Trump auto tariff threats may hit U.S. consumers' pockets

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It is, however, not clear what subsidies Trump was referring to.

Unions blasted GM for the announcement, while Democrats lambasted Trump for supporting a large corporate tax cut that was sold as a job-creating programme, but in fact boosted company profits.

Volvo recently announced a reduction to its hiring plans and scaling back on the auto company's new assembly plant near Charleston, South Carolina, as a result of the impending higher auto tariffs.

The restructuring reflects changing North American auto markets as manufacturers continue to shift away from cars towards SUVs and trucks.

"Instead of giving companies tax breaks to shut down American factories and lay off workers, why haven't you supported the American Cars American Jobs Act?"

"They expressed their disappointment over the closures of the GM plants in Canada and the US" and "underscored their concern for the workers, their families and the communities that are affected by this decision", Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad said.

He is yet to follow through on such threats, but earlier this month it was reported that the White House was circulating a report discussing the prospect of auto tariffs.

Only 1 in 10 plans to reduce the share of total output produced outside the U.S. The same number said Trump's tariffs will encourage them to move more jobs offshore.

Kudlow told reporters on Tuesday that the administration had helped GM with fuel efficiency standards and other regulations.

But those expansions aren't enough to accommodate all of the roughly 3,300 US factory workers who could lose their jobs.

Happy ending for huge steer saved from slaughter
Knickers the steer, center back, stands in a paddock with a herd of cows in Lake Preston , Australia , Nov. 15, 2018. His name came about because another cattle Pearson had at the time - a Brahman steer - befriended him.

"We appreciate the actions this administration has taken on behalf of industry to improve the overall competitiveness of USA manufacturing", the GM statement said.

As he has done with several companies since he took office, Trump promised retribution for GM if it closes the plants.

His tweet continued: "Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country. I am here to protect America's Workers!" the tweet read. Xi has said he was "happy" after talking to Trump.

The US imposed a 25% tariff on Chinese cars, on top of the 2.5% already in place.

Industry analysts said USA automakers have been hit hard by the steep rise in steel prices brought by higher US duties on imported steel imp; used by Trump. GM is expected to hit that 200,000-unit limit at near the end of this year, which triggers the process of diminishing the credit until it's phased out completely.

An auto transport truck full of new cars drives out of the General Motors Lordstown plant, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Lordstown, Ohio.

"When GM was at their worst point, the American taxpayers stepped up, and we invested in them".

Even BMW's new plant isn't as rosy a picture as Trump is painting: BMW CEO Harald Krueger said on Tuesday that the German auto giant is considering building a second plant that would produce engines and transmissions.

In an example of "what's good for investors isn't good for workers", GM's stock increased after the announcement of layoffs and factory closings.