Tags: Donald Trump | Germany | BMW | trade

Adviser: Trump's Hostility Toward Germany Will Hurt US Workers

Adviser: Trump's Hostility Toward Germany Will Hurt US Workers
(Americanspirit/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 May 2017 01:02 PM

President Donald Trump last week criticized German carmakers for selling too many vehicles in the U.S., contributing to a billion-dollar imbalance in trade.

But the president is focused on the wrong target, said Allan Golombek, a senior director at the pro-business consulting firm White House Writers Group in Washington.

Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine last week reported that Trump told European Union leaders in Brussels that “the Germans are bad, very bad.” A spokesman said the president’s remarks referred to the millions of German cars being sold in the U.S.

“Regardless of where you stand on free trade, it is hard to argue that German auto manufacturing is anything but good for the U.S. economy,” Golombek said in a column on Real Clear Markets. He cited luxury carmaker BMW as an example of a German carmaker that has invested billions in the U.S. and now employs thousands of workers.

“The company’s largest plant in the world is located not in Munich or in Leipzig, but in Spartanburg, South Carolina,” Golombek said. “Every year it produces over 400,000 vehicles, making it the highest-volume producer of all of BMW’s manufacturing facilities around the world. Moreover, about 70 percent of the vehicles the company makes at Spartanburg are exported outside the United States.”

The German trade surplus rose to a record 253 billion euros ($284 billion) last year, and the U.S. trade deficit widened in January to the most since March 2012, Bloomberg News reported.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Germany’s high trade surplus with the U.S. He threatened BMW with a 35 percent import duty for foreign-built cars sold in the country.

Golombek said Germany carmakers employ about 33,000  workers in the U.S., while automotive suppliers add another 77,000.

“The jobs that foreign companies create in the United States, the goods they export, constitute one of the strongest arguments for trade,” Golombek said. “Those who would pursue tit-for-tat mercantilism end up taking at least one step back for every step they try to take forward. It is clear that German auto companies operating in the United States are actually having a ‘very, very good’ impact on the U.S. economy.”

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President Donald Trump last week criticized German carmakers for selling too many vehicles in the U.S., contributing to a billion-dollar imbalance in trade.
Donald Trump, Germany, BMW, trade
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2017-02-30
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 01:02 PM
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