Sunday, 20 January, 2019


Trump raises prospect of import vehicle tariff after GM cutback plan

AFP  File | GM's plans for major jobs and production cutbacks prompted US President Donald Trump to consider tariffs to protect the US auto industry AFP File | GM's plans for major jobs and production cutbacks prompted US President Donald Trump to consider tariffs to protect the US auto industry
Conrad Doyle | 30 November, 2018, 13:45

President Donald Trump on Thursday attempted to paint General Motors' plant closures as an anomaly, claiming auto companies are "pouring into the U.S." and BMW is building "a major new plant".

Such tariffs would have prevented GM from shuttering its USA plants, Trump added.

And, referring to the 2008 federal bailout of the auto industry, Trump angrily continued that "the USA saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!"

More cars would be assembled in the US if the same tariff were applied on imported cars, Trump said, adding in a second tweet that "G.M. would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland".

Trump, meanwhile, who has had a strained relationship with Justin Trudeau, found common ground with the Canadian prime minister Tuesday when they discussed GM's plans to stop production of six vehicle models, leaving the future of five plants and some 14,000 employees in doubt.

His comments on Wednesday mark the third straight day that Trump has responded to GM's announcement with a series of policy-related attacks.

Trump wasn't specific Tuesday when he tweeted, "We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars".

GM said it has invested more than $22 billion in US operations since 2009, when it exited bankruptcy protection.

But the law stipulates that the credit begins to phase out after an automaker sells a total of 200,000 eligible EVs, like GM's Chevy Volt, built near a factory in Detroit. Get smart Congress. Also, the countries that send us cars have taken advantage of the United States for decades.

"Even after taking huge tax breaks from Ohioans, General Motors Co. announced plans to shutter its Lordstown plant right in the middle of the holiday season".

GM said in June that the trade war could lead to a "smaller GM", and the White House dismissed the warning as "smoke and mirrors". The earlier rally was linked to Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra's plan to bolster cash flow by canceling production at five plants in the US and Canada and jettisoning slow-selling sedans from the lineup.

Automakers, dealers, and suppliers have come out against any new tariffs, arguing that they would hurt even US-based companies and the US's global competitiveness. The president has threatened to yank all subsides to the company.

Keeping open a plant slated for closure is not without precedent for GM. Numerous USA workers impacted by these actions will have the opportunity to shift to other GM plants where we will need more employees to support growth in trucks, crossovers, and SUVs.

GM has received about $333.5 million in federal spending in the past 12 months, according to a US government website that tracks federal expenditures.

China now imposes a 40 percent tariff on USA automobiles, while the United States has a 27.5 percent tariff on Chinese vehicles. The bill is reactionary in a way that will do nothing to sway GM, Wyndham said.

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