Economy

Hyundai Union Warns Trump’s Tariffs Could Automatically Kill 20,000 Jobs

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The union that represents Hyundai's labor force in South Korea has issued a new warning and, given that it's coming from the union rather than the company itself, this warning appears to be directed at American workers just as much as it's directed at Trump.

The union warns that Trump's proposed tariffs on the automobile industry could lead to the automatic closure of operations here inside the United States because their contract with Hyundai in South Korea could mandate it.

The labor union, which has 51,000 members in South Korea, said its contracts with Hyundai Motor mandate Hyundai to shut down overseas factories first before closing its plants in South Korea in the event that restructuring becomes inevitable. [...]

"If South Korean car exports to the U.S. get blocked and hurt sales, the U.S. factory in Alabama that went into operation in May 2005 could be the first one to be shut down, putting some 20,000 American workers at risk of layoffs," the statement said. The union said it expects South Korea to win an exemption from auto tariffs.

Will South Korea be exempt from Trump's tariffs on foreign cars? Who knows?

If South Korea is exempted from Trump's tariffs which haven't been formally introduced yet, you have to ask why them and not others? If South Korean cars do not represent a threat to national security according to Trump, then why would Japanese or German cars?

I think we know the answer to that question (it's personal to Trump) but good luck explaining it at the World Trade Organization.

It's regrettable to say that American unions and a handful of Democrats have supported Trump's trade war more than they've opposed it. They thought it was a good idea when Trump was just imposing tariffs on metals, but anyone who was paying attention knew it wouldn't stop there.

Alabama is a "right-to-work" state where unions have little influence, but their workers can thank unions in the Midwest who supported Trump's trade war. They legitimized the trade war by only looking out for themselves.

  • Draxiar

    This is another tool in the box for Democrats to use against the GOP (Goons of Putin) in the mid-term elections…they damn well should too.

    • Tony Lavely

      If only someone would *open* the damn box…

  • muselet

    … this warning appears to be directed at American workers …

    Alas, the people the South Korean labor union needs to reach are effectively unreachable. If Hyundai closes its Alabama facility, they will blame unions and Democrats, and rally around Donald Trump.

    This is only going to get worse.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    Knowing conservative media, this will just become another reason to bash unions because lord knows, it certainly can’t be Trump’s fault. Nothing ever is.