President Trump waded into the global auto industry again in his ongoing trade war over the weekend, tweeting on Sunday about Ford's decision not to import its Focus Active from China because of import tariffs and proclaiming, "This vehicle can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A." where the company would pay no tariffs.
An index of global stock markets rose on Monday for the first time in eight trading sessions on optimism about policy from Italy to the United States, dodging anxiety about the U.S.
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But in a statement, Ford said it would "not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the US", given forecast yearly sales below 50,000.
Over the weekend, he suggested in a tweet that Apple move its manufacturing plants to the U.S.to avoid tariffs in the simmering trade war between the USA and China.
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The company said about 80% of the vehicles Ford sells in the United States are built domestically. The president's comment came after Apple expressed dissatisfaction with the trade war the Trump administration has been escalating with China. "Exciting! #MAGA", reads Trump's tweet.
However, a Ford spokesman Mike Levine indicated that there isn't a good a business case to build the low-margin, niche model in the U.S.
Auto industry analyst Ed Kim told the Guardian that Trump's tariffs have, effectively, ruined Ford's plan for the Focus. Last month, it added tariffs to another $16bn in Chinese goods and is readying taxes on another $200bn.
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Recently Ford announced that it would pull out of all segments in the United States apart from the ever popular Mustang, the GT supercar and all SUVs or crossovers that it now sells.