New tariffs could slow Chinese made cars, imports in U.S.

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Ford, GM, Volvo, GAC could suffer if taxes go into effect

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President Donald Trump’s proposed 25 percent tariff on certain goods, including automobiles, imported from China could put a kink in the plans of GM, Ford and Volvo, as well as Chinese brand Guangzhou Automobile Group who planned to enter the U.S. market next year. The tariffs aren’t final, and the Trump administration says it’s open to negotiations with the country.

“At this point, the decision would put on hold any plans to import cars,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive to Automotive News, adding that “it’s really a ploy to get the Chinese to the table.”

GM imports the Buick Envision crossover, as well as the Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid from China. Volvo’s been importing the S60 Inscription sedan since 2015; Ford was planning to start building the Focus compact there and then importing it to the U.S.

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Gallery: 2017 Cadillac CT6

China retaliated, planning its own 25 percent levy on imports including cars, chemicals, soybeans and aircraft. Automotive News reports that could be a problem for Tesla; the Model S and X currently teeter on the edge of unaffordable in the Chinese market. An extra 25 percent would put the price out of reach to all but the wealthiest car buyers.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich, warned of unintended consequences.

“We need to have a level playing field, but we need to make sure that there are not unintended consequences,” Dingell said Wednesday at the opening of the American Center for Mobility, an autonomous-vehicle test site in Ypsilanti, Mich.

When asked for comment by Automotive News, a spokesperson for Ford said that the company was encouraging both governments to work together. GM urged them to pursue sustainable trade policies and Volvo said it was monitoring the situation.

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