Tokyo, May 22 (Jiji Press) — Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Chairman Akio Toyoda has rebutted U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration that imported vehicles and parts threaten the U.S. 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,” Toyoda, also president of Toyota Motor Corp. <7203>, said in a statement issued Tuesday. “As chairman (of JAMA), I am deeply saddened by this decision.”
Citing data describing JAMA member firms’ contributions to the U.S. economy, including over 1.6 million jobs being supported by them and cumulative investments of 51 billion dollars in manufacturing facilities alone, Toyoda stressed, “We are certain that neither imported vehicles and parts nor our American operations threaten to impair the U.S. national security.”
As for Trump’s announcement Friday that he would delay by up to six months a decision on whether to impose extra tariffs on cars and parts, Toyoda noted, “Any trade restrictive measures would deliver a serious blow to the U.S. auto industry and economy.”
Then he expressed hope that dialogue between the Japanese and U.S. governments “leads to an outcome that supports the development of the auto industries and economies of both nations.”
At a press conference Wednesday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga echoed Toyoda, saying, “Extensive import restrictions on automobiles and other goods will adversely affect not only the U.S. economy but the global economy.”
In an editorial Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Toyota has invested more than 60 billion dollars in the United States and currently employs directly or indirectly 475,000 Americans and that the leading Japanese automaker is also making contribution by “open-sourcing of patents” for fuel cell and hybrid systems and continuing to invest in artificial intelligence, autonomous driving technology and robotics.
“The only threat any of this poses would be if Toyota gave up on America and moved everything somewhere else,” the major U.S. economic daily said.