Auto stocks slide as Trump threatens even more taxes on Chinese imports

Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

Shares of major US automakers fell in early trading Tuesday morning after President Donald Trump asked his administration to draw up a new list of $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports to hit with a 10% tax.

Here’s how the company’s stocks were trading:

The automakers – whose losses early Tuesday outpaced those of broader market indexes – depend heavily on imported raw materials including some that, after an announcement last week, are set to be taxed at a rate of 25% beginning July 6. Automobiles and industrial machinery are also in line for that tax.

China remains the largest vehicle market in the world, with US companies exporting $US10.2 billion worth of passenger cars to the country in 2017, according to Census data. Any fresh retaliation and resulting escalation of a trade war could dampen sales of American vehicles in the country.

China has already placed reciprocal tariffs on the same amount of goods imported from the US and promised to stand firm against the US’s actions.

“This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $US376 billion trade imbalance in goods. This is unacceptable,” Trump said late Monday. “Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States.”

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