Hes talking tough again...

He's talking tough again...

After recently adopting a softer stance on planned import tariffs that could ignite a trade war with China, the US has said it still plans to impose 25% tariffs on some US$50bn worth of Chinese import by the end of next month.

The White House has said a final list of imports slated for tariffs will be published by 15 June. However, the tougher line comes ahead of a further planned round of negotiations with the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expected to visit China later this week.

In a statement, China's Commerce Ministry called on the US to act in the spirit of earlier joint comments.

It said: "This is obviously contrary to the consensus reached between the two sides in Washington not long ago."

OEMs and importers watch nervously

Besides the measures planned to specifically target China - which has a big trade surplus with the US - the Trump administration has also authorised a national security investigation that could see new US import tariffs on car and automotive component imports.  A Reuters report notes that higher US import tariffs applying to vehicles would be particularly painful for Asian marques who import from Japan and Korea in large volume. In particular, a recovery plan for GM Korea could be thrown off track if the company faces additional unforeseen costs on its exports.

"This is a matter that could make or break GM Korea," an unnamed source told Reuters. "The success of its restructuring plan hinges on more production for exports, and the two new models to be manufactured here are primarily targeted at the US market."