President Trump really seems to hate foreign automakers.
President Donald Trump has been vocal about his "America First" policies, which involves potential tariffs on foreign goods such as automobiles. Trump has even been quoted saying, "The Germans are bad, very bad," when talking about how many German cars are sold in the US. It seems the president is no longer content with simply voicing his opinions on the issue and wants to implement policy to fix it. A report by Reuters details Trump's plans to slow down European car sales in the U.S. by imposing trade tariffs.
Trump stated on Twitter, "If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a Tax on their Cars which freely pour into the U.S. They make it impossible for our cars (and more) to sell there. Big trade imbalance!" The proposed tariff would be 2.5% on cars assembled in Europe and 25% on European-built vans and pickup trucks, a possible crushing blow to European car companies in the U.S. Many have criticized the president for glossing over the number of U.S. jobs created by foreign automakers. Over $700 billion has been invested in the U.S. in the last two years; two thirds of new 656,000 manufacturing jobs can be attributed to foreign investment.
Trump may not realize how many "European" cars are actually built in the U.S. and how these tariffs could hurt the U.S. in the long run. Last year, Germany's automotive trade association said, "the United States would be shooting itself in the foot by imposing tariffs or other trade barriers." If President Trump's plans go through, European cars will end up being significantly more expensive in the U.S. The European Union would likely meet these tariffs with resistance or even retaliation.