The Trump Administration has denied a request by General Motors to exempt the Buick Envision SUV from recent tariffs imposed on Chinese goods. The denial means GM will continue paying a 25 percent tariff tax on all Envisions imported to the U.S.
GM filed the request for exemption nearly a year ago, but only got an answer on May 29th. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office refers to the Envision as a product that is “strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025’ or other Chinese industrial programs.”
On Tuesday GM told Reuters the automaker has been paying the tariff on the Envision since July. To date, GM has not increased the sticker price of the Envision to account for the 25 percent tariff. The Envision starts around $35,000.
Buick Envision sales have been on decline in the U.S. for the last two years. In 2018 sales dropped 30 percent, while sales are off an additional 21 percent in the first three months of 2019. GM notes it shipped in a six-month supply of Envisions just prior to the July 2018 tariff being implemented.
GM’s argument to the U.S. Trade Representative stemmed from the fact that the company sells 200,000 Envisions a year in China, meaning two production locations for the SUV make little sense given its significantly smaller volume in the U.S.
Volvo Cars has also had its application for exemption be rejected with regards to its XC60 SUV, which is also imported from China.