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Trump has a giant wrench for China’s auto gears

Anjani TrivediMay 20, 2019

To understand the untapped potential as well as the dangers of Donald Trump’s trade war with China, look at auto parts.

It’s a huge business, worth almost $400 billion globally. China exports more than $70 billion of car parts and accessories every year, about a fifth of which goes to the U.S. Hundreds of Chinese components, from door handles to steering systems, are embedded throughout American-made cars.

For a U.S. administration looking to exert pressure through tariffs, that might seem like a good place to start. Yet the sector is almost absent from the latest list of tariffs levied against imports from China, save for a few cheap products such as car-door hinges and radio receivers with clocks valued at under $40.

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