Reigniting trade war fears, President Donald Trump is said to seek a ban on selling German luxury cars in the U.S. According to a German business magazine with the very real and 100% not made up title "WirtschaftsWoche", Trump told French President Emanuel Macron that a goal of his trade policies was to stop "Mercedez-Benz models from driving down Fifth Avenue in NY".
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said earlier this month that he would launch an investigation into whether automobile imports are hurting US national security.
Auto giant Volkswagen expressed "regret and concern" about the 25-percent duty slapped on steel imports to the United States, as well as a 10-percent duty on aluminium.
So, trump wants to oust the German automakers from the US market, reports Reuters, citing German magazine Wirtschaftswoche. Although he is for free trade, but not at any price: "I love free trade, but it must be a smart trade, so I call him fair". The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, for example, is built at Magna-Steyr's plant in Austria.
"If the USA moves forward with its tariffs, the European Union has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on US orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return".
So Why Does Trump Want To Push Out German Cars? They dwarf sales of the two USA luxury models: Cadillac and Lincoln.
Overall, European automakers shipped 37 billion euros, or $43.2 billion, worth of vehicles to the US previous year. German companies point to their sizeable manufacturing investments in the United States and BMW has repeatedly pointed out that it is the largest vehicle exporter - by value - from the US.
A number of German automakers have plants in the USA, including Mercedes-Benz in Alabama and BMW in SC.
The threats directed at German manufacturers, in particular, have taken observers by surprise. German cars coming into the American market.
Any attempt to impose new auto import sanctions, never mind instituting an outright ban, would likely generate intense legal opposition.