CTH: Background first: There’s a massive shifting of manufacturing in the auto-industry and President Donald Trump is at the center of it. The USMCA trade agreement is the newly constructed Trump fulcrum underneath the structure of all auto manufacturing. POTUS Trump has shifted the location of this fulcrum through auto-tariffs; and the final determinations therein are still ongoing.
On Tuesday, POTUS invited the EU auto executives to the White House. No doubt Trump, the executive businessman, was seeking to understand their position on how the EU crew will comply with a 75% USMCA rule of origin…. and feel-them-out over what leverage he could apply (tariff threshold) to enhance their manufacturing relocation decision.
Example: With tariff at 2.5% they won’t move anything just pay the duty; however at 10% or higher they might move engine building or transmission building to North America etc to get inside the rules of origin threshold. Trump was likely exploring the Mercedes, VW and BMW perspectives while Angela Merkel was gnashing her teeth… “curse you villian”.
President/Businessman Trump is setting up a future for high-wage U.S. manufacturing workers. POTUS is in apex predator mode… the combination of USMCA and tariff possibilities are like blood in the water surrounding: Dr. Dieter Zetsche (Mercedes), Dr. Herbert Diess (VW), and Dr. Nicholas Peter (BMW); while Trump asks questions.
Mike Manley the new CEO of Fiat Chrysler wants nothing to do with that scenario. He ain’t about to get in the water. Swimming with Trump? Oh, hell to the no: