Ford Tells Trump Why it Won’t Make China-Built Car in US

Elias Hubbard
September 10, 2018

Ford says it won't be moving production of a hatchback vehicle to the United States from China - despite President Donald Trump's claim that his taxes on Chinese imports mean the Focus Active can be built in America. The company is concerned, however, about the Trump administration's proposal to add 25 percent duties on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, including a wider assortment of consumer-related items.

Trump tweeted Saturday that "Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China - but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive", if the company made its products in the United States instead of China.

Trump conveyed the message in a pair of Twitter messages on September 8 and September 9, suggesting that the companies won't pay tariffs on their products if they move their production plants back home.

"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt US companies and USA consumers will advance the Government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies".

Tension has also persisted over limits on USA firms' access to Chinese markets, intellectual property protection, technology transfers and investment.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the USA will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower U.S. growth and competitiveness and higher prices for United States consumers", Apple said in its letter. The Trump administration is poised to decide whether to extend that to another $200 billion of Chinese goods. Start building new plants now. "This vehicle can now be BUILT IN THE USA and Ford will pay no tariffs!"

Trump's threatened tariffs cover a total of $517 billion in Chinese goods, which would exceed last year's goods imports of $505 billion from China.

Ford's North America product communications manager, Mike Levine, spelled it out for the president in a tweet noting "it would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the USA given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment". China has retaliated in kind, and Washington and Beijing have continue to ratchet up threats of more tariffs. The company has not announced plans to move manufacturing from China to the US.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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