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This Is Uncomfortable

Episode 19: Instrument of sabotage

Oct 17, 2019

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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
Trade showdown

China’s new tariff retaliation hits U.S. auto and parts sectors

Scott Tong Aug 23, 2019
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Cars produced by SAIC Motor Corp. wait to be exported to the U.S. at a port in Lianyungang in China's eastern Jiangsu province in 2018. China's new tariffs affect U.S. cars being exported to China.
AFP/Getty Images

Beijing retaliated Friday against U.S. tariffs with import taxes of its own on $75 billion worth of American-made products. That includes autos and auto parts made in the United States that rely on China as a critical market.

China is the No. 2 export market for U.S. vehicles, notably the BMW X5 sport utility vehicle assembled in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. County Councilmember David Britt, a Republican, said Chinese tariffs have already impacted BMW, which has not expanded its U.S. operations in two years.

“When BMW slows down, everything from the churches to the automotive shops, the restaurants in Spartanburg and across South Carolina [is] affected,” Britt said. “It has a ripple effect like dropping a meteor in a swimming pool.”

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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