I think this is going to be a very interesting summer for international trade.
Citing several unnamed U.S. and European diplomats, the weekly business magazine reported that Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron last month he would maintain his trade policy with the aim of stopping Mercedes-Benz models from driving down Fifth Avenue in New York. The report didn't give any further details on what policies would be used to effectively ban the premium carmakers.
The report comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Department of Commerce launched an investigation into automobile imports to determine whether they "threaten to impair the national security" of the U.S. That could lead to tariffs of up to 25 percent on the same "national security" grounds used to impose metal imports charges in March.
Europe's autos sector was trading lower shortly after the report was published Thursday, with German automakers leading the losses during mid-morning deals. Shares of Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen were all trading off around 1 percent on the news.
Volkswagen was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC Thursday, while Daimler refused to issue a statement.
People buy Mercedes because they are awesome cars. And I doubt a tariff would cut into sales that much. This is total smoke blowing and not even a realistic proposal.
Moments ago Sec. of State Mike Pompeo concluded a briefing about ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea. Pompeo told reporters, "I'm confident we're moving in the right direction," and added, "if Kim Jong-un denuclearizes, there is a brighter path for North Korea."
The US Air Force has finally issued an official request for proposals for a program to manufacture new wings for its aging A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft. The deadline for proposals from would-be contractors is August 23. But the program will likely not be started before some of the Air Force's older A-10s have to be grounded, as a previous wing-replacement program (awarded to Boeing) has reached its end.
The program, called the A-10 Thunderbolt Advanced Continuation Kit (abbreviated as ATTACK), builds upon the previous Wing Replacement Program, which upgraded 173 A-10 aircraft between 2007 and 2016. ATTACK will deliver a maximum of 112 pairs of wings and associated parts over a five-year ordering period, following an initial delivery of three wing sets to verify quality of work. The Air Force will install the new wings at its A-10 depot at the Ogden Air Logistics Center in Utah.
The Air Force lags a little in any support for the A-10 because it has been trying to get rid of them for years, despite the plane's overwhelming popularity with the troops we have on the ground fighting our various desert wars.
One of the great pleasures of having moved back to my hometown is seeing the Warthogs from the 355th Fighter Wing fly to and from Davis-Monthan Air Force base. They were quite active just this morning as I was writing outside in my courtyard. It is always pretty quiet where I am, but I never mind having the silence broken up by the sound of freedom overhead.
Coming up as well: Mark Levin Show Friday at 8:30 p.m. EDT and Hugh Hewitt Monday, June 4, at 8:30 a.m. EDT. And many. many more. Please tune in or stream.