Trump backs potential new auto import tariffs

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US president Donald Trump threatens to cut subsidies to GM. MANDEL NGAN AFP

OH and much of the rest of the industrial Midwest were vital to President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016 and probably will be again in 2020.

President Donald Trump is heralding that as proof his trade policies are creating American manufacturing jobs, but BMW says its plans date back years and remain uncertain.

GM's attempt to close the factories still has to be negotiated with the United Auto Workers union, which has promised to fight them legally and in collective bargaining.

President Trump weighed in too, saying he directed GM CEO Mary Barra to replace production in the affected factories with other models rather than closing plants. Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country.

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Not quite. Since Trump took office, the U.S. Department of Labor reports, companies have added just over 400,000 manufacturing jobs - tiny compared with 150 million non-farm positions. A Honda executive at the September hearing testified tariffs are hurting the entire auto supply chain, calling the business environment in the US "unsettling".

THE FACTS: Automakers have been steadily hiring since 2010 when Barack Obama was president.

Foreign leaders have threatened to retaliate with tariffs against U.S. products if Trump follows through with automobile tariffs, but that hasn't deterred the White House. The decision also affects employment at GM locations in Baltimore and Michigan's Brownstown and Warren transmission plants. China imposed a 40% tariff on United States vehicle imports - much higher than the 15% it places on other trading partners. "It's important to note that the factors that prompted GM's recent decision, the declining sales of the Chevy Cruze, were not due to the quality of the vehicle or the capability of the workforce, but rather current consumer preference", the letter states. Rob Portman have also pushed the automaker not to cut jobs. That fell to 8,200 in 2017 after Trump became president.

Despite the job growth in recent years, auto companies employ far fewer workers than they did in 2000.

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"That cost will be carry over to the pocket books of people buying cars", Samuelsson shared with Higgins during the Los Angeles auto show on Wednesday. "But I think it's more of a strategic adjustment by General Motors to prepare itself for a future in which it's trying to get ahead of the technology curve".

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said the move was "pure economics" but that "we have to take care of the workers" - calling it a "sad day".

Volvo Cars opened a factory in SC this year and Toyota and Mazda are jointly building a new plant in Alabama. As a result of the U.S.' decision to levy a 27.5-percent tariff on Chinese cars imported to the U.S., China now charges a 40-percent tariff on American cars exported to the Asian country.

Honda, one of Japan's largest automakers, has also felt the pain from Trump's tariff agenda. To him, his steel and aluminum tariffs have already proved their free-trade skeptics wrong: they have succeeded in propping up the domestic metal manufacturers they were meant to help.

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