As President Trump crusades to protect American workers from imports, he has complained to foreign leaders that there are too many German cars in the U.S. That's what he told French President Emmanuel Macron during a recent visit to Washington.
Only problem is that according to CNN Money, German automakers have opened big factories in the United States, dramatically reducing their need to import cars. Moreover, targeting German carmakers would hurt American workers -- many thousands -- and the US economy.
CNN reports that German automakers sold 1.35 million vehicles in the United States in 2017, about 8 percent of total US car sales. Of those, only 494,000 were exported from Germany to the United States — 25% less than in 2013, according to the German carmakers association.
Most of the remainder were made in the United States and in Mexico, which has a free trade agreement with the United States. GM (GM) and Ford (F) also make cars in Mexico for delivery to the United States.
Those German cars -- Beemers, VWs and Mercedes -- that bother Trump so much are mostly built in factories right here in America that employ as many as 50,000 workers. You mean to tell me that Trump doesn't understand this?
Is this just another case of him shooting from the hip and creating his own facts to support his rhetoric to his base? Problem is, most likely a good many of those 50,000 German car company workers are part of his base.
Here are some more facts, courtesy of CNN, that Trump might want to consider:
Vehicles shipped from Europe to the United States face a low 2.5% tariff. Meanwhile, cars built in America face a 10% tariff when they're exported to the European Union. But Europe says it was willing to lower its tariffs on automobiles during recent negotiations with the United States over steel and aluminum tariffs. However, Europe says the Trump administration walked away.
German automakers would most likely scale back investment in the United States if their products were targeted with increased tariffs. And the European Union would almost certainly respond by increasing tariffs on US autos. That couldn't be good for American workers.
I'm no trade expert, but it seems to me that Trump needs to do more than simply watch the cars his limo passes as he makes policy decisions that affect our nation and the rest of the world.