Trump’s ill-advised tariffs have already prompted the U.S. government to bail out farmers, particularly soybean farmers in North Dakota. In recent years, 99 percent of North Dakota's soybeans were sold to China. That market has dried up completely as China has turned to other countries, including a record purchase from the Russians.
Now automakers are sounding the alarm. Ford announced massive layoffs and a company reorganization, in part because of auto tariffs. And Volvo, which opened a brand new plant in South Carolina in June 2018, announced a slowdown in hiring for the plant and may be moving a good deal of production overseas. From USA Today:
Volvo's new South Carolina plant, which opened in June, is gradually ramping up to produce the S60 sedan. In 2021, the plant will begin assembling the Volvo XC90 SUV. Once it's making both models, the plant will ship about half of its vehicles to foreign markets, according to Volvo's original plan.
But if the U.S. dispute with China isn't resolved soon, those plans could be changed, too.
"We ... thought Charleston could build cars for China," Samuelsson said. "That will not work."
Instead, he said, the company is making plans to build the S60 in China for sale to customers there. Volvo is owned by Chinese automaker Geely.
So far, Trump’s tariffs are making Chinese manufacturing stronger. As CNBC notes, SUV production had been on the rise, with China being the No. 1 buyer of vehicles assembled in the USA.