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BMW to shift some SUV production overseas in response to tariffs

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BMW said Monday that it would move production for some of its SUVs out of the U.S. as a result of new tariffs placed on the vehicles, according to The Post and Courier in South Carolina.

The German-based automobile manufacturer signed an agreement with its Chinese partner, Brilliance Automotive Group Holdings, to increase the number of vehicles produced in the country, according to the Charleston newspaper, with the total reaching 520,000 by 2019.

“Our agreement sets a long-term framework for our future in China — a future involving continued investment, further growth and a clear commitment to the development and production of electric vehicles,” said BMW CEO Harald Krueger said.

The company also said that it will raise prices for U.S.-produced SUVs sold in China because it is “not in a position to completely absorb the tariff increases” after China slapped a 40 percent tariffs on U.S. car imports, according to the newspaper. The action was in response to tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by President Trump.

BMW is the largest U.S. auto exporter, and employs 10,000 people at a plant in Spartanburg, S.C. The brand’s key SUV models are produced there, the newspaper reported.

Trump hit China last week with steep tariffs on about $34 billion worth of products.

China responded with retaliatory tariffs on American imports, including SUVs, soybeans and seafood.

Beijing accused Trump of launching “the biggest trade war in economic history” and of using tariffs as “typical trade bullying.”

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