Tuscaloosa economic leaders react to possible Trump ban on German cars in U.S.

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - A German newspaper is reporting that President Trump wants to ban German luxury vehicles in the U.S., including Mercedes Benz.

That has the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama trying to get a message out to local lawmakers.

Although this possible ban of German car sales in the U.S. is just reported talk, business and economic leaders in Tuscaloosa are already worried about how this kind of rhetoric can hurt their relationships with foreign partners.

"We're very concerned about the comments we know it's causing alarm with our foreign partners, "said Jim Page The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama CEO.

Partners like Mercedes-Benz who Jim Page CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama said the plant in Tuscaloosa County alone has invested over $4 billion at that site.

"Not just in Alabama there's been foreign automotive investment throughout the southeast for a long time it's a big part of the southern economy," said Page.

Not to mention the jobs created, maintaining healthy business relationships with our German partners, Page tells me is something West Alabama can't afford to lose, and others seem to agree.

"Most of the jobs I've seen at those temp services are those jobs provided at Mercedes pretty much if he takes those away it's going to affect a lot of people around this area," said Dajuan White, who lives in Tuscaloosa.

Reports from a German magazine said President Trump told France's president he would keep his trade policy until no Mercedes cars rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York. The trade policy includes pushing taxes as much as 25 percent on car imports impacting German automakers, something some worry could cause a domino effect.

"We've tried having protection tariffs before and all it does is start a trade war that adds reciprocal tariffs to our exports," said law professor Dan Joyner.

Page said they hope state lawmakers who have great relationships with the Trump administration can make their needs clear to the President that we need to be embracing our foreign partners.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.