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International Trade

Total U.S. exports for 2014 are $1.62 trillion. Automotive products represent 8.70% of that total, or more than $140 billion in 2014. Automakers and suppliers are America’s largest exporters, beating the next best performing manufacturing sector by more than $180 billion over the past 5 years. In 2014 alone, FCA US, Ford and General Motors exported nearly 1 million American-made vehicles to more than 100 different foreign markets.

Top Five U.S. Exporters (2014, in billions)

As America’s largest exporters, FCA US, Ford and General Motors have supported every U.S. free trade agreement ratified. These agreements have reduced tariffs and eliminated numerous non-tariff trade barriers in key markets. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could generate similar benefits for U.S. exporters, but only if key issues are addressed:

  • Eliminate all auto non-tariff barriers in all TPP-member countries.
  • Include strong, enforceable currency manipulation disciplines (This is vital, due to Japan’s participation in the TPP).

Currency Manipulation by Japan undermines global competition in three ways:

  1. Makes it harder to export American vehicles to Japan;
  2. Provides Japanese automakers with an unfair competitive advantage in the United States; and,
  3. Makes it harder for American companies to compete with Japanese automobiles in other markets, like South America, China, Europe and the Middle East.

AAPC developed a proposal supported by leading non-partisan trade experts that is based on International Monetary Fund commitments already agreed to by all TPP member countries. It asks three simple questions to determine if a TPP member manipulates its currency:

  1. Did the TPP member have a current account surplus over the six-month period in question?
  2. Did it add to its foreign exchange reserves over that same six-month period?
  3. Are its foreign exchange reserves more than sufficient (i.e., greater than three months normal imports)?

If a TPP member is found to have breached its currency commitments under the agreement, the other TPP members shall be entitled to suspend the tariff benefits of the agreement with respect to the violating TPP member.

In an industry where automakers earn about $1,500 on a typical vehicle, Japan’s undervalued currency represents thousands of dollars per vehicle.

Weak Yen Subsidy Per Car in U.S.

Based on the October 1, 2012 rate of 78 yen/$, when Abenomics started.
3-4% profit margin on sedan. Source: McKinsey & Company, 2003 Preface to the Auto Sector Cases


Nov 20 2013
Written by Alisa Priddle | Posted on USA Today

Ford will debut a new Edge crossover utility concept Wednesday that is close to the lighter-weight vehicle that will go on sale next year.

The automaker is spending $700 million at the Oakville assembly plant in Ontario to build the 2015 Edge alongside the Lincoln MKX. Ford will export both models.

Design manager Kevin George said the goal was to transform the Edge from a heavyweight boxer to a sprinter — still muscular, but more nimble.

Nov 19 2013
The Detroit News

A record nine automotive manufacturers will exhibit at the 2014 consumer electronics show — renamed 2014 International CES — as automakers seek to convince consumers that their brands have the best and most up-to-date onboard electronics.

The show’s organizers said Monday Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes and Toyota will showcase their latest technologies at the Jan. 7-10 show in Las Vegas — just a week before press preview days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Nov 13 2013
Written by Michael Wayland | Posted on MLive

The all-new Chevrolet Colorado will make its world debut next week at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, according to General Motors Co.

The Detroit-based automaker today released a second teaser photo of the truck with a release about the midsize pickup truck debuting Nov. 20 during Chevrolet’s press conference at the show, which will be livestreamed on the brand's YouTube page.

Nov 05 2013
Written by Melissa Burden | Posted on The Detroit News

General Motors Co. on Monday revealed nine Chevrolet performance concepts and six SUV and truck concepts a day ahead of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, including a new 2014 COPO Camaro production drag-racing model that will be limited to just 69 cars.