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更新时间:2017-3-21 18:34:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

China’s Taxes on Imported Cars Feed Trade Tensions With U.S.

BEIJING — A Jeep Wrangler can cost $30,000 more in China than in the United States — and the reasons illustrate a growing point of tension between the two countries.

北京——一辆牧马人吉普车(Jeep Wrangler)在中国的售价可以比美国多出3万美元,其中的原因显示出导致两个国家关系日益紧张的一个问题。

Manufactured in Toledo, Ohio, the Wrangler is a descendant of the Jeeps that were used by American forces in World War II. Equipped with a 3.6-liter engine and a five-speed automatic transmission, the Rubicon edition of the Wrangler has a suggested retail price of $40,530 in the United States.


But in China, the same vehicle would set a buyer back by a hefty $71,000, mostly because of taxes that Beijing charges on every car, minivan and sport utility vehicle that is made in another country and brought to China’s shores.


Those taxes on imported cars have become a growing area of friction between the United States and China. American former officials and current advisers to President Trump say that concern about the widening United States deficit in automotive trade has become a pressing issue ahead of the president’s meeting in Florida next month with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.


Hinting at potentially tough talks to come, Lawrence H. Summers, a former Treasury secretary, raised the issue of auto trade in the first question to Li Keqiang, China’s premier, at a closed-door meeting on Monday, participants in the meeting said on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.

在周一举行的一场闭门会议中,前财政部长劳伦斯·H·萨默斯(Lawrence H. Summers)一上来就向中国国务院总理李克强提起了汽车贸易问题,这多少显示了即将进行的谈判的艰难程度,该消息来自几名与会人士,由于是私人谈话,他们要求在本文中匿名。

Mr. Li did not answer the question directly, the people said, instead responding that every country facedtrade issues, and that China had its own trade deficits with a few countries, like Australia, from which it imports a lot of raw material.


President Trump has made trade a major issue, saying he wants a level playing field and similar terms on both sides. Due in part to China’s taxes, less than 5 percent of cars in the country are imported, compared with one-quarter in the United States. Major American, European and Japanese carmakers have built huge assembly factories in China with the help of local partners, contributing to China’s rise as the world’s largest automaker.


Mostly because of taxes in China, “an imported car can be double the price when compared with a domestically produced car,” said Bill Russo, the former chief executive of Chrysler China. “This acts as a powerful motivation, especially for mass-market brands, to localize their products in China.”

“一辆进口车的价格会比在国内生产的汽车的价格高出一倍,”主要是因为中国的税,前克莱斯勒中国公司首席执行官罗威(Bill Russo)说。“这成为汽车厂商在中国将产品本地化的一个强大动因,尤其是对大众品牌而言。”

But the dynamics are complex. The American auto industry, which has come to depend on China as a major source of revenue, has been largely quiet despite Mr. Trump’s rhetoric. Building cars in China keeps them close to a vast Chinese supply chain and saves on transportation costs.


Companies like Fiat Chrysler, the manufacturer of the Wrangler, also set prices in China that allow somewhat higher profit margins.

牧马人的制造商菲亚特克莱斯勒汽车公司(Fiat Chrysler)等汽车厂商也在中国设置比较高的价格,以便获得更高的利润空间。

Pricing can depend on factors like taxes, shipping, certification costs, equipment options, the size of the market and other details, said Ariel Gavilan, a Fiat Chrysler spokesman, in an emailed reply to questions. “We also take a look at the competitive landscape — i.e. what are the prices of the vehicles we compete against — before determining our pricing strategy.”

菲亚特克莱斯勒发言人阿里埃尔·加维兰(Ariel Gavilan)在一封回答时报问题的邮件中表示,定价取决于许多因素,比如税务、运输、认证费用、配置选择,以及市场规模等其他细节问题。“在确定自身的定价策略之前,我们也会看看眼前的竞争格局——比如我们的竞争对手设定的价格。”

Industry figures have also long talked about the possibility of exporting big volumes of China-made cars to the United States. In an early test, General Motors started shipping the Buick Envision model from a factory in eastern China’s Shandong Province to the United States last year. That decision irritated the United Automobile Workers union. G.M. officials said that the Envision, a midsize sport utility vehicle, was designed for the Chinese market and is made only at the Shandong factory.

业内人士也一直在谈论将大量在中国生产的汽车出口至美国的可能性。通用汽车公司(General Motors)早前进行了尝试,从去年开始将中国东部省份山东一家工厂生产的别克昂科威(Buick Envision)车型运到美国。这项决策激怒了全美汽车工人联合会(United Automobile Workers)。通用汽车的高管表示,中型SUV昂科威是为中国市场设计,只在那家山东工厂生产。

There is only a small chance that Chinese automakers would set up assembly plants in the United States, the way Japanese automakers did in the 1980s to allay trade tensions. China’s highly fragmented industry includes a number of fairly small manufacturers producing low-cost models, making the economics difficult, while Chinese automakers must still deal with quality problems.


Parts are also an issue. In January, the most recent month for which data is available, the United States had $817 million in automotive exports to China, including finished cars and auto parts, and $1.71 billion in automotive imports.


Still, American negotiators might have better luck in that area, as some Chinese parts makers are already investing in the United States to diversify. Fuyao, one of the world’s largest makers of automotive glass, has built a large factory in Ohio to supply car-assembly plants in the state. Officials with Fuyao have been criticized on social media in China, however, for investing offshore instead of keeping jobs within China.


Fuyao declined to comment on its plans in the United States.


Yale Zhang, the managing director of Automotive Foresight, a Shanghai consulting firm, said that Fuyao’s Ohio factory could be the start of a larger trend that might help soothe trade frictions.

上海咨询公司汽车市场预测(Automotive Foresigh)总经理张豫(Yale Zhang)表示,福耀在俄亥俄州的工厂有可能是一个更大的趋势的开端,这个趋势或许有助于减少两国的贸易摩擦。

“Those large local suppliers are willing to invest in the U.S.,” he said. “It won’t be a major issue for those large, local suppliers. They are willing to do that.”