China Puts Huge 22% Tariff on U.S. Autos

China just slapped a huge 22% tariff on some U.S. auto imports. Reuters:

China will impose punitive duties of up to 22 percent on large cars and SUVs exported from the United States, China's Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday, the latest in a series of trade disputes between the world's two largest economies.

Why? Because China wants to develop it's own domestic luxury SUV industry. China already imposes an outrageous 25% tariff on U.S. truck imports. This makes the total tariffs on SUVs 47%!

While the New York Times claims China is skimpy sales, we beg to differ. GM sells more autos in China than in the United States.

What this really means is GM and other SUV U.S. manufacturers will move production China. In other words, to sell SUVs, trucks in China, this outrageous tariff will force U.S. manufacturers to offshore outsource even more jobs simply to continue selling their products in that country and gain access to China's markets.

China's claim the U.S. is dumping SUVs in China is absolutely pure fiction. As it is, a 25% tariff on trucks is obscene considering China is killing this country with imports and the second largest economy in the world.

Retail Sales for November 2011 - 0.2%

November 2011 Retail Sales increased 0.2%. October retail sales were revised up a 10th of a percentage point to 0.6%. Retail sales are up 6.7% from the same time last year. Electronics and Appliance stores shot up another 2.1% in a month, and were 20% of the total increase in retail sales. Autos still rule the retail world and sales by dealers was over half the increase by dollars of retail sales for November, a 0.7% increase from October.

Saturn Dies

No, not the planet, but that wouldn't surprise me either these days. Nope, a deal fell through to sell off the Saturn brand of cars. Bloomberg has the best details on what happened.

General Motors Co. will close Saturn, the brand created 24 years ago to mirror Japan-based companies’ carmaking, after Penske Automotive Group Inc. said it has broken off discussions to buy the unit.

Penske, operator of 310 auto retailers, backed out because of concern it wouldn’t have access to cars and sport-utility vehicles after 2011 when GM stopped supplying vehicles.

Makes sense, why buy a brand if there will be no new cars to sell? But guess how many jobs this involves:

Japan's Annual GDP - 12.7% Contraction

Japan's Economy Shrinks by 12.7% is reported by Bloomberg.

Japans exports in one quarter dropped 13.9%. Their quarterly GDP was 3.3% contraction and exports accounted for 3% of that drop.

Japan’s economy shrank at an annual 12.7 percent pace last quarter, the most since the 1974 oil shock, as recessions in the U.S. and Europe triggered a record drop in exports.

Autos Now in the Tank - Sales Down to 1981 Levels

Remember in the 1980's (or look in your history books) on how important it was to buy American cars to support American workers?

Well, read the 2009 headlines:

GM, Ford Drag U.S. Sales to Worst Month Since ’81

General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. said U.S. sales plummeted at least 40 percent in January and Toyota Motor Corp. dived by almost a third, dragging the world’s biggest auto market to the worst month since 1981.

U.S. industrywide deliveries tumbled 37 percent to 656,976 as the recession ravaged demand. That translates into an annual rate of 9.6 million after an average of more than 16 million vehicles in this decade, research firm Autodata Corp. said.

Bush Now Says Big 3 Auto Can Get Some of the $700 Billion Bail out money

Now why could through all of that hell, have the Senate crush hope, only to turn around and say the Big 3 U.S. auto manufacturers can get some of the bail out money already approved?

The Bush administration dropped its opposition to using the $700 billion bank bailout fund to provide financing for U.S. automakers after the Senate yesterday failed to approve emergency loans

Senate To Try to Pass Auto Bail Out

The Senate is going to try to push through a bail out package for the auto industry.

The plan details are unclear and there is a test vote on Wednesday.

CQ Politics has a few more details on what might be in the bill.

Sen. Carl Levin , D-Mich., has been working on legislation to provide $25 billion in “bridge loans” to the “Big Three” automakers. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank , D-Mass., has been heading efforts to draft bailout legislation in that chamber.

House and Senate leaders have said any legislation must include the same type of restrictions and taxpayer protections as the larger financial industry bailout plan Congress cleared in October, including limits on executive compensation.