Despite Trump tweet, Ford says it won't make hatchback in US

Workers pack tinned peaches for export at a fruits processor in Huaibei city in central China's Anhui province. — AP

Workers pack tinned peaches for export at a fruits processor in Huaibei city in central China's Anhui province. — AP

In a tweet Sunday, Trump said Ford's decision not to import a new sport-utility vehicle from China means the Focus Active "can now be built in the U.S.A".

Chien Bor-yi, an analyst at Taipei-based Cathay Futures Consultant, said Apple's component supply chain in Taiwan would take a major hit if the United States increased tariffs on Chinese imported products.

The Focus Active was set to be the first Chinese-made Ford offered in the USA, while General Motors now imports the Buick Envision SUV and Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid.

Ford already announced earlier this year that it would reallocate $7 billion of research and development funds from cars to SUVs and trucks. It stopped making Focus sedans at a Wayne, Michigan, plant in May. He also called on Apple to make its products in the United States. Ford had once planned to move production of the Focus to Mexico, drawing rebukes from Trump leading up to the 2016 election.

The Ford Focus Active has never been sold in the USA, and Ford does not now import any vehicles from China.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the US will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower USA growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers", the company said.

Demand for small cars in the United States has been waning for years with relatively low petrol prices and a shift from cars to SUVs and trucks.

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Ford also wouldn't want to spend millions on equipment to build the Focus Active here because at low sales volumes it wouldn't get a good return on its investment, Dziczek said.

In China, labour costs are about $8 per hour including benefits, but it's more than $52 per hour in the United States, according to Dziczek.

The tariffs changed everything.

Apple has written a letter to the Trump administration, saying the proposed $200 billion tariffs on China-made products will make the Apple Watch, AirPods headphones, HomePod smart speaker, Macs and key computer parts more expensive. The threat is to impose tariffs on every product imported in the U.S from China, but for now, the next in line plan is to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Official and private manufacturing surveys for China show global demand for Chinese goods is clearly on the wane, with export orders shrinking for months in a row."Risks have increased due to the negative impacts of China-U.S. trade friction".

The threat came after Trump said Friday he was considering extending penalties to an additional US$267 billion (NZ$409 billion) of Chinese products in their battle over Beijing's technology policy.

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