Trump Threatens the ‘Very Bad’ German Auto Industry

By Christian Stampfer on 25 May 2017
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A new BMW being introduced at the automaker’s plant in Spartanburg, S.C.

MUNICH—President Trump appears to not like the fact that German automobiles have been selling in the United States as well as they have.

During Thursday’s NATO summit in Brussels, the president reportedly threatened to call a halt to sales of German cars in the United States and had some choice words for them and a supposed trade imbalance between the two countries.

The Germans “are bad, very bad,” several participants in the summit told the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, which reported what he said in German as, “Die Deutschen sind böse, sehr böse.” The word “böse” as multiple meanings including “evil.”

“Look at the millions of cars that they sell in the USA,” he went on to say. “We’re going to stop that.”

Trump appeared to be unaware that BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen all manufacture a substantial number of cars in the United States and that BMW makes almost all of its SUVs at its plant in Spartanburg and exports 65% of them.

Shortly before his inauguration, he criticized German car makers in a similar manner, threatening to impose a high import tax on their vehicles entering the United States in an interview in the German newspaper Bild.

“If you want to build cars in the world, then I wish you all the best,” he said. “You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35% tax.”

Despite all of this, the only car the media has reported Trump owns and has been seen driving is a Rolls-Royce, a carmaker owned by Munich-based BMW.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)