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Automakers are on board, but what about the lawmakers?

Developing cars for different markets is very costly, and finding a way to unify regulations could dramatically reduce those costs.

The trade dispute affecting the Chinese and US auto industries may be cooling off, as the Asian country has announced an end to controversial duties levied on some American-made vehicles. According to Reuters, this was largely in retaliation to US import tariffs on Chinese-made tires in 2009.

If they're not going to get you on the front end, they'll get you on the back end. That's what the European Union is accusing the Russian government of doing with automotive trade restrictions, and the US appears to agree, Reuters reports. The US is joining the EU in a World Trade Organization (WTO) claim that Russia is violating trade agreements by imposing an auto-recycling fees on cars imported into the country.

France has been vocal, but not alone, in noting the rise of the South Korean automakers in Europe. The signing of a free-trade pact in 2011 between South Korea and the EU, along with the especially value-conscious buyers in a crisis-stricken Europe, has seen market share increases measuring in the double digits for Hyundai and Kia – analysts expect 14-percent growth for the two in 2012.

Automotive News China reports the United States is set to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against China for tariffs on American-built vehicles. The duties cover around 80-percent of the vehicles imported from the U.S. and are expected to cost U.S. automakers $3.3 billion. Interestingly enough, General Motors and Chrysler vehicles face higher tariffs than those of other automakers due to the government bailout those manufacturers received under presidents George W. Bush and Bar

That falling ball in Times Square didn't just signal the end of 2011, it was also the death knell for thirty years of ethanol subsidies. That in turn could signal an abrupt rise in prices at the pump.

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

In 2010, domestic automakers shipped about 7,500 vehicles to Korea, representing less than one percent of its auto market. To add insult to injury, well over half a million Korean cars were sold here. But that could all change, according to Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who told The Detroit News that a new trade agreement "will open new opportunities for Ford to reach even more Korean customers."

The U.S. Car Allowance Rebate System (a.k.a. 'cash-for-clunkers') program was a short-term boon for automakers participating in our market. Sales went up, inventory went down and nearly 700,000 vehicles that would likely have otherwise ended up on used car lots were destroyed. And since the U.S. is essentially a free market where automakers around the globe are allowed to participate, Japanese and European automakers benefited from the program as well. In fact, Japanese automakers fared even bet

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

While biodiesel advocates go about setting up sustainability principles, the EU and the U.S. are in a growing dispute over the biofuel. The problem is that the Europeans see the $1-a-gallon tax credit that the U.S. provides for B99 (made up of 99 percent biodiesel and one percent petro-diesel) as an unfair subsidy that is harming the European biodiesel market. The EU's response: slap new (but temporary) tariffs on biodiesel imports from the U.S., maybe. The European Commission is looking into ap

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

The Times Republican, which is edited in Iowa, has an article written by David Kruse which explains why ethanol should be subsidized, and then have an additional tariff when being imported. A mess? Let me try to explain his point of view a little bit.

Guess Energy Secretary Sam Bodman's hint about dropping the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff for ethanol was for naught. The massive budget that President Bush presented to Congress today (it's a record $3.1 trillion) does not do away with the tariff, yet. It's set to expire at the end of 2009, and Reuters says that a DOE spokeswoman said the issue will be dealt with later this year. For now, the domestic ethanol industry remains resolutely protected by the feds.

Yup. You read that right. According to the folks at Edmunds, Hyundai made a statement yesterday that a pickup truck might be in the cards, but it won't be available for a long time.

South Korean automakers received a pretty big shot in the arm as a trade agreement was reached with the United States. The trade pact, which lasts for 15 years, took nine months to negotiate. With the new agreement, tariffs will be immediately lifted on cars with engine displacements of 3-liters or less. Cars with displacements greater than 3.0L will have to wait three years, and trucks will have to wait 10 years before the tariff is lifted. As expected, Hyundai stock shot up 3.3% on the news, a

We have already reported that this year's Congress will pursue energy issues individually, and one of the most important issues up for debate is biofuels. Reps. Earl Pomeroy and Kenny Hulshof have introduced the Renewable Fuels and Energy Independence Promotion Act of 2007 which proposes to permanently extend tax breaks for ethanol and biodiesel production. The act moves to permanently extend the current 51 cent-per-gallon ethanol tax credit and a 10 cent-per-gallon small producer ethanol credit

U.S. Congress has voted to protect the domestic ethanol industry and extend the secondary tariff of 54 cents per gallon on imported ethanol. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) praised the move saying that secondary tariff, which is now in place until January 1, 2009, will ensure continued growth and investment in the domestic ethanol industry. Ethanol currently attracts a 51 cent per gallon blender's credit no matter the country of origin.

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

Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, has seen the light and it comes in the form of a biofuel. The St. Petersburg Times reports that after reading a paper written by Mario Fernandez, a former sugar trader from Key Biscayne, Gov. Bush has seemingly become one of the nation's foremost advocates of ethanol. In an interview, he said, "This one was one of those light bulb deals for me."

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