Car group 'dismayed' by Trump
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association has revealed it is dismayed by US President Donald Trump’s declaration that imported vehicles and parts posed a threat to US national security.
“We are dismayed to hear a message suggesting that our long-time contributions of investment and employment in the United States are not welcomed,” said Akio Toyoda, chairman of the association. “As chairman, I am deeply saddened by this decision."
According to Reuters, Trump has threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 per cent on imported cars made by foreign carmakers, a move which would ramp up car prices, curb the global competitiveness of US-made vehicles and limit investment in the country, the world’s second-largest car market.
The US is a vital market for Toyota, Nissan, Honda and other Japanese car makers. Cars, parts and components are among its biggest export products.
Most of Japan’s major carmakers operate plants in the United States. At least half of the cars and trucks sold in the country by Japan’s top three carmakers are made in the US.
Toyota has also pledged to invest almost US$13 billion in the US between 2017 and 2021 to boost manufacturing capacity and jobs, says Reuters. This includes $1.6b for a vehicle assembly plant in Alabama jointly run with Mazda.