Trump studying new auto tariffs after GM restructuring

Trump studying new auto tariffs after GM restructuring

US President Donald Trump headed to Argentina Thursday for a fractious weekend of G20 summitry, cancelling planned talks with Russia's leader and boasting that his trade war with China was paying off.

He said the goods that would be affected represented only "a fraction of our economy" and that the USA was in "better shape to weather this than the Chinese are".

"This G-20 will be a critically important meeting - it is about the two biggest economies addressing their differences to provide certainty and stability to the global economy", he said prior to departure.

In Buenos Aires, Trump is also due to sit down with Putin for a bilateral meeting that has taken on added import after Russian Federation fired on and detained three Ukrainian ships in the Sea of Azov near Crimea. That tension surfaced again on Thursday.

While the USA president has indicated a willingness to reach an agreement with Xi, he said in an interview with The Washington Post, "I think that China wants to make a deal very badly", adding that if an agreement isn't reached, "we'll be taking in billions and billions of dollars a month in tariffs, and I'm OK with either one of those two situations".

"I think China wants to make a deal. But, frankly, I like the deal we have right now", the president continued.

Trump didn't elaborate further.

This year, Washington levied duties between 10 percent and 25 percent on Chinese goods worth some $250 billion (€219 billion), arguing that the tariffs are necessary to combat what the Trump administration describes as China's unfair trade practices.

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"If we did that with cars coming in, many more cars would be built here", Trump said, "and G.M. would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland".

Trump also said he believed Beijing was hoping to strike a deal. But European and other leaders are likely to try to avoid a photo-op that could cause backlash at home by appearing to legitimize the man who US intelligence agencies concluded ordered the killing. A 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of those goods is due to rise to 25 percent on January 1.

The prospect of tariffs of 25 percent on imported autos and parts has sent shockwaves through the auto industry, with both USA and foreign-brand producers lobbying against it and warning that national security tariffs on European Union and Japanese vehicles could dramatically raise the price of many vehicles.

If that negotiation has averted one trade war, the International Monetary Fund said Trump's threatened auto tariffs on Europe and Japan could lop three-fourths of a per cent of the global economy.

"Beijing wants a deal, just as Washington does".

A Chinese response to USA demands sent earlier this month amounted to a rehash of previous commitments and pledges that Xi had made in recent speeches, according to people familiar with the discussions. They are opposed by China hawks who include U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, National Security adviser John Bolton, many National Security officials, and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. To nudge his preferred outcome, Cook has also played diplomat personally in lobbying USA and Chinese officials to reach a trade resolution. A ceasefire, analysts say, would at least delay the risk of a further escalation in the trade war while talks proceed.

For the G20 as a whole, Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie told AFP that the summit should stress the importance of trade itself. Hawks in his administration have also been eager to see broader changes in Chinese industrial and technology policy.

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