Trump studying new auto tariffs after GM restructuring

Arturo Kim
November 30, 2018

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President Donald Trump hinted Wednesday that he's looking into slapping tariffs on vehicle imports, a day after he threatened to slash federal subsidies to General Motors for wanting to close five US factories.

If President Trump's proposed tariff's on China were to pass, iPhones could end up being much more expensive for Americans to buy.

"We are bleeding technology and so the pain and the cost to the USA to actually entering into a deal is far greater than not dealing with them", said Gordon Chang, author of the "Coming Collapse of China".

"I really don't know, but I will tell you that I think China wants to make a deal", he continued.

He also came to Buenos Aires early in the hopes of clinching a 360 million euro warship deal with Argentina's navy. "And everybody hopefully will be very happy, including China".

Trump's tweet from aboard Air Force One shortly after take-off from Washington on the way to Buenos Aires for a Group of 20 summit, was a sudden turnaround. All of China's major indexes closed more than 1% higher on the day, as did Hong Kong's Hang Seng, and Japan's Nikkei 225. It's part of the administration's plan to obtain what it sees as more favorable trade deals for the U.S.

"The Trump administration's view of multilateralism and of these sorts of institutions ... from the start has been a very skeptical view", he said.

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The two sides have been in negotiations for months, but Kudlow described them as being stalemated until just a few weeks ago. Trump also said it was " highly unlikely " he would accede to Chinese requests to not institute additional tariffs.


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That fits in with comments Trump made in a separate interview with the Washington Post. If a deal can not be reached, Trump has threatened further tariffs on Chinese goods, with the possibility of placing levies on all $US500 billion of Chinese goods coming to the US.

"I believe in our capacity to make the spirit of dialogue and cooperation triumph", Mr Macron said at a joint news conference with Mr Macri, warning that if nations "close down", the alternative could be trade wars or armed conflict. "I believe both of the major economies - the USA and China - ultimately share this goal, and that should help focus the discussion at the G-20". I'm open to making a deal. "And if it's not made, we will be taking in billions and billions of dollars".

The more countries involved or massive hikes in tariffs as well as the goods affected may result in steep interest-rate increases on bonds and falls in the stock market.

Mixed signals from US President Donald Trump about the US-China trade dispute kept investors on edge. For one thing, China is not keen to upend its entire government-centered development strategy simply to please Trump.

He said the goods that would be affected represented only "a fraction of our economy" and that the US was in "better shape to weather this than the Chinese are". But those efforts are often undermined by other Trump-ordered moves that are straight out of the "America first" playbook, experts and Democratic members say. Although he now has 3,000 manufacturing workers in China, he plans to open a factory with 500 in Vietnam so his business remains financially attractive to USA buyers.

"The irony is that China is now in a position of trying to uphold the WTO system, and essentially the rule-based global trading order, while Trump has no use for rules, he's a results-based businessman, and doesn't want to be constrained by rules or laws", says James H. Nolt, a China specialist for the World Policy Institute.

Mr. Trump noted the possible auto tariffs as a negotiating tool with the European Union in The Wall Street Journal interview.

In Buenos Aires, Trump is also due to sit down with Putin for a bilateral meeting that has taken on added import after Russian Federation fired on and detained three Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov near Crimea.

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