As President Trump settles in the White House, Nissan chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn says carmakers will adapt to Trump’s policies, but Porsche says the threatened 35% border tax will ‘stab’ the German automotive industry.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Brexit agenda has been boosted greatly as Theresa May is set to become the first foreign leader to visit President Trump, with a free trade agreement top of the agenda. However, Germany has not been so fortunate, as the new frosty German-US relationship solidifies. There have been no indications Chancellor Angela Merkel will have a meeting with Trump any time soon, with Trump characterising Germany as using the euro (relatively weak compared to the Deutsche Mark) as a currency manipulator, with the resulting massive trade deficit Germany has with the US ostensibly allowing German manufacturers to outcompete American ones.
Trump’s tactics to boost US investment appear to be working as Porsche works council head Uwe Hück says German carmakers should try to compromise with President Trump.
He said: ‘He shows us that we too must rethink. He has already hit the nerve: we have to invest in our own countries and where we sell the cars.’
He added that although the car industry needs international production, ‘we should not do one thing: build cars only in the low-wage countries and cause unemployment in the industrialized countries.’
In Hück’s view, 35% would be ‘a stab in the German automotive industry, because the USA is a much too important market’, adding that it is impossible for German carmakers to appear as saints around Trump following the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
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