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更新时间:2018-5-11 19:57:32 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Trump’s Trade Moves Put U.S. Carmakers in a Jam at Home and Abroad

WASHINGTON — President Trump frequently talks about reviving the American auto industry, but his approach to trade policy may backfire on the country’s carmakers.


Mr. Trump’s efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, to impose tariffs on imported aluminum and steel and to reduce America’s trade deficit with China could limit the reach of companies that produce cars in the United States and depend on access to growing markets outside the country.

特朗普试图重新协商《北美自由贸易协定》(North American Free Trade Agreement),对进口的铝和钢征收关税,减少美国对中国的贸易逆差,这些都可能会对在美国生产汽车、依靠打入国外新兴市场的公司构成限制。

On Friday, the chief executives of the biggest automakers plan to meet with the president at the White House. The gathering comes at a critical moment, as Trump administration officials race to finalize a Nafta rewrite in the next few weeks and prepare to meet again next week with Chinese leaders in hopes of forestalling a potential trade war.


The auto industry is among the sectors most vulnerable to trade disruptions because its business model is increasingly global, in terms of both production and sales. One in five cars made in the United States is now exported, and one in four vehicles sold in America were produced in factories run by foreign-owned companies. General Motors sold nearly 1 million vehicles in China in the first quarter of the year — more than it sold in North America in the same period.

汽车产业是最容易受贸易扰动影响的行业之一,因为不管是在生产还是销售方面,它的商业模式都日益全球化。在美国生产的汽车中,有五分之一用于出口,而在美国销售的汽车中,有四分之一是由外国企业经营的工厂生产的。今年第一季度,通用汽车(General Motors)在中国销售了近100万辆汽车,多于同期在北美的销量。

In the last two decades, United States automakers have set up plants in Canada, China and Mexico, and they routinely import car parts from other countries. Mexico has added hundreds of thousands of auto-making jobs since Nafta’s enactment in 1994, while the United States has lost hundreds of thousands.


Labor groups and administration officials are hopeful that the trade moves will change incentives to encourage domestic and foreign-owned carmakers to manufacture more of their vehicles in the United States. But industry representatives warn that proposals now being championed by the Trump administration could have the opposite effect, raising the prices of American-made cars and trucks, reducing vehicle sales and potentially choking off access to China, the world’s fastest-growing market for automobiles.


“There are so many fronts open that introduce risk into the autos’ business, and the suppliers’ business, that I don’t know how you do any business planning at all right now,” said Kristin Dziczek, vice president for industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan. “They’re playing with big money and big risk and big companies that employ a lot of people.”

“现在拉开了很多阵线,给汽车企业和供应商的业务带来了风险,现在我完全不知道还能怎么做商业计划,”密歇根汽车研究中心(Center for Automotive Research)负责工业、劳工和经济事务的副主席克丽斯汀·齐切克(Kristin Dziczek)表示。“这是在拿很多钱赌,带来的是巨大风险,影响的是拥有大量雇员的大公司。”

The biggest risk may relate to the rewriting of Nafta, a drawn-out process beset by disagreements between Canada, Mexico and the United States, and punctuated by Mr. Trump’s repeated threat to withdraw from the deal if it is not revised in America’s favor. Those threats have spooked automakers, whose fortunes are closely tied to the ways the accord has allowed them to reduce the cost of production and parts.


Negotiators have moved closer to agreement, but there are still big disagreements — particularly over the issue of auto manufacturing — that could scuttle the deal entirely or delay it so long that the Republican-controlled Congress is denied the opportunity to approve the revisions quickly.


One of the biggest sticking points relates to the portion of a car that must be made in North America to qualify for Nafta’s zero tariffs. American automakers support high levels of North American production, but they do not want onerous requirements that prevent them from using products from Mexico or countries like China and Japan. Automakers have warned that the administration’s demands would be expensive to comply with, and could push them to move some production out of North America altogether.


Administration officials initially demanded that 85 percent of a car’s content come from North America, but they have dropped the requirement to 75 percent in the latest round of talks, which are going on this week. That is still above the current threshold of 62.5 percent and beyond the 70 percent level that Mexico is demanding.


Administration officials also want at least 40 percent of every vehicle to be manufactured by workers earning at least $16 an hour, a potential blow to Mexico, where wages are lower, that could benefit workers in the United States if it discouraged carmakers from shifting jobs to Mexico.


Ms. Dziczek and her colleagues at the automotive research center said that the proposed Nafta rule changes could subject 25 to 87 percent of vehicles sold in the United States to new tariffs, raising the price of those vehicles by $470 to $2,200 each. A report by the center warns that such increases would reduce annual auto sales in the United States by 60,000 to 150,000.


Manufacturing trade groups have warned about the risks of the administration’s approach, but auto executives have stayed quiet publicly on trade issues, in part to avoid antagonizing officials in any of the countries that they depend on for sales.


“There is a lot of risk” for automakers in the current trade environment, said John Bozzella, a former Chrysler executive and the president and chief executive of the Association of Global Automakers, a Washington trade group for foreign-owned carmakers including Toyota and Nissan. “In all of these, you see the potential in raising production costs on vehicles built in the United States. And not just vehicles for trade.”

当前的贸易环境对汽车制造商来说“有很大风险”,前克莱斯勒(Chrysler)高管、环球汽车制造商联合会(Association of Global Automakers)主席兼首席执行官约翰·博泽拉(John Bozzella)说,该联合会是一个位于华盛顿的贸易组织,丰田(Toyota)和尼桑(Nissan)等外国汽车制造商也是其成员。“在这之中,你会看到美国制造的车辆生产成本上涨的可能。并且不只是交易的车辆。”

Asked about Mr. Trump’s tariffs on an earnings call, Ford Motor’s president and chief executive, James P. Hackett, said he had told world leaders that “what we crave as business people are certainty and equilibrium.”

在一次财报电话会议中,在被问及有关特朗普的关税问题时,福特汽车(Ford Motor)的主席兼首席执行官詹姆斯·P·哈克特(James P. Hackett)说,他曾告诉全球的领导人“作为商人,我们渴望得到的是确定性和平衡。”

“So trade can thrive in a world where that’s not in question,” he continued. “And so we have, like everyone, we’re dealing with the sudden news, and I think we’ve done a great job internally of dealing with that.”


But, he added, “We’re not going to be victims in this kind of thing.”