Monday , July 22 2019
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Trump Wants BMW, Mercedes To Be Made In US

President Trump has given European auto manufacturers a way to avoid an escalation of the trade war, saying they can avoid tariffs on cars if they build more plants in the US.

“They have BMW, they have Mercedes, they have a lot of very good cars that come in,” he said in an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo airing Friday.

His “end game” on the issue is that European carmakers will “build their plants in the United States and they have no tariffs.”

Trump said that he would agree to zero-tariff levels on some trade with Europe but wouldn’t on autos without this concession.

Trump answered “well, no” after he was asked whether foreign cars represent a national security threat to the US – the subject of a Commerce Department study Trump ordered last year. The findings haven’t yet been publicly released.

But he added: “What poses a national security risk is our balance sheet,” apparently referring to the US trade deficit. “We have to have – we need a strong balance sheet. Otherwise you don’t have national security.”

Trump also said that if congressional Democrats don’t ratify the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, his alternative would be to “maybe go pre-Nafta” with trade practices in North America.

He’s previously made threats to terminate Nafta in an effort to force Democrats into ratifying the agreement but he hasn’t yet followed through.

On China, Trump said in the interview that talks are going well even amid signs that progress is slowing and said he plans to stay the course on other trade talks.

“I think the deal will probably happen; I think they need it very badly,” Trump said. Pressed on whether the talks have hit a snag, he said they hadn’t: “No, not at all.”

As recently as early this month, Trump administration officials had spoken publicly of a Florida summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping as early as next week.

Instead, those talks have been pushed back at least several weeks as a US delegation heads to Beijing this weekend.

 

About Lanre Oyetade

A multiple award winner in Economics and business journalism, Lanre Oyetade has served close to two decades in the media industry, spanning different notable stables, where he is privileged to have risen to the position of a title editor. A masters degree holder in Economics from the University of Lagos and doctoral student at the Babcock University, he is a winner of the prestigious NMMA Capital Market Award for two consecutive years (2004 & 2005), and was also a nominee for the body’s banking and finance and money market awards for two years. In 2013, he also won the Most Outstanding Business-Reporting Title Editor award of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN). A minister in the LORDS’s vineyard, he has been an inspirational speaker and resource person at many corporate and religious fora since early 2004, and has so far authored three books on the capital market; on personal effectiveness, and on personal finance, in 2008 and 2014, respectively.