Chinese media: Trump won’t bring back Ford, Apple

Bloomberg News

President Donald Trump will fail in his attempts to push Ford and Apple to produce in the U.S. instead of China, according to Chinese state media.

His demand that production be moved back to the U.S. ignores the decades of changes in manufacturing and supply chains, according to a China Daily editorial, which argued that the shift in output from high-cost advanced economies like the U.S. to low-cost developing nations such as China has benefited both multinational companies and developing nations.

“Now the Trump administration, by imposing hefty import tariffs, is seeking to reverse that process. But it has failed to appreciate that it cannot buck market forces,” according to the editorial. “Even though they would be exempt from the high tariffs, by shifting their production back to the US, companies such as Ford and Apple would have to shoulder much higher production costs.”

“Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs,” Trump tweeted. “This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!”

A Ford Motor Co. executive responded to Trump’s tweet, saying that building the Focus Active in the U.S. would not be profitable.

Leaving China would also hurt American companies, as the loss of the massive market would be fatal for many of them, the Global Times newspaper warned.

“China is the world’s largest automobile and mobile phone market,” according to that newspaper’s editorial. “Setting tariff barriers between Beijing and Washington won’t make U.S. companies give up on China for the sake of their own country.”

“It would be the White House’s dream to expect that the U.S. is not only the world’s technology and financial center, but also the world’s factory that sells its products globally," according to the Global Times editorial. “If the U.S. doesn’t want to wake up from this dream, then the outside world has to step in and rouse Washington.”