Less than a week into President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, global automakers have shown there are ways to bypass the battle and scoring a win for Beijing in the process.
Tesla and BMW are among the biggest potential losers from Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs on car imports from the US because much of their production is centered in America. They’re now doubling down in China: this week, Tesla announced its first factory outside the US while BMW is poised to become the first foreign manufacturer to own majority control of a Chinese automobile venture. Cars made locally by foreign brands will dodge import levies.
While those deals have taken months — if not longer — to come together, the investments by Munich-based BMW and Palo Alto, California-based Tesla back up Beijing’s claim to be continually opening up its economy.
China’s trade surplus with US hits record
China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June. But signs exporters were rushing shipments before tariffs went into effect in the first week of July suggest the spike in the surplus was a one-off, with analysts expecting a less favourable trade balance for China in coming months as duties on exports start to bite.
China’s trade surplus with the US widened to a record monthly high of $28.97 billion, up from $24.58 billion in May.