February 18, 2019

BMW says Trump tariffs will limit its U.S. investment

02 July 2018, 10:11 | Joann Bryant

"Combined with the other trade actions now being pursued by the U.S. Government-namely the 232 Steel and Aluminum tariffs and the Section 301 tariffs against Chinese imports-the threat of additional tariffs on automobile imports could be detrimental to our company", GM said.

The name of this reported bill is the "United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act"-or "FART".

The European Union warned on Monday that up to $294 billion worth of USA exports would face counter-measures if President Donald Trump went through on its threat to slap duties on auto imports.

The FT reported the European Commission's letter as saying Trump's proposed auto tariffs would break global law and "damage further the reputation" of the U.S. The EU, which described the move as "pure protectionism", introduced duties on US products in return, as did Mexico, Canada, Turkey and India.

President Trump has used national security as the reasoning behind the tariffs. It also said it would seek to move manufacturing of European-bound bikes outside of the US.

The commission said "up to $294 billion of United States exports. could be subject to countermeasures across sectors of the U.S. economy", which was equivalent to a staggering 19 percent of total USA exports in 2017.

He noted that European carmakers create over half a million jobs in the U.S.

The EU responded to the steel and aluminum tariffs with "rebalancing measures" that hit around 2.8 billion euros ($3.25 billion) worth of American-made products.

The European Union says that for some goods, such as trucks, U.S. import duties are higher.

The EU has retaliated to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports with duties on items like jeans and Harley Davidson motorbikes.

Assuming counter-measures along the lines of those taken in response to existing U.S. import tariffs on steel and aluminium, up to US$294 billion of USA exports - 19% of overall United States exports - could be affected, the submission said.

Meanwhile, in a surreal twist to the trade war developments, Axios reported Sunday that a leaked draft Trump administration bill would see the US abandon the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules that limit the levels of tariffs that the country can impose on imports.

While he has threatened auto tariffs, Trump has not yet followed through on them.

"By insulating the United States from foreign competition, there is less incentive for American companies to strive to raise their productivity and look for ways and means of producing ever better goods (and services) ever more cheaply", BMW said.

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