auto industry

Trump's Car Policy Benefits China

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    If U.S. auto policy only focuses on short term deals and jobs, the failure to focus on the long term will cost the country its lead in technology.

  • Facts


    • President-elect Donald Trump vowed to bring jobs back to the United States through protectionist measures.
    • Mr. Trump is threatening to levy higher taxes on carmakers producing vehicles in Mexico for the U.S. market.
    • China is far ahead of Europe and the U.S. in terms of e-car sales and is committed to supporting the vehicles with a set of policies including subsidies through 2020.
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A man charges the batteries of BAIC Motors electric cars, which will be serve as official vehicles for the APEC Summit, at a new charging station at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing
Trump's auto industry policy could cost the U.S. its technology leadership in the long term. Source: Reuters

No one believed Donald Trump would win the election. His tweets kept raising eyebrows. But despite his railing against Wall Street, Goldman Sachs now has a firm spot in his Cabinet. Oil executive Mr. Tillerson, reportedly close to Putin, is his choice for Secretary of State. Despite criticism from the Republicans, Mr. Trump plans to lift the sanctions against Russia. All this creates a picture of an aggressive, unpredictable person.

But Mr. Trump is a man for quick deals that succeed overnight, like in real estate or investment banking and it all makes sense by this kind of logic. He won the election based on his promise to bring jobs back to white Americans in the northwestern Rust Belt.

New technologies take a long time to bear fruit so obviously it’s better to revitalize old industries, bring out the old eight-cylinders in Detroit and get the production lines moving again. His friendship with Russia will keep oil prices low and as he sees it, climate change is only a fairy tale anyway. His plan to “Make America great again” means flooding Detroit with cheap gas without any annoying climate regulations.

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