FRANKFURT: German carmaker BMW told US President Donald Trump’s trade minister that border taxes on autos would cost investment and jobs in America, in a letter seen by AFP Monday. Far-reaching effects from tariffs already in place and new ones mulled by the White House could mean “strongly reduced export volumes and negative effects on investment and employment in the United States,” the firm warned. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is investigating whether 20-percent tariffs on European-made cars could be justified for national security reasons, in a so-called “Section 232” probe. “The answer to that question is an unqualified no,” BMW said, arguing closer trade relations make countries less likely to fight and increase national security. It added that US openness to trade motivated the company to open a 10,000-job factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, saying the plant adds $6.3 billion annually to the state’s economy. The group also noted that the overall value it adds to the US economy is worth $15.77 billion, with direct and indirect employment of 120,855 people.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2018.