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German Carmakers Head to Washington, Hoping to Dodge Tariffs by Offering Jobs

5 diciembre, 2018
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Yet Trump, who referred to himself as a Tariff Man in a message posted on Twitter on Tuesday, could ultimately call for the levies if he does not think Europe is negotiating a trade deal in good faith.

 

 

 

Jack Ewing and Glenn Thrush

c.2018 New York Times News Service

German auto executives are set to meet with top U.S. officials in Washington on Tuesday in hopes that promising to create jobs for American workers will stave off tariffs that would devastate their country’s most important industry.

 

The hastily organized meeting, to be attended by representatives of BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen, comes amid a growing sense of dread in Europe that President Donald Trump will follow through on his threats to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported cars.

 

After General Motors’ announcement last month that it would idle five factories in North America, the White House, already juggling complex and uncertain trade negotiations with China, Mexico and Canada, has shown a diminishing interest in escalating trade tensions with Europe, according to several senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal White House strategy.

 

Trump continues to take a tough public stance toward Europe. He recently criticized Prime Minister Teresa May of Britain for agreeing to terms he said were too favorable to the European Union in negotiations over her country’s decision to leave the bloc. But after Republicans lost control of the House in November, he is more interested in winning than in fighting over trade.

 

Trump, the officials said, hopes to use uncertainty over the possibility of auto tariffs to extract new promises from German carmakers that they will add factory jobs in the United States, something they are inclined to do anyway.

 

The president is also concerned that if tariffs are imposed, German carmakers may retaliate by cutting jobs at their existing American plants, many of which are in states that went for him in the 2016 election. Several of his top advisers, including Larry Kudlow, director of National Economic Council, have urged him to back off his tariff threat.

 

Yet Trump, who referred to himself as a Tariff Man in a message posted on Twitter on Tuesday, could ultimately call for the levies if he does not think Europe is negotiating a trade deal in good faith.

 

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