January 15, 2017 / 10:14 PM / in 10 months

Trump threatens BMW with border tax on cars built in Mexico

BERLIN (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump has warned the United States will impose a border tax of 35 percent on cars that German carmaker BMW plans to build at a new plant in Mexico and export to the U.S. market.

A view shows the logo of BMW on a car in Moscow, Russia, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Trump was speaking in an interview with German newspaper Bild, which on Sunday released excerpts of his comments translated into German.

A BMW spokeswoman said a BMW Group plant in San Luis Potosi would build the BMW 3 Series starting from 2019, with the output intended for the world market. The plant in Mexico would be an addition to existing 3 Series production facilities in Germany and China.

Trump said BMW should build its new car factory in the United States because this would be “much better” for the company.

He went on to say Germany was a great car producer, borne out by Mercedes Benz cars being a frequent sight in New York, but there was no reciprocity.

Germans were not buying Chevrolets at the same rate, he said, making the business relationship an unfair one-way street. He said he was an advocate of free trade, but not at any cost.

The BMW spokeswoman said the company was “very much at home in the U.S.,” employing directly and indirectly nearly 70,000 people in the country.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Edward Taylor; writing by Vera Eckert; editing by Andrew Roche

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