Archive for the ‘Trade’ Category

Trump Tariffs Could Complicate PSA’s U.S. Market Return

“I could launch in Canada,” says PSA’s North American CEO.

by on Jul.17, 2018

While new Peugeot models, such as this 3008 crossover, would work for North America, PSA will develop unique U.S. products.

On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Dept. will hold hearings in Washington, D.C. to decide if, as President Donald Trump has suggested, imported automobiles pose a threat to national security. If so, the White House could follow up with new tariffs of up to 25% on those vehicles.

That’s on top of the previously enacted tariffs on steel and aluminum that have already begun to drive up production costs for domestic manufacturers. And the industry’s response has been fierce in its opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal.

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But as much as the potential tariff hike has complicated matters for existing manufacturers, it is raising even more challenges for potential new entrants to the U.S. market, including PSA, the French parent of the Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall brands, which is in the midst of developing a strategy to return to North America for the first time in more than a quarter century. (more…)

Detroit Automakers Could Come Out Losers Even if Trump Scuttles Import Tariffs

One alternative could open U.S. up to flood of foreign-made pickups.

by on Jul.16, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, proposed eliminating all tariffs between trading partners.

The auto industry has been actively trying to get President Donald Trump to back off his threat to impose a 25% tariff on imported automobiles, even Detroit-based carmakers warning that such a move could wind up raising prices, slowing sales, reducing U.S. exports and hurting American jobs.

Ironically, one of the likely alternatives to new tariffs could be great news for American consumers – but a potential disaster for Detroit’s Big Three, opening them up to a new wave of competition in the most profitable segment of the U.S. automotive market.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, has raised the prospect of effectively eliminating automotive tariffs entirely, while others are saying they should be a uniform figure shared among all major trading partners. That approach could force the U.S. to eliminate the so-called “chicken tax,” the relic of an old, Euro-American trade dispute that has effectively closed off the American pickup truck market for the past half-century. (more…)

Hyundai Union Warns Tariffs Could Cause US Plant Closure

South Korean union contract calls for closure of foreign plants first.

by on Jul.13, 2018

Hyundai's plant in Montgomery, Alabama, could be impacted severely by a 25% tariff on imported vehicles by the Trump administration.

Up until now, China, Mexico, Canada and Germany have all been at the heart of unfolding controversy about trade and tariffs.

But a new report also suggests that tariffs could destabilize manufacturing base that the South Korean auto giant, Hyundai, has developed in Alabama.

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The South Korean labor union at Hyundai Motors has warned that the 25% tariff on autos being imported into the United States being considered by the Trump administration could jeopardize as many as 20,000 jobs in Alabama.  (more…)

Tesla Set to Move on New Plant in Shanghai, Announcing Deal Even as it Raises Chinese Prices

Battery-carmaker is 1st from U.S. to raise prices as trade war escalates.

by on Jul.10, 2018

Tesla's new Shanghai plant is expected to be at least as large as its factory in Fremont, California - and include battery production, as well.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

Pres. Donald Trump’s trade war has claimed its first automotive victim, Tesla announcing it will raise prices on some models on sale in China by $20,000 or more to reflect the impact of new tariffs on American-made vehicles.

At the same time, CEO Elon Musk is on his way to China, numerous reports indicating Tesla is set to lock down a deal with authorities in Shanghai to set up the company’s first foreign assembly plant. Musk confirmed construction will begin in about three months and the facility will produce 500,000 vehicles annually once it is ramped up to full production.

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Despite the news about tariffs – which could depress sales in the world’s largest battery-car market in the near-term – investors appear to be buoyed by reports that Tesla will move forward on a Chinese assembly plant. Musk has also indicated that the automaker is working on plans to set up a second foreign plant somewhere in Europe.

(more…)

Auto Industry in the Crosshairs as First Shots Fired in China Trade War

Ford, BMW, Volvo and GM could be particularly hard-hit.

by on Jul.06, 2018

President Donald Trump ordered $50 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods.

Words, rather than gunshots, rang out overnight as the Trump administration officially enacted an estimated $50 billion in new trade tariffs on China, leading the massive Asian giant to strike back with new duties worth about $34 billion.

