Trump says US-China auto tariffs stupid and not balanced


WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump (picture) lashed out at tariffs placed on American cars sold in China, saying the trade structure disproportionately hurts the US.

In a Twitter posting yesterday morning, Trump said the current system levies a 2.5% tariff on every Chinese car imported to the US, while placing a 25% duty on cars going the other way. He assailed what he said has been an historic imbalance.

“Does that sound like free or fair trade. No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE — going on for years!” Trump said in the message. To date, imports of Chinese-assembled cars into the US have been small but growing.

Ford Motor Co plans to begin importing Chinese-assembled versions of its Focus model to the US next year. So far, Geely Automobiles Holding Ltd-owned Volvo Cars started importing S60 sedans from China in 2015 and General Motors Co has followed suit with the Buick Envision SUV and Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid.

Trade tensions between the two countries have intensified recently, roiling world markets. Trump ordered up tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and last week said the US plans to review additional tariffs on China, retaliation for what he calls decades of intellectual property theft. China has responded with tariffs of its own on 106 products ranging from soybeans to aircraft and threatens more.