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NAFTA Negotiations Stalling Out Again

Auto industry concerned about lack of consistency.

by on Aug.20, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been holding talks with Mexico only these days.

Negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement are ongoing, but anxiety continues to grow inside the auto industry, which is looking for measure of stability, due to the slow pace of the talks.

While some progress has been made during bilateral talks between Mexico and the United States, key issues revolving around automotive content and an automatic, five-year “sunset” provision proposed by Trump administration remain unresolved.

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“I am less optimistic than I was,” said Julie Fream, president of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, which represents a broad cross-section of automotive suppliers. The critical content requirements for automobiles still haven’t been addressed, she said after a recent event sponsored by the OESA. (more…)

Trump Wants Boycott of Harley-Davidson

President tweets support of motorcycle boycott.

by on Aug.13, 2018

President Donald Trump has once again turn his focus on Harley-Davidson, with support of a boycott of the American motorcycle maker.

President Donald Trump is attempting to rally Harley-Davidson owners to boycott the company if it moves any of its production overseas.

In a tweet, Trump said that “many” Harley owners were going to boycott the company. The company earned the president’s ire after it announced plans to build some motorcycles at overseas locations to avoid the steel tariffs put in place by the Trump administration as well as the retaliatory taxes enacted by the European Union in responses.

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The company said it would lose as much as $100 million annually due to the move, which would raise the price of the motorcycle by more than $2,200. It also noted that all bikes sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S. (more…)

China Locks Down American-Made Mercedes SUVs

Brake problems cited, but move comes as trade war heats up.

by on Aug.10, 2018

China has placed a hold on U.S.-built Mercedes-Benz SUVs due to a "problem" with the rear brakes.

Chinese customs agents are holding up a shipment of American-made Mercedes-Benz SUVs, ostensibly due to technical issues, but the timing of the move raises questions, coming just as the trade war between the U.S. and China heats up.

Following a move by President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods, the Asian giant responded with its own new duties, including an additional 25% tariff on vehicles made in the U.S. That move will impact not only products from Detroit manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors but also European carmakers with U.S. assembly operations such as Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG.

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According to the Chinese, two Mercedes models, GLE and GLS SUVs produced between May 4 and June 12 of this year, are being help up at the port in Shanghai due what customs authorities have described as a “safety risk.” (more…)

China Retaliates; New Tariffs Hit U.S. Auto Exports, Jobs

BMW, Mercedes, Ford, other makers could be hard hit, forced to cut American production.

by on Aug.09, 2018

The BMW X5 is the #1-selling American-made vehicle in the Chinese market.

The auto industry has found itself at Ground Zero as the U.S. and China escalate their trade war.

After the latest move by the Trump Administration to target Chinese imports, the Beijing government has announced it will strike back with 25% tariffs on $16 billion in imported U.S. goods. China previously enacted new duties on $34 billion worth of goods, bringing the total to $50 billion. And with the White House threatening to add another $200 billion to the U.S. list, the trade war could escalate rapidly.

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The latest round sees the Chinese Ministry of Commerce placing an additional 25% duty on a list of American products that includes coal, crude oil and metal scrap, as well as automobiles and motorcycles. A number of automakers could be hit hard by the new sanctions, including Ford Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

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Trade Officials Say New NAFTA Could be Done by End of August

Talks are moving along with some urgency.

by on Aug.06, 2018

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's top NAFTA negotiator, said the talks between Mexico and the U.S. aren't exclusionary, but necessary.

Canadian trade officials renewed their desires to get a quicker resolution to the long-negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Initially expected to take less than six months, the talks are closing in on one year in length but have been often delayed by demands from the Trump administration — mandates the trading partners have been unwilling to meet.

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However, with the latest delay in the rearview mirror, Mexico’s presidential election in early July, the three sides have been hurriedly talking to get the deal done. (more…)

GM Pushing to Get Tariff Exclusion for China-Made Envision SUV

If successful, it would eliminate a 25% price hike.

by on Aug.03, 2018

The Buick Envision is caught in the new tariff wars as its built in China and sold in the U.S.