The U.S., Chinese officials declared, has launched “the biggest trade war in economic history.” The government, borrowing a page from the Trump playbook, called the U.S. administration “a gang of hoodlums.” The White House, meanwhile, said it was in for the long-term, if need be, and could levy billions of dollars in additional tariffs against one of America’s biggest trade partners.

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The battle, which few analysts expect to be resolved quickly, will impact a broad spectrum of industrial sectors, everything from entertainment to agriculture, though automotive manufacturers could be particularly hard-hit. (more…)

Rue Brittania? Brexit Could Chase Jaguar Land Rover from the UK

Brexit poses major financial hit, automaker warns.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover, celebrates a win for the Velar as World Car Design of the Year. It was a finalist for the overall World Car of the Year.

It once was said that “the sun never sets on the British empire.” What’s left of that realm could grow even smaller, ironically enough, once the United Kingdom exercises its independence and leaves the European Union.

Negotiations have been going on for months, following the Brexit vote, and among those watching closely to see how future trade relations shape up is Jaguar Land Rover, the British automaker warning that without a favorable deal, it could see its annual costs rise by 1.2 billion pounds, or about $1.6 billion, annually. That would force it to think seriously about moving out of the UK, according to a statement issued by JLR CEO Ralf Speth.

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The automaker, he stressed, needs to have “free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market” if it is to successfully compete in the global market, Speth said.

(more…)

Trade Tariffs Getting Global Pushback: Trump v. The World

Automakers leading charge against new tariffs.

by on Jul.02, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has attempted to provide counsel to President Donald Trump, even as his policies have negatively impacted automakers.

Everywhere President Donald Trump looks these days is another message saying, essentially, don’t do this.

“This” in this instance is an attempt to raise tariffs against multiple trade partners at the same time. Trump, who made trade a central piece of his election campaign, has managed to either increase tariffs or threaten to do so against Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and the European Union.

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Right now, Canada has already instituted retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. as has the EU for the tax on imported aluminum and steel. Trump responded by threatening to put tariffs on even more items, including a 20% on vehicles from the EU. (more…)

Obrador’s Win in Mexico Presidential Election Portends NAFTA Trouble

Tough NAFTA talks expected to get even more difficult.

by on Jul.02, 2018

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is likely to have a negative impact on NAFTA.

In a development that leaves the future North American Free Trade Agreement hanging by a slender thread, Andreas Manuel López Obrador was elected president of Mexico in a landslide victory that could lead to sweeping change in Mexican politics.

The leftist Obrador is considered by some commentators as Mexico’s version of Cuba’s Fidel Castro or Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

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Obrador, who narrowly lost the Mexican Presidency in 2006 and 2012, has forcefully rejected the Castro-Chavez comparison. Instead he ran on a platform that promised to curb corruption in Mexico. But Obrador, who won 53% of the vote July 1, has promised to attack the inequality in Mexico and has said the NAFTA isn’t working for the average Mexican worker needs a hefty pay increase. (more…)

Car Dealers Tell Commerce Department That Tariffs are Taxes on Consumers

Department studying if imported autos risk national security.

by on Jun.29, 2018

AIADA's Cody Lusk chastised the Trump administration in a filing, saying a new tariff amounts to a new tax on the American people.

This country’s international auto dealers, who sell brands from Asia and Europe, fired a broadside shot against the Trump administration’s plans to impose a heavy tariff on cars imported into the U.S.

America’s auto dealers, domestic and international, stand to lose up to 2 million annual sales if the investigation rules against their products and the 25% tariff proposed by the Trump administration is put in place, the American International Auto Dealers Association said.

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The AIADA comments were filed with the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation into whether or not imported autos and auto parts, used in every car sold in America, pose a national security threat to the United States. (more…)

Automakers Foreign and Domestic: Tariffs Harm Jobs, Economy

A 25% tariff could add nearly $6K to vehicle prices.

by on Jun.27, 2018

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the study determining if automotive imports could be declared a threat to national security.

(This story has been updated with additional information.)

The escalating tariff war between the United States and the European Union, heighted by a threat of a 20% tariff on EU-imported vehicles, could result in vehicle prices rising an average of $5,800 and eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Those are just some of the findings from study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The study claims that the cost to U.S. jobs from the import duties would be at least 195,000 jobs. It could be as high as 624,000 jobs if other countries retaliate.

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Last week, Trump threatened to impose the 20% tariff and yesterday he said tariffs are coming soon. (more…)

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