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Japanese Investment In US Feels ‘Unwelcome’ Due To Trump’s Auto Tariff Threat, Says Toyota

Japanese Investment In US Feels ‘Unwelcome’ Due To Trump’s Auto Tariff Threat, Says Toyota
The strategy of international trade war that is being followed by the administration of the United States President Donald Trump was a “major setback” for American consumers, opined Japan’s largest auto maker Toyota Motor. It also said that the moves also make the company feel that the investments that are being made by the company in the US are “not welcomed” and that there is little value of the contributions that the American employees of the company are making.
In a new directive issued by Trump on Friday, he has given just six months to Japan and the European Union to negotiate a trade agreement with the US so that the “American automobile industry, its workforce, and American innovation” remains protected from imports.
The comments from the largest Japanese auto company was made soon after the comments made by the White House saying that the U.S.Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will “address the threatened impairment” related to the national security of the country because of the auto imports.
“Our operations and employees contribute significantly to the American way of life, the U.S. economy and are not a national security threat,” Toyota said in a statement.
The latest comments made on the time period for the trade agreement to be reached and the issue of threat to national security because of auto imports was denounced by the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom who said: “we completely reject the notion” that the national security of the United States is threatened in any way by the exports of European cars to the country.
It has been more than 60 years that Toyota has been operational in the US and has developed “deeply engrained” business relations there, Toyota said. The company also highlighted its investment of more than $60 billion in the country which has resulted in the employment of over 475,000 American nationals.
Toyota further said in a statement that “history has shown” that when countries and administrations try to limit the imports of vehicles and their parts, it is “counterproductive in creating jobs, stimulating the economy and influencing consumer buying habits.” The Japanese auto maker further stated that the consumer choice in America would get reduced by the auto tariffs and it would even negatively impact the American automakers because they source a large portion of the various parts that are used for manufacturing of auto parts from different countries.
“If import quotas are imposed, the biggest losers will be consumers who will pay more and have fewer vehicle choices,” Toyota said.
There have so far been no comments made by the White House about the reaction of the global auto companies to the suggestions of voluntary quotas – nor to the reactions from the EU.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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