The tariffs implemented by the Trump administration on China are having a negative impact on several American companies, specifically General Motors. However, the company is looking to find a way around them.

GM’s Buick Envision is built in China and, as such, is subject to hefty levy when entering the country, but the company is in talks with Trump’s trade representatives to get an exemption on the popular midsize sport-utility that accounts for nearly 20% of the brand’s U.S. sales.

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GM said in a statement that it filed the request on July 30 with the U.S. Trade Representative. An official notice was posted on Thursday on the regulations.gov website, which is tracking requests for exclusions from the so-called Section 301 tariff on certain imported goods from China, according to Reuters. (more…)

US Trade Partners Plan Next Steps Against Potential New Tariffs

Geneva meeting represents $1 trillion auto exports.

by on Jul.31, 2018

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and President Donald Trump met to discuss a new trade deal.

A large group of the United States’ top trading partners gathered in Geneva this week to discuss a variety of countermeasures against the U.S. should the Trump administration decide to implement a new set of automotive tariffs.

Deputy trade ministers from Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea and the European Union created an outline of possible actions they could take in the event Trump imposes tariffs on foreign imports as a result of the U.S. Commerce Department’s investigation to determine if those imports represent a threat to U.S. national security.

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The group revealed it is considering several options, including an appeal to the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement system and the imposition of retaliatory tariffs against U.S. goods, Bloomberg News reported.  (more…)

Auto Suppliers Growing Pessimistic About Near-Term Prospects

Trump trade policies causing negative outlook.

by on Jul.31, 2018

Auto suppliers are concerned about their near-term prospects due to Trump administration trade policies.

The near-term outlook among both large and small automotive suppliers is growing more pessimistic, according to a new survey.

Despite a relatively strong sales and production environment, the darker outlook prevails due to trade policy uncertainty across the automotive supply base in the third quarter of 2018.

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The OESA Automotive Supplier Barometer, a quarterly survey of executives at North American automotive suppliers on their 12-month outlook, posted a negative reading of 43 for the third quarter of 2018, seven points below a neutral level of 50. (more…)

Trump, EU Explore Elimination of Tariffs

Two sides agree to a halt of tariff war.

by on Jul.26, 2018

European Union Commisson President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and President Donald Trump reached a truce on tariffs.

President Donald Trump and a key representative of the European Union appear to have a reached a temporary cease fire in trade by agreeing to discuss the possibility of removing all tariffs and subsidies on automobiles.

In what the EU chief called a “major concession,” U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Wednesday to refrain from imposing car tariffs while the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers, easing the threat of a transatlantic trade war, according to Reuters.

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After a meeting at the White House, Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the talks would also seek to “resolve” U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and Europe’s retaliatory duties — marking a step back from Trump’s signature import protections for American metals producers, Reuters said. (more…)

Detroit Auto Show Moving to June in 2020, Adding Major New Features

Sponsors aim to revive what's been North America’s leading car show.

by on Jul.23, 2018

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyota is shown here revealing the 2019 Camry during this year's NAIAS.

The North American International Auto Show will move from January to June in 2020, a new timeslot that organizers are betting will help revive the flagging momentum of what had long been one of the industry’s most important annual events.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association had signaled its intention of abandoning its traditional, mid-winter schedule, though a switch to October was also under study. But that would have conflicted with other shows in Europe and Asia, the dealer group’s Executive Director Rod Alberts told bingdb.info in an exclusive interview.

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In a background briefing ahead of today’s official announcement, Alberts said one of the advantages of a summer event is the ability to add new functions that expand beyond the confines of Detroit’s sprawling Cobo Hall convention center. “We realized we have to change the show (and) showcase Detroit, too,” said Alberts, who has been running the DADA for the past 28 years.

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