Snyder: Trump faces 'balancing act' to avoid trade war

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says President-elect Donald Trump faces a “balancing act” in fulfilling a campaign promise to strengthen America’s international trade partnerships and not setting off a trade war with the country’s economic allies.

Snyder commented on the centerpiece of Trump’s campaign during a year-end interview Wednesday with The Detroit News.

“It’s clear the president-elect is gonna take up that mantle of addressing that. If we can show good improvement in addressing some of these (issues), it could likely be a positive,” Snyder said.

Snyder, a Republican governor of a border state and former corporate CEO, warned there could be consequences if Trump gets overly aggressive with the country’s trading partners.

“The negative consequence is at what point does it shift from being some real improvements that do make sense to switching to a trade war that would be devastating for our country (and) also other places around the world.”

Snyder indicated he will wait to see how Trump approaches renegotiating trade agreements before drawing any conclusions on the new Republican president’s policies.

“That’s a line that we need to give him an opportunity to get in office, to establish what he thinks are the right practices and look at that as an issue,” Snyder said.

Trump has repeatedly vowed to impose a hefty tariff tax of as much as 35 percent on products built outside of the U.S. by a company that fired American workers or shut down a production plant in the states. Any tariff would require congressional approval.

The New York businessman has specifically targeted Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. for a tariff on Mexican-built small cars.

Trump told The Detroit News in a July 27 interview that his proposed tariffs on Mexican-built vehicles and products would sail through Congress.

“We’ll get it through very easily, believe me,” Trump told The News.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood