“It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units,” automaker Ford Motor Company said in a statement on Sunday.
US President Donald Trump tweeted earlier on Sunday that “‘Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the US because of the prospect of higher US Tariffs.’ CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be built in the USA and Ford will pay no tariffs!” Ford quickly clarified the facts, evidently rebuffing Trump’s tweet.
Likewise, tech giant Apple Inc. wrote a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, saying that a proposed 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports would cover a “wide range of Apple products.”
In another tweet, Trump told Apple to make their products in the US instead of China. Apple hasn’t responded.
According to the US media, the price of iPhone may increase to $2,000 if the company does as told.
The multinational companies that produce automobile and mobile phones have different manufacturing and sales layouts. Car manufacturers tend to produce their products where they are sold, while mobile phone manufacturers optimize their production chain costs worldwide. That’s the natural law of economic globalization which can’t be easily changed by a country’s government.
The White House lacks understanding of the global production and value chains. “Make your products in the United States instead of China” seems naive. Instead of coercing companies to follow demands, imposing tariffs will only scare them off.
Simply making US companies produce in the US can’t deal with the complicated global industry today. We have also learnt from history that neither side will gain in a trade war.
China is the world’s largest automobile and mobile phone market. Setting tariff barriers between Beijing and Washington won’t make US companies give up on China for the sake of their own country. As long as China doesn’t make things hard for US companies, it’s unavoidable that they will place production operations in China. The Chinese market can help them make money, but the White House can’t.
Most American high-tech companies will face difficulties if they leave China. The larger the market is, the higher return the companies will get from their research and development. High-tech companies, if they can’t grow to be giant, don’t usually survive for long, and it would be fatal for many of them to lose the Chinese market.
There hasn’t been a previous US government that dares to instruct multinational companies in production layouts, and the current administration has overestimated its executive power. The global industrial chain today is formed by market rules established over decades and can’t be easily changed by one government.
It would be the White House’s dream to expect that the US is not only the world’s technology and financial center, but also the world’s factory that sells its products globally. If the US doesn’t want to wake up from this dream, then the outside world has to step in and rouse Washington.
The decline in trade will affect both China and the US. It is not only China that will bear the consequences.
China should give up the illusion of persuading Australia to stop containing China together with the US. Instead Beijing should let Canberra calm down and rethink.
The Chinese people must cherish what the country has earned them. China has no alternative but to continue to learn how to deal with the world in the 21st century.
The “five-no” and “four-can’t” are truly inspiring. They correct the concepts of rights and point to the justice of the day. President Xi’s points will definitely leave a deep mark on the history of relations between the African continent and China, and the entire world.
The possibility of the West leading the collaboration with the continent again always exists as long as they do not get their heads jammed by a geopolitical mind-set.
The US, South Korea and Japan must clarify what exactly they want on the Korean Peninsula. They cannot have everything, especially things that contradict each other. If the US wishes for denuclearization and peace on the peninsula, it would see the value of China-North Korea ties and support them.