Trump's `Big News' for U.S. Auto Workers Is China Cut in Tariffs

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s tweet that “big news” is on the way for U.S. auto workers Wednesday refers to China announced plans to slash tariffs on imported passenger cars, according to an aide.

“There will be big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers. After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!” Trump said in the tweet.

White House legislative director Marc Short told Bloomberg News that Trump’s tweet was a reference to China’s announcement that it will cut the import duty on passenger cars to 15 percent from 25 percent starting July 1. The move comes amid an easing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

Shares of BMW AG and Tata Motors Ltd., owner of Jaguar Land Rover, rose Tuesday after China’s announcement.

The impact may be muted for U.S. automakers, which today export cars from the U.S. to China in limited volumes. They also have longstanding partnerships with Chinese carmakers to manufacture vehicles locally that have been in place for years to navigate China’s domestic vehicle policies.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, is in the process of revisiting additional policies that are key to the automotive industry.

U.S. regulators are preparing proposals to weaken stringent fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. Trump announced in March 2017 his administration would reevaluate the Obama-era rules, couching the move as one to encourage U.S. auto production and employment.

U.S. trade officials meanwhile want to significantly raise the amount of North American auto parts content required for new autos to receive duty-free status as part of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.