I caught part of a report on NPR that Trump wants to hit European autos and autor parts supplies with a 20% tariff. I looked it up, and I found this LA Times article on the subject:
The Commerce Department is holding the hearing as it probes whether imports of passenger vehicles imperil U.S. national security.
Really? Imperil U.S. national security? Sound like a pattern to me. And that 20% tariff would hit European auto parts supplies that many American auto manufacturers rely upon. Before we get to what the prices of American sold autos would be if a 20% tariff was raised on European auto parts, this part of the Times story stuck out to me:
A U.S. assault on foreign cars would further strain relations with allies such as Germany and Canada as Trump questions pillars of the Western order such as the Group of 7 and NATO. The president is scheduled to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker next week as Europe pushes for a global deal to cut auto tariffs.
The European Union is preparing a new list of American goods to hit with protective measures if Juncker’s mission to Washington fails to persuade Trump to forego tariffs on cars. The bloc may target American goods worth about 20% of the U.S. action, according to two officials with knowledge of the deliberations.
Is this were we have an intersection between Trump’s tariffs fetish/trade debts and orders from Vladimir Putin? Certainly, these planned tariffs would push this into a real trade war with the European Union, and isn’t the European Union a “foe”? And trade wars spread around economic pain. And it would make the U.S. look like a prick to the EU.
Anyone else think that Putin is telling Trump to go ahead and pull the trigger on European tariffs on autos and auto parts supplies?
Now, if this happens, I think it would be a lot easier to to make the argument that having Vladimir Putin run America is a very bad thing, especially for consumers:
The price of a new car could jump by between $1,400 and $7,000 for top-selling models, if the Trump administration moves ahead with tariffs on imported automobiles and auto parts, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Want some examples?
For instance, compact cars, such as the Chevy Cruz, Nissan Sentra or Honda Civic, average 51 percent foreign content. The $16,381 base price of a Chevy Cruz could jump by $2,140 if 100 percent of the tariffs were passed through to consumers. A Sentra could jump by $3,075 to about $19,300, based on the fact it has an 80 percent foreign content.
The biggest cost increases would be on some of the luxury models, which have the most foreign parts or are made abroad. For instance, the base price for a Mercedes-Benz GLC-class, with 100 percent foreign content, would jump from $36,846 to more than $45,400 if the proposed tariffs were passed on in their entirety to consumers.
Now, if heard NPR correctly, it may take up 6 months before the European tariffs are imposed, so they would take effect in 2019. But I believe they said the figure in autos and auto parts imported into the U.S. runs to $359 billion dollars, which is a lot more than the current tariffs on China. But I think with those price increases from tariffs you would see job losses in auto manufacturing.
Yeah! Didn’t a number of states with auto manufacturing sites such as Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and possibly Pennsylvania vote for Trump in 2016?
Anyway, back to my earlier point. I think that even if all the car companies and the unions oppose the tariffs that Trump will go through and slap a 20% tariff on European cars and car parts. Putin will order Trump to do it. If Putin can’t get sanctions off of Russia, why not cause a recession from a trade war in the West? Putin’s economy is stuck in the dumper, and misery loves company.
Granted, only time will tell if this happens, but if it does, you can’t say that it is impossible that Putin helped push Trump into a trade war. Like Trump, Putin is a chaos agent.