US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday warned of a “major border tax” on firms that shift jobs outside the United States, echoing the threats made during his election campaign.
“You want to move your plant, and you think, as an example, you’re going to build that plant in Mexico, and you’re going to make your air conditioners or your cars, or whatever you’re making, and you’re going to sell them through what will be a very, very strong border … Not going to happen. You’re going to pay a very large border tax,” he said at a news conference in New York City, Reuters reports.
Since the Nov. 8 election, Trump has taken to Twitter to call out by name a number of manufacturers with both planned and existing operations outside of the United States.
On Wednesday, he returned to the issue in his first news conference since the election, warning of a stiff border tax on companies that shift production overseas.
US automakers in particular have felt the brunt of Trump’s ire, as he has called for the industry to return to former manufacturing hubs in the American Midwest from Mexico, which accounts for a fifth of all vehicle production in North America.
Trump thanked Fiat Chrysler and Ford Motor for announcements in the past week of investments in Midwestern plants.
He said he hopes General Motors, the top American automaker, will take similar steps to expand US operations.
In its annual State of the American Business Address on Wednesday, the US Chamber of Commerce urged Trump not to add to the “burdens” of exporters by erecting barriers to trade that could hamper economic growth.
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