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Toyota president meets with U.S. vice president-elect: source

NEW YORK, Jan. 11, Kyodo — Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda met with U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence in Washington on Tuesday, a company source said Wednesday.

 

Toyoda’s meeting with a top official of the incoming administration comes after the carmaker announced at a trade show on Monday that it will spend $10 billion in U.S. capital investments over the next five years.

 

With President-elect Donald Trump having hit Toyota’s plans to build a new factory in Mexico on Twitter last week, Toyoda is believed to have explained to Pence the degree of the Japanese automaker’s contribution to the U.S. economy.

 

Trump, who has pressed companies to keep jobs and production in the United States, said on Twitter on Jan. 5, “Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.”

 

At a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit where Toyoda made the announcement of the $10 billion investment, he also stressed that it had invested $22 billion in the United States over the last 60 years and employs 136,000 people in the country.

 

But at a news conference on Wednesday, his first since winning the Nov. 8 presidential election, Trump threatened to impose hefty taxes if companies operating in the United States relocate overseas at the expense of American workers.

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