Workers assemble cars at a workshop in Shenyang, Liaoning province. Photo: AFP

China’s 25% tariff on foreign-made autos is a tempting target for a White House determined to level the playing field. But, as the Wall Street Journal reports Wednesday, the auto industry is also seen as a strategic asset in Beijing, and a confrontation on the issue could be intractable. Bracing for changes to North American trade rules, auto industry executives have been looking for opportunities with the new administration, and playing hard ball with the Chinese is one. Evidence of this, Dan DiMicco, an advisor to Trump’s transition team said that the issue has come up in talks and “it will be a very big part of Trump’s actions and policy towards China.”

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