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ECONOMY > Trade

Toyota president expresses his company’s commitment to staying in the U.S.

  • March 16, 2019
  • , Asahi, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Nikkei and Asahi reported on Saturday morning that Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda gave a high-profile speech at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., on Friday, a day after his company announced major new investments in its U.S. plants. Toyoda was quoted as saying, “We will never leave the United States.” While he did not mention the Trump administration’s plan to increase auto tariffs, he said that he is “sad” that imported cars are being called a national security threat and hopes that “this kind of conversation can go away.”

Nikkei published a follow-up report on the speech on Sunday, pointing out that Toyota has been increasing its U.S. investments as a preemptive move to win U.S. public support in anticipation of the upcoming U.S.-Japan trade talks and in an effort to strike a balance between its local production, China strategy, and global marketing.

In a related story, Asahi observed on Sunday that the Trump administration has not disclosed the contents of the Department of Commerce’s report on Feb. 17 recognizing auto imports as a “threat.” The paper surmised that this is probably due to opposition in the U.S. and even within the cabinet to the imposition of additional auto tariffs due to the potential impact on U.S. allies targeted by the tariffs and on the global economy.

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