like sustainability…

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      China has no advantage or leverage against Trumps trade team. China’s manufacturing has breath but no depth. Their economic model is similar to 1930’s Japan with a twist. Economic invasion securing raw materials. What they lack is not making steel but processing to mine materials. Government controlled economy can ramp up but have trouble sustaining output.

      The US is unique in we’re one of the few countries that have a diversified economy. Energy, raw materials, chemicals, metals and the ability to process what we extract. When Trump cuts off the IP where does that leave them?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        don’t fit,
        The Chinese will not encounter the same impact as the US. The US consumer will pay more for most things, the Chinese will not.

        The loss of Chinese production will come back as the world expands. The US will contract due to more expensive goods as the US will still need Chinese product. Also the US will only drop $120 billion from the $10 trillion Chinese economy, which even if the Chinese economic growth drops to 5% means the rate of Chinese expansion will pick up the loss in a couple of months.

    • 0 avatar
      dont.fit.in.cars

      We’ll be just fine.

      Your facts are correct but analysis is skewed. Capital growth is the most secure. The is no hope, the value is guaranteed margins because for the last thirty years Capital secured the entire process from production, logistics to retail consumer. Small percentages of billions is better than higher margins of millions.

      True in making something. Small business operate along short term multiple revenue streams. They quicker and more flexible than ridged corporate structures and cultures.

      Trumps doesn’t need to understand the automotive industry, his responsibility is to level the field between countries and he’s using
      tariffs as a leveraging tool.

  • avatar

    What I noticed, also reading the comments section here, is that Trump fans are happy. Seems to make sense after all – why import stuff that can be “Made in the USA”? But I see economists, the auto industry and trade as well as unions object as they are UNconvinced that it will create jobs. Worse, it will destroy jobs they say. I might add: make American cars even less competitive on export markets.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Is it really surprising to anyone that Ford wants to stop selling sedans in the US because they would all be imported and they don’t want any hassle with the Trump tariffs ?
    As someone who really really hates Trump he is still kinda right on this one.

  • avatar
    0Gravity

    “he doesn’t have the best understanding of what’s happening” Understatement of the century.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    speedlaw: +1

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    I wonder what Michael Moore has to say about Trump since he made his name with “Roger and Me” and blamed the decline of Michigan on manufacturing jobs moving to Mexico?

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      His response would probably involve calling you a racist, bigoted, misogynist, knuckle-dragging Trump-lover who should be banned from the internet for spreading hate speech.

      Is there any other leftist response to good questions?

  • avatar
    epc

    Trump the Businessman has known only 2 businesses: real estate & reality TV. In the former he has been bankrupt several times. In between his bankruptcies he drove many small businesses / contractors into bankruptcies by refusing to pay for work performed. In the latter, he has been successful. Trump’s personal knowledge of international trade is limited to hiring cheap foreign workers for his ventures, and sourcing trinkets from China.

    Everything in the first paragraph is verifiable fact.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Trump is a skilled negotiator and persuader. He has recovered from repeated bankruptcies to amass a personal fortune bigger than most of his armchair critics put together. And he is donating his entire Presidential salary to a variety of social causes. All verifiable facts.

      (There, fixed it for you.)

      • 0 avatar
        Mirko Reinhardt

        His personal fortune is not really verifiable fact, as he has not disclosed his tax returns, the first President since Nixon to not have done so.

        He could have amassed a huge fortune, a huge debt or everything in between. We don’t know. Not verifiable facts.

  • avatar
    don1967

    When Steve Jobs played loose with the facts and demanded the impossible they called it a Reality Distortion Field. They said he was a visionary – a force of nature – and they idolized him for it.

    When Donald Trump does the same thing they call him an idiot, and they shut their eyes to the massive economic expansion and unprecedented progress towards world peace happening right out there in plain view. They’re too busy creating imaginary villains in every shadow.

    As Scott Adams argues, it’s like everyone’s staring at the same screen but seeing two different movies. Future historians and social psychologists are going to have a field day with this one.

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