Funnily enough, as we head into the New Year, the biggest danger facing international nameplate dealers isn’t from the CFPB, the Trump transition team, or even a trade issue. It’s a new import tax. And it’s a real threat to every single dealer in the United States.
Enough time has passed since Election Day that dealers have, for the most part, caught their breaths. Some of us were thrilled by the results, some of us weren’t, but I feel confident in saying that most of us were caught by surprise. And we weren’t alone. Nearly every poll, pundit, and prognosticator had picked democrat Hillary Clinton as the 45th president of the United States. Washington outsider Donald Trump’s victory left his supporters cheering, and his detractors scratching their heads.
Earlier this week, AIADA unveiled a new logo in conjunction with the first of a series of pro-trade advertisements printed Automotive News. The refreshed look, which replaces our 15-year old red and blue logo, includes a stylized image of the United States Capitol dome, a visual reminder of AIADA’s commitment to representing international nameplate dealers in Washington, D.C.
In August, entrepreneur and author Michael Dunne published a piece in Forbes with the headline, “Trump Is Right about One Thing: Auto Trade with Asia Is Rigged, And U.S. Looks like a Dupe.” In it, he writes that America’s automotive trade policies are, “out of whack” and that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would in no way improve matters.
As a second-generation auto dealer selling Hondas and Toyotas in Southern California, the article caught my eye. Dunne is not the first to suggest that U.S. auto trade with Asian nations is unbalanced, but with a presidential election around the corner and TPP hanging in the balance, I felt his views call for a response.
If you haven’t felt overwhelmed by politics this summer, then you must be either a talking head on cable television or running for office. We are overcome with wall-to-wall convention coverage, hourly polling updates, and breathless reporting of campaign minutiae, and it’s only August. On the plus side, we’re about to be inundated with something much more exciting on our television screens: the Olympics.
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