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We get very excited here at Autoblog when someone brings up a rare car from the Japanese domestic market, even if they are distantly related to cars we can buy in the US, like the Toyota Crown Royal Saloon Hybrid our own Sebastian Blanco tested last month. But while we think often about JDM cars, the reality is that the market is far different than what we imagine. It's largely made up of tiny, 660-cc kei cars that are ultra affordable and sip fuel.


The Detroit News reports automakers are coming out in support of proposed free trade legislation between the US and the European Union. The Association of Global Automakers, representing major Asian manufacturers, says the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will promote economic growth, increase jobs and make US and EU companies more competitive on the global market. The legislation will also open the door for EU and US regulators to agree on one standard for emissions, crash protect


Trade issues between the United States and Japan, especially in the automotive sector, have struck a repetitive note for decades: our market is open to them, their market is effectively closed to us. Even though Japan doesn't apply tariffs to cars we export there – whereas we tax Japanese passenger cars 2.5 percent and Japanese light trucks 25 percent – other barriers like Japan's 2,000-unit cap in the Preferential Handling Program and regulatory hurdles have limited the amount of ef


The exponential growth of China's auto market has left many automakers licking their lips at the thought of rampant profit. Recent years have seen the country's government spur foreign investment with various incentives, including reduced tariffs on imported manufacturing machinery. According to Automotive News, that's all about to stop. China has said it will cease encouraging foreign investment in a move designed to promote natural growth in the sector. The country saw automotive growth drop t


The aggrieved parties are: the United Steelworkers and the U.S. government on one side, Chinese tire companies and the Chinese government on the other. The issues are, as always, jobs and money. The Steelworkers brought a case against Chinese tire companies for dumping tires on the U.S. market over the past few years and in the process putting more than 5,000 people out of work and closing seven domestic tire factories. The case was ruled on by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which foun


Click above for high-res image gallery of the Vespa S 50


Looks like the talks between Proton and Volkswagen aren't going as well as they could... again. Both companies have said that talks are continuing, but The Edge business newspaper is reporting that no agreement appears likely in the near future. They reported that VW has been "less keen" about the deal lately. The first round of deal breaking news came in December but things appeared to be back on track since then. Seems like there have been a lot of delays in the negotiations, fueling rumors of


Yesterday the U.S. International Trade Commission lifted tariffs on imported steel from Australia, Canada, France and Japan, and there was much rejoicing in the boardrooms of many automakers that build cars and trucks in the U.S. The tariffs were originally put in place on cheap steel imported into the U.S. from a total of six countries that threatened to collapse the U.S. steel industry back in 1993. Some 13 years later, the U.S. steel industry is healthy, and the tariffs that once were helpful


UBS, a Swiss investment bank, released a statement saying that ethanol is an "insufficient" replacement for oil. Based on a study initiated by the bank, ethanol production at its current rate would total around 30 billion gallons of fuel by 2020. Unfortunately, oil consumption for vehicles alone totaled 320 billion gallons just for 2005.


Florida Governor Jeb Bush, after meeting with Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Roberto Rodrigues, wants the federal government to reconsider its stance on foreign ethanol and abolish all tariffs on the alternative fuel. States Bush, "We don't put a tariff on crude imported from a country like Venezuela, but yet we put a tariff on ethanol, which is a renewable source of energy that provides a clean alternative. We're at a point now where we need to develop strategies to begin that process."


As Autoblog Green has previously reported, U.S. tariffs on sugar has effectively barred Brazil and other nations with their less expensive and more efficient sugar-based ethanol from competing in the U.S., giving American corn and soy growers the lion's share of the market. But according to the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, the rising demand for corn in the U.S. may prove ultimately beneficial to Mexico, Central, and South American nations in the long run. The increased demand for corn to crea


Officials from the US and European Union have been prompted to file a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization (WTO), alleging that the up-and-coming Asian country has been manipulating taxes and tariffs on imported auto parts in an attempt to provide protection for domestic Chinese auto manufacturers.

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