The landing page on BMW USA’s site now has a video with the title, “DESIGNED IN GERMANY. BUILT IN AMERICA.” The “learn more” button links to a description about how the BMW factory in Spartansburg, SC is BMW’s largest factory...in the world.
President Trump’s foreign trade policies consist mainly of judging the goodness/badness of our trade with other countries in terms of whether we have a trade surplus or deficit with that country. So if America spends more on products imported from say, China, than China spends on products imported from America, that is a Very Bad Deal™ for America, according to this man.
Having a trade deficit with a country is not an inherently bad thing. Lest ye think I would cherry-pick some EVIL LIBRUL FAKE NEWS MAINSTREAM MEDIA source to back me up, take it from the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute:
Trade deficits are not a sign of unfair trade practices or a lack of American “competitiveness.” Trade deficits are caused by factors in the macroeconomy that are not directly related to trade.
When talking about cars, Trump believes A) as many cars as possible should be built in America, and B) other countries should buy as many American cars as possible. He often speaks about this in terms of “suchanduch car-producing country is very bad because they sell so many cars here in America and don’t buy enough of our cars there.” For example:
“If you go down Fifth Avenue everyone has a Mercedes-Benz in front of his house, isn’t that the case? The fact is that … there is no reciprocity. How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not very many, maybe none at all, it’s a one-way street. It must work both ways.”
Nevermind that until it was sold to Peugeot, Opel was GM’s primary brand in Germany, not Chevrolet, and they sold plenty of Opels there. But that’s not the point. Where are the American-as-apple-pie Chevys in Germany?
The reality is that huge numbers of foreign-brand cars sold America are built in factories located in America. They include:
BMW - South Carolina
Honda - Alabama, Indiana, Ohio
Hyundai - Alabama
Kia - Georgia
Mercedes-Benz - Alabama, South Carolina
Nissan - Mississippi, Tennessee
Subaru - Indiana
Toyota - Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas
Volkswagen - Tennessee
Together, these foreign companies employ hundreds of thousands of American workers and in addition to building cars sold in America, they also export billions of dollars worth of cars to other parts of the world.
Who’s the #1 foreign car company in exporting US-made cars? BMW. Their factory in Spartansburg is the largest BMW factory in the world and is the sole global producer of all of BMW’s hot-selling X-series crossover models (except the X1). Literally every single X3, X4, X5 and X6 sold worldwide is built in South Carolina. BMW exported $10.5 billion worth of US-built cars in 2016.
You’d think that Trump would recognize that a foreign-based company employing thousands of American workers to export billions of dollars worth of US-made products would be a good thing, but no, he threatened BMW with a 35% import tariff on any cars they sell in the US that are built elsewhere.
So what does BMW do? Well they put that splash page on bmwusa.com which leads to a quick video and the following text, along with links to all of the vehicles built there:
After nearly a century, BMW’s largest factory is now right here in the USA. Powered by the strength of American manufacturing, the plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina is producing thousands of jobs and almost half a million vehicles a year, with further expansions already planned for the coming years. The Ultimate Driving Machine is now an American export.
Nice try, BMW PR folks, but you’re in for a rough go here. Best of luck to you!