Trump's tweet doesn't convince Ford to build small crossover SUV in US

Ford won't be moving production of a hatchback wagon to the United States from China- despite President Donald Trump's claim Sunday that his taxes on Chinese imports mean the Focus Active can be built in America. Trump is seen in Charlotte on August 31

Trump's tweet doesn't convince Ford to build small crossover SUV in US

"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt US companies and USA consumers will advance the government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies", Apple said in the September 5 letter.

On August 31, Ford announced it was canceling plans to ship the Focus Active to the USA from China - citing new tariffs on Chinese imports.

For President Trump, this is the second tweet aimed at American companies in two days. "This vehicle can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!" he tweeted.

The tweet followed a letter Apple sent to the Trump administration saying that the proposed $200 billion tariffs on Chinese-made products would result in many Apple products getting hit by the 25 percent increase in import tax.

If the prospect of USA companies being harmed isn't enough to stop tariffs escalating, nothing short of total capitulation by America's trade partners will. Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research said that Ford can make Focuses "in many other plants around the world, so if they made a decision to continue to sell a Focus variant in the US market, there are several options other than building it in the United States". These tariffs could drive up costs for a host of companies that sell equipment in the United States market, and not just Apple.

Today, however, apart from contradicting Trump, Ford said that it would be adding hybrids, trucks, electric models, and utility vehicles to its US lineup, in an effort to hit the 10 profit percent margin. As you can see in Trump's tweet above, his solution to that is for Apple to finally move production to the United States, something Trump has been campaigning for since before he was elected.

Apple outlined how the company's operations and products will be affected by the tariffs. Recently though, the Trump administration, as a part of its trade war with China chose to impose a heavy 25 per cent tariff on all cars imported from China. That would pile more pressure on an economy that is already battling serious headwinds, they said.

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This is to offset increased labour costs in the US.

Technically, that's true. Ford can build the Focus Active at a domestic plant, just like it can give the next Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 a manual transmission.

The tariffs are top of mind for Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who has personally lobbied Trump for months on issues of taxes and trade, even dining with the president and first lady Melania Trump at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, last month.

China's huge trade surplus with the United States is at the heart of the dispute.

The threat came after Trump said Friday he was considering extending penalties to an additional $267 billion of Chinese products in their battle over Beijing's technology policy.

The odds of Apple itself building new plants anywhere in the world are quite slim.

Analyst Wamsi Mohan said that if Apple moves 10% of its iPhone assembly to the United States, prices will rise by 8%.

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