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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Federal Government To Automakers: Tell Us Your Secrets

      I've got a secret

    The U.S. Commerce Department is asking automakers to spill their secrets; product planning, financing, supply chains, and other bits that aren't in public filings.

    Bloomberg reports that the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security sent out a  34-page questionnaire asking for sensitive details to several automakers. Failure to do so could result "in a maximum fine of $10,000, imprisonment of up to one year, or both" as mentioned on the first page of the survey.

    “The breadth and depth of this request is invasive, requiring massive amounts of proprietary and confidential business data from global operations -- all under the pretense of national security,” said Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers - a group that represents a number of companies including General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

    “Frankly, it’s stunning from an administration committed to getting government out of the way of business.”

    This is part of the Commerce Department’s investigation into whether or not the imports of cars and car parts hurt U.S. national security opened in late May. It may result in imported vehicles being hit with tariffs as high as 25 percent.

    What is being asked in this survey?

    Quote

    The Trump administration wants such things as how much each company’s research budget goes to specific areas such as autonomous driving, electric drive, connected vehicles, and lightweight technology. The questionnaire also seeks a list of suppliers for major vehicles systems and where they’re located.

    Other questions deal with the business plan from now until 2020 and whether or not imports hurt sales.

    Susan Helper, a former chief economist of the Commerce Department during the Obama administration said Bureau of Industry and Security has conducted dozen of these surveys in the past, mostly dealing with sectors closely linked to the defense industry.

    “This is a consequence of the Trump administration’s expanded definition of national security I hadn’t thought about. I can see both sides on this -- it is burdensome for companies, but on the other hand it’s important for policy makers to understand global supply chains as they have an increasing impact on the U.S. economy,” Helper told Bloomberg.

    Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific told Bloomberg that the level of information that the government is asking is "disturbing'.

    “The only time I’ve seen something like that is when a supplier is not doing very well financially and the automaker is trying to understand their financial state and their future. They’re fully undressing automakers and how they do their business to a disturbing level.”

    The Commerce Department will be holding a hearing on the investigation on July 19th in Washington D.C. Around 45 people, representing various automakers, labor unions, and more will be testifying.

    Source: Bloomberg, Link to Questionnaire



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    Just about every level of Gov't tacks on a 'revenue ticket' in just about every operation. It's automatic. Why in the hell should the local gov't take $9 of my money/year because I have a dog? What expense does the township incur due to my dog ownership? (Note: I do not have any dogs.)

    This reminds me of the 2017 census questionaire, where they wanted bank account numbers and balances down to the penny and any/all other sources of income, including cash. There was the usual threat of fines/imprisonment, mixed in the a heaping measure of threatening language. Big Gov't can take a flying fuk at a rolling donut.

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    Hey GOV, Go jump off the Fuking cliff. No way do you have any right to this info. WTF, Potus, your not our dictator yet and nor will you be allowed to become.

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    Okay a part of me is that this is totally invasive.

     

    Yet that’s basically what every automaker foreign has to hand over to get market access to China. Like I’m just pointing that out.

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    11 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

    Okay a part of me is that this is totally invasive.

     

    Yet that’s basically what every automaker foreign has to hand over to get market access to China. Like I’m just pointing that out.

     

    A stopped clock is right twice a day thus this is one of the few areas I support Trump's actions on. 

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    4 minutes ago, loki said:

    any/everything is in the national security interest. /s

    is the just a tit for tat policy @Drew Dowdell?  is that why you support this?

     

    My fault, the way I said it came out wrong and unclear.  Trump is arguing with China to get them to stop this requirement. That's what I agree with him on.... not the domestic requirements he is doing here. 

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    1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    My fault, the way I said it came out wrong and unclear.  Trump is arguing with China to get them to stop this requirement. That's what I agree with him on.... not the domestic requirements he is doing here. 

    ah, that makes it clear. i don't understand how this would work since it's directed at auto manufacturers and not directly at china, or it's exports, but we do keep hearing that Chinese brands want to export to here, sometime in the near future.

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    2 minutes ago, loki said:

    ah, that makes it clear. i don't understand how this would work since it's directed at auto manufacturers and not directly at china, or it's exports, but we do keep hearing that Chinese brands want to export to here, sometime in the near future.

    Right now a big issue in China is that manufacturer, particularly in tech and automotive, are required to turn over intellectual property to state-owned businesses.  Trump is fighting that. 

    I disagree with such turnovers in China and I disagree with it here. 

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    Why should any automaker turn over such information to ANY government?!  China should never ask for such info and neither should the US government.  China should not require that all intellectual property be turned over to state-owned enterprises either.  Since China's entire plan and policy is to monopolize technologies that are used worldwide any way they can, the answer is at best total trade isolation of China ---- if not an actual shooting war.  Unfortunately, for many reasons, we may end up having one.

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    21 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Hey GOV, Go jump off the Fuking cliff. No way do you have any right to this info. WTF, Potus, your not our dictator yet and nor will you be allowed to become.

    You should have seen the "survey" the the government sent us...holy smokes was it bad! And ours said failure to failure the fill it out in a timely manner meant actual real jail time (like 3 months or something like that)

    Random survey my rear......

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    Because Gov't has positioned itself, not as a servant to the people, but a quiet overlord, creating, implementing & enforcing at will with no avenue for appeal and no accountability.

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