The predictable effects of some of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy decisions are continuing to unfold as time goes on. The Trump administration has imposed rounds and rounds of tariffs against countries including Canada, the members of the European Union, and China, and those countries have moved to institute retaliatory tariffs against the United States. Business in the United States has thereby found itself threatened, with the car manufacturer BMW having now joined the list of companies forced to adjust operations because of the punitive trade wars.
The multinational corporation BMW is not just some small fish in the broad global economic pond. The German-based manufacturer is the largest exporter of cars from the United States, employing some 10,000 people as a part of those operations at a plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. At least some of those operations will now be moving overseas as a result of policies imposed by the supposedly pro-American worker Donald Trump; there is no apparent immediate word if the shift in operations will result in layoffs or if U.S. employees will simply be set to doing something else.
In the meantime, what is clear is that BMW has signed an agreement with its Chinese partner company known as Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings to increase the number of cars produced in the country to 520,000 by next year. BMW cars that are still made in the United States will now cost more in China because of the 40 percent tariff that nation imposed on cars imported from the U.S. in response to tariffs put in place recently by Trump on over $30 billion worth of Chinese products.
The car company is just “not in a position to completely absorb the tariff increases,” it explained.
BMW CEO Harald Krueger added a forward-looking note to the situation, saying:
‘Our agreement sets a long-term framework for our future in China — a future involving continued investment, further growth and a clear commitment to the development and production of electric vehicles.’
His company isn’t the first major manufacturer to find themselves in a difficult position thanks to the Trump-driven trade wars. The classic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson did recently as well, announcing that in response to retaliatory European Union tariffs they would be moving some of their operations overseas.
The tariffs in question were reported by Harley Davidson to up the cost of individual motorcycles by some $2,200, which is hardly a sustainable business model.
Even still, Trump made the company out to be the bad guys, blasting them repeatedly in public statements on social media. At one point, he pointed to 2017 Harley sales data as indicative of customer dissatisfaction for the shift in operations that was announced in 2018.
No number of strangely reality-disconnected statements from the president will do away with the fact that in his attacks on Harley Davidson, he again took to going after an American company for not falling in line with his wishes.
Although BMW is not strictly an American company, it would be in character and predictable for him to go after them for their decision to move some operations overseas despite the fact that they employ people he’s claimed to be looking out for. His actions simply aren’t helping.
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