Whitmer and others express concerns about growing trade tensions with China | Michigan Radio
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Whitmer and others express concerns about growing trade tensions with China

May 10, 2019

“I’m very concerned about what it’s going to mean for Michiganders and our ability to strengthen our economy," says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is concerned that escalating tariffs on Chinese goods may end up hurting Michigan’s economy.

Whitmer worries that Michigan’s exporting industries could be affected.

“Our international trade policy needs to be thoughtful… Not capricious and punitive,” says Whitmer. “I’m very concerned about what it’s going to mean for Michiganders and our ability to strengthen our economy.”

Ford spokeswoman Rachel McCleery says the company is most concerned about any retaliatory tariffs China might impose.

The Dearborn-based automaker says 80% of the vehicles it assembles in the U.S. are sold domestically, but it does export some vehicles to China.

"While most of the vehicles we sell in China are built in China, Ford does export a number of vehicles to China from the U.S.," McCleery says. "Our biggest concern are impacts retaliatory tariffs would have on our exports and our expanding customer base in China."

President Donald Trump says trade talks between China and the U.S. are continuing in a "very congenial manner" despite new tariffs the U.S. imposed Friday on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump tweeted Friday that the increased tariffs will bring "FAR MORE wealth" to the United States, although a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Columbia and Princeton universities says the burden of tariffs falls on U.S. consumers and businesses that buy imports.