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Trump Administration Backs Off 50% Content Demand in NAFTA

Move puts negotiations back on track.

by on Mar.21, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reportedly took the 50% U.S. content demand off the table last week.

It appears that negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement are back on track after the Trump Administration relented on its demand that vehicles built in Canada and Mexico and exported to the U.S. must contain 50% U.S. content.

The demand, which Trump Administration officials were told by automakers would be impossible to implement, essentially brought the talks about revising the decades old trade deal between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to a halt.

Trade News!

The Trump Administration had been seeking to raise the amount of NAFTA content in autos to 85% from 62.5% and secure 50% of the total for the United States. (more…)

Business Group Pushes EPA to Keep Tougher Fuel Economy Rules

Administrator Pruitt considering cutting standard.

by on Mar.21, 2018

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reopened the review of tougher CAFE standards going into effect for 2025.

With the Environmental Protection Agency poised to release a proposal to revise the nation’s current fuel-economy standards, a big network of American businesses is calling on the Trump administration to maintain robust fuel-economy and emissions standards for passenger vehicles.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, CERES, which advocates for clean energy and sustainable business and industrial practices that minimize harm to the environment, also expressing support for rights of states to maintain the existing standards.

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The letter from the Ceres BICEP Network to the EPA administrator noted the strong national miles-per-gallon and emissions standards already in place represent “a critical opportunity to strengthen the U.S. economy, enhance the global competitiveness of the auto industry, create jobs, and help us meet our climate goals. (more…)

Automakers, Suppliers Decry Trump Tariff Implementation

Companies warn that cost increases will get passed to consumers.

by on Mar.09, 2018

Analysts believe the new tariffs will increase the costs consumers pay for a new vehicle in the U.S.

Dealers, carmakers and suppliers were quick to criticize President Donald Trump’s order imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum with the exception of imports from Canada or Mexico.

“A tariff is a tax that will result in higher prices that consumers will ultimately bear,” John Bozzella, the president and CEO of Global Automakers, an organization that represents more than a dozen European and Asian automakers as well as key suppliers.

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Earlier in the week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tried to downplay the impact by going on television with a can of Campbell’s Soup and telling viewers its price would increase by a fraction of a penny. But considering the amount of steel and aluminum in a typical vehicle, prices for cars could go up by hundreds of dollars, analysts warn. (more…)

Speaker Ryan Warns Trump About Trade War Consequences

Republicans fear a trade war will wipe out majorities in midterm elections.

by on Mar.06, 2018

Republicans in the House, led by Paul Ryan, are attempting to dissuade President Donald Trump from implementing new tariffs.

The war of words over trade if not the trade war itself continues unabated this week with warnings from President Donald Trump’s Republican allies in Congress about the potential for adverse economic fallout from the sudden imposition of tariffs and taxes by the U.S.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) told journalists he was “extremely worried” about sowing discord with Mexico and Canada and the consequences of a trade war.

Automotive Insight!

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wasted no times no time in attacking Trump’s tariff proposal and Mexican officials have abruptly given up on efforts to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is critical to companies tied to the North American Auto Industry. (more…)

Trump Threatens to Tax Euro-Made Vehicles Again

President tweets 25% tariff threat.

by on Mar.05, 2018

President Donald Trump threatened to place a 25% tariff on European-made vehicles coming into the U.S. last weekend.

President Donald Trump dusted off a threat from early in his administration over the weekend by tweeting he would impose a 25% tax or tariff on new vehicles imported into the United States.

The tweet about taxing European cars was apparently in response to remarks from a European Union policy maker, suggesting that if the Trump administration imposes tariffs on steel and aluminum imports the EU could slap tariffs on iconic American products such Harley Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and blue jeans.

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Trump raised the possibility of slapping a tax on European cars during one of the early skirmishes around trade rules soon after moving into the White House in January 2017. One of his earliest proposals, a so-called “border adjustment tax” was buried after heavy lobbying by members of Congress, automakers and car dealers. (more…)