Former General Motors Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz on Wednesday told CNBC that President Donald Trump’s trade policies will make the United States a “winner,” on trade.
A transcript follows:
QUINTANILLA: On these input costs now – the guidance today about from GM and Chrysler – I’m looking at some analysis out of Bloomberg that says the additional cost to these metals is outpacing Q1 benefits from tax cuts. How far can this go?
LUTZ: Well, that may be – but – that change in guidance was nearly precautionary so that they don’t have to explain it later. In my judgment, we are in the midst of a trade negotiation. There’s nothing finalized, there’s nothing that’s going to stay yet. We’re in the middle of a war with tactical moves here, tactical moves there, offensives here, our resistance lines built up over here. We won’t know anything for another couple of months. What President Trump is trying to do is eradicate decades of trade inequity, where the U.S. has almost no tariffs on certain things and other countries have gigantic tariffs to where we have ongoing, monumental trade deficits, which are just sucking the wealth of our country and it’s time for somebody to put an end to that. President Trump has decided this is the time and by George, I’m with him 100 percent. Now, is that going to cause some problems, some dislocation, some trouble in a system that’s been based on cheap imports of just about everything? And nevermind if we export anything or not. Yeah, yeah, trade deficit doesn’t matter. That’s all not true. It does matter and it’s time to get things in balance. I guarantee you the U.S. will come out of this trade war as a winner, with other countries cutting tariffs on key American commodities. I’ll bet you Europe eliminates the automotive tax. It’s too early to get upset about all of this. We’re in the midst of a negotiation.