Sacrebleu! France Will Retaliate on Auto Tariffs if U.S. Levies Import Car Tariff…

This has to be one of the single funniest French retorts in the history of commerce.  If President Trump follows through on auto tariffs, France will strike back.  Let that sink in.

Oh noes,… your next Peugeot, Citroen or Renault purchase might cost more.  D’oh.

PARIS (Reuters) – Europe will hit back if U.S. President Donald Trump follows through with a threat to slap import tariffs on European-made cars, France’s finance minister said on Monday. Trump escalated already burning trade tensions on Friday by threatening to hit all imports of cars assembled in the European Union (EU) with a 20 percent tariff.   (more)

The EU is the most protectionist trade bloc in the world.  The German auto-sector is the most protected trade sector inside the EU.  The hypocrisy is silly.

The EU, Germany specifically, needs access to the U.S. market to survive.  Angela Merkel has already conceded this point in the EU concessionary position to abandon all auto tariffs; in exchange for removal of Steel and Aluminum tariffs.

The only reason Merkel was so quick to the trigger is because without access to the U.S. market, the German economy begins the contraction cycle currently being experienced by Canada.   It’s the same reason why Germany abandoned the Paris Climate Treaty within weeks of the official U.S. withdrawal.

President Trump doesn’t want to necessarily tax German auto imports, but he is more than willing to use the tariff hammer to crack the protectionism within the EU market.

[Harley Davidson] said on Monday it would move production of motorcycles shipped to the EU from the United States to its international facilities and forecast the retaliatory tariffs would cost the company $90-100 million a year.

Reacting to the news, Le Maire said: “Whatever allows jobs to be created in Europe goes in the right direction. We don’t want a trade war, but we will defend ourselves.” (link)

Note the hypocrisy.  EU trade positions to protect their jobs is “going in the right direction“, but Trump trade positions to protect U.S. jobs is, well, not ok?

Harley Davidson is doing what companies and manufacturers should do, build within the market they are selling to.   If the EU applied the same standard they cheer Harley Davidson for, Germany would immediately begin expanding auto production facilities inside the U.S.   See how that works.

Drop all restrictive trade barriers and no country can compete on an even playing field with the U.S.  We lead the world in innovation; we have lower energy costs, abundant raw materials; highest returns on investment; and with organic upward pressure on wages, we will once again achieve the worlds fastest growing skilled labor force.

CNBC – […] Fifty-four percent of Americans say the economy is good or excellent, the highest recorded by CNBC in the 10 years of the survey. Just 43 percent say the economy is fair or poor, the lowest in the history of the survey. Positive views on the economy have surged 20 points since the election. And for the first time, the percentage of Americans saying the economy is excellent outstrips the percent saying it is poor. Americans look for a strong 4 percent gain in their home values in the next year, equaling the highest percentage previously recorded in 2007.

The president’s economic approval numbers come with some support from Democrats, said Jay Campbell with Hart Research Associates, the Democratic pollster for the survey. “There is component of Democratic base that’s willing to acknowledge the improving economy and willing to give Trump a certain amount of credit for it,’’ Campbell said. “A large number still disapprove of Trump on the economy but 30 percent of Democrats is not nothing.”  (read more)

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