U.S. Gives German Auto Industry Zero-tariff Proposal, Merkel Receptive

The fresh threat of new automotive and parts tariffs from the United States has everyone up in arms. We recently published an exhaustive list of comments manufacturers and local governments made to the U.S. Commerce Department. They, along with suppliers, universally despise the idea and are doing everything in their power to convince the Trump administration to reconsider. Many are even discussing the grim prospect of layoffs and suspending investments.

However, the president remained firm on doing whatever it takes to bolster domestic production and U.S. automotive exports while the world tried to make sense of his strategy. Was this a madman playing hardball and gambling with the industry’s future, or the work of a master dealmaker forcing others to come to the table? Perhaps a little of both?

Earlier this week, the U.S. ambassador to Germany told German car executives that President Donald Trump would suspend threats to impose tariffs on cars imported from the European Union if the European Union lifts duties on U.S. cars. But the wildest part of all of this is that both the automakers and the German government seem to be in support of it.

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  • Dukeisduke I'll pick up my phone and look at a text or something else while at a red light, but when the light turns green, the phone gets put down.
  • Dukeisduke Haven't some cars been recalled multiple times (replacement airbags being recalled).
  • Azfelix These always looked exciting - like a life-sized Hot Wheels toy. Disclaimer: I prefer Matchbox and Majorette cars.
  • SilverHawk Last week I was run off the road by someone having a pleasant conversation through their infotainment system. They were all smiles as I beat a hasty retreat into the exit lane. They never saw me. This happens often, but there doesn't seem to be an answer to this problem. The need to communicate easily overrides any rules we make. With all our technology, driving is still as dangerous as ever.
  • MaintenanceCosts I will confess to having sent a few "OK" or "there in 3" response texts while stopped at a light or a driveway exit, but anything more time-consuming than that requires that I be parked out of traffic. I spend too much time as a pedestrian to feel OK about it. When you are a pedestrian, you notice that at least a third of the drivers are fully buried in their phones, and wouldn't see you even if you were dressed up in a fluorescent clown suit with a bright green nose. That's irritating all the time but especially when they turn right on red, through occupied crosswalks, without ever looking up.