Lyin’ Trump on trade

Lyin' Trump on trade

by digby

Trump blathered ignorantly over the weekend about forcing Ford to bring its manufacturing back to the US.

Ford responded:

It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units.

CNN explains:

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, including some automobiles, in a move Trump has touted as necessary to punish Beijing for what he says are its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. China has retaliated in kind, and Washington and Beijing have continue to ratchet up threats of more tariffs.

Ford spokesman Michael Levine said the Focus Active is built in Europe. The company had plans to begin making the vehicle in China in the latter half of 2019 and exporting them to the US market.

But Ford said last month that it was scrapping that plan because Trump's tariffs would make the cars too expensive.

The company also reaffirmed that it has no plans to start making the car on US soil. It will continue to sell the vehicle outside the states.

China has actually imposed a 25% tariff on top of the usual 15% because of Trump's trade war. US is charging 2.4% plus 25% on top also because of Trump's trade war.  He is an imbecile who has no clue about tariffs and apparently nobody can teach him ... or stop him.

CNBC auto reporter Phil LeBeau said on MSNBC earlier today:

[How to deal with the fact that the president doesn't understand the cause and effect of tariffs] is a good question.

This is the reason you rarely hear from auto executives. Why? Because a) they're worried that the minute they say something it will be misconstrued and b) they are worried they'll become a target for the Trump administration.

As a result, you rarely hear from auto executives. I would say the last year and a half is one where you get a lot of "we can't really talk, here's what's going on, you understand our position."

Think about that. American auto executives are terrified of the US president tweeting some nonsense or enacting punitive measures because he has no clue what he's talking about. He's a wrecking ball who has one dim idea that makes little sense, based upon made up statistics, and if anyone challenges him he sees it as a personal betrayal and sets out to destroy them.

If populists want the government to take an active role in regulating the markets to the benefit of the working man it would seem to me to be a requirement that the person making those decisions not be a cretinous moron.

*Standard disclaimer: tariffs can be a very useful tool, but trade is complicated and in the hands of an imbecile, they do more harm than good.