President Donald Trump insists his trade war with China will spur more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Two of the companies he’s targeted -- Apple Inc. and Ford Motor Co. -- disagree.
Trump Urges Ford, Apple to Bring Jobs Home. They Probably Won’t
President Donald Trump insists his trade war with China will spur more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Two of the companies he’s targeted — Apple Inc. and Ford Motor Co. — disagree.
In a tweet Sunday, Trump said Ford’s decision not to import a new sport-utility vehicle from China means the Focus Active “can now be built in the U.S.A.”
The automaker has already said it has no plans to restart production elsewhere. Ford said Aug. 31 the Trump administration’s 25 percent levy on China-built autos undermined the profitability of the car.
Ford stood by its decision.
“It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment,” Mike Levine, a spokesman for the company, tweeted in response to the president’s tweet.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump “Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs.” CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!
A day earlier, the president exhorted Apple to start building new plants in the U.S. after the tech giant warned that a proposed $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports would jack up the price of its products.
“Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower U.S. growth and competitiveness and higher prices for U.S. consumers,” Apple said in a Sept. 5 letter to the Office of U.S. Trade Representative. It asked the government to come up with other measures to bolster the economy. Back in May, CEO Tim Cook told Trump that duties “were not the right approach.”
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for a comment on Trump’s latest broadside.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 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. Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting! #MAGA
Sent via Twitter for iPhone.
The U.S. has imposed $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods with another $200 billion in the final stages. The public had until Sept. 6 to comment on the administration’s plan. Trump said Friday he is considering another $267 billion of tariffs on China, which analysts said will affect virtually every category of consumer goods, to retaliate against what he calls unfair trade practices.
In Ford’s case, pulling the plug on the low-volume Focus Active won’t be hugely significant to its business because it sells more than 2.5 million vehicles annually in its home market. But automakers may cull other vehicles as well if Trump continues to escalate trade wars with the likes of China, Europe and even Canada.
Ford has already announced it will eventually stop selling all passenger cars in the U.S. except the Mustang, in favor of meeting Americans’ appetite for large — and profitable — trucks and SUVs. Ford had once planned to move production of the Focus to Mexico, drawing rebukes from Trump leading up to the 2016 election. Last year, Ford decided to shift production to China.