At first there were just hints that Germans export too many cars to the US and thereby destroy jobs.
Manufactures countered that many German branded vehicles are actually assembled in American plants. Now even this answer has been swept off the table by Peter Navarro, an assistant to the American president for trade and manufacturing policy, in an opinion piece in The New York Times.
In the newspaper he writes: “Even when Germany’s automakers build facilities in the United States, these so-called factories are more like assembly plants. SUVs in the BMW X series that are assembled in the United States actually contain only 25 percent to 35 percent American-built content — the high-value engines and transmissions are manufactured in Germany and Austria.”
Statistics tell a different story. By value, cars are the most traded product in the world. Germany is the world’s largest exporter of vehicles and the US is the biggest buyer. It is more nuanced than it first appears, yet without a doubt a trade imbalance has grown between the EU and the US. Now the US government is taking aim at the German car industry, despite the fact that in 2016 American manufactures sold 2.1 million cars in Europe which was 14 percent of the total and nearly twice as high as German carmakers in the US, according to the Germany Economic Institute (IW).