European Union on Monday slammed the Trump administration for considering tariffs on auto imports, saying they could lead to global retaliation against some US$ 300 billion in U.S. goods amid signs of a brewing trade war.
BMW and Hyundai Motor urged the U.S. not to impose tariffs on auto imports, joining General Motors Co. in pressing their case to the Commerce Department even as a top aide to President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns as “smoke and mirrors.”
The Chinese government has eased rules that limit foreign investment in the country's banks, car industry and agriculture. The barriers have drawn criticism from trading partners, including the US. The Trump administration cited the rules as an example of unfair practices when it announced plans for tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this year.
China will allow full foreign ownership of car firms by 2022 in a move that could open up the world's biggest car market. The plans will change rules that require global carmakers to work through state-owned partners. The US says this forces them to share technology with potential competitors.
Li Shufu, chairman of Chinese carmaker Geely, is making waves in the global auto market after buying a US$ 9 billion stake in Germany’s Daimler. Li, 54, the son of a farmer from China’s Zhejiang province, has led a major acquisition push globally since 2010, when he took over Swedish car brand Volvo from Ford Motor, US$ 1.8 billion deal.
Failing to strike a Brexit deal would put hundreds of thousands of jobs in the car industry at risk, MPs have said. The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said continued close alignment with the EU would ensure the industry's survival. And it warned the introduction of trade barriers would leave the sector unable to compete with its European rivals.