General Motors was put on high alert Friday as China imposed fresh tariffs on US-made goods including a new 25% tariff on cars exported from America.
The new 25% tariff comes in addition to existing tariffs imposed on American-made cars, bringing the total duty imposed on the vehicles to just under 50%.
In a statement, the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers, which lobbies on behalf of GM and other automakers that build vehicles in the US, said the new tariffs are “unfortunate for consumers and the entire auto sector.”
“Customers win when trade barriers are lowered, and the auto industry can thrive when there’s a robust and competitive trading environment between two of the world’s largest economies,” the statement also said. “Automakers encourage all parties to take actions leading to a healthy trade relationship between China and the United States.”
President Trump responded to the tariffs on twitter, ordering US companies to pull out of China and begin making products in the United States.
“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” Trump said in a tweet sent out Friday afternoon.
“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them,” another tweet read.
….better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
According to Reuters, GM stock fell three percent on the news. The automaker sold 3.64 million vehicles in China in 2018, though the majority of the vehicles it sells there are made locally. U.S. carmakers exported 163,618 vehicles to China in 2018.
American automakers aren’t the only ones watching the US-China trade row carefully. Daimler and BMW also export certain vehicles that they make in the US to China. The American Big Three, namely Ford, are still the biggest exporters of US vehicles to China, however.