Donald Trump was speaking at NATO in Belgium on Thursday and he had some choice words for our allies in Germany.
“The Germans are bad, very bad,” he reportedly told Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Union. “Look at the millions of cars that they’re selling in the USA. Horrible. We’re gonna stop that.”
The U.S. trade deficit with Germany last year was $65 billion. With automobile manufacturers contribute to our trade numbers in a big way, Trump is in between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, he wants to stand behind his base of Americans who believe the country should revert to isolationism. On the other hand, a large number of the vehicles Americans are buying from Germany are actually manufactured in the United States of America and even more are sold into foreign markets.
Trump fails to realize that many German automobiles are made in America while many “American” cars are made in Canada and Mexico. That’s just a quick lesson in globalization for any Trump supporters who accidentally stumbled onto Red State Disaster while looking for materials for building pointless walls.
Over the last 30-years, Japan, Germany, and Korea automakers have attempted to insulate themselves from currency fluctuations by opening large production facilities in the U.S., a move that has led to hundreds of thousands of factory jobs for hard working Americans.
Bringing Jobs To America
IAMA, the trade group that represents Asian automakers in the U.S., said its members last year produced 4.6 million cars or 40% of all U.S. vehicle production.
There are now more than 300 foreign vehicle manufacturing facilities in the United States. Those factories have delivered billions of dollars to the construction and support industries in the United States. Take for example in 1994 when BMW opened a plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The company invested $7.8 billion in that plant, the largest in the company’s worldwide operations.
The Spartanburg BMW plant produces 34,000 vehicles month. According to BMW, it sells about 26,000 cars per month in the U.S. while others are shipped overseas.
That means a German car company is actually helping shrink the U.S. trade deficit.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama produced approximately 300,000 in 2016 and exported many of those vehicles to 135 countries.
Despite the massive number of jobs and the high export numbers created by these car companies President Trump still stands behind this statement:
“The Germans are bad, very bad” … “Look at the millions of cars that they’re selling in the USA. Horrible. We’re gonna stop that.”
We could add Volkswagen into our list, another company that exports a ton of U.S. produced vehicles, but why bother, Trump hates them because they don’t fit into his blonde-haired blue-eyed vision for America.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.