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Toyota Rebukes Trump for sending message that Carmaker "Not Welcome" in U.S.



(Bloomberg) – Toyota Motor Corp. Coated President Donald Trump's statement that imported cars threaten US national security and signaling disputed talks are ahead for the White House and America's most important trading partners.

In an unusually well-formulated statement, Japan's largest automaker Trump's proclamation on Friday said the United States must defend itself against foreign cars and components "sending a message to Toyota that our investments are not welcome." The company said it has spent more than $ 60 billion on construction work in the country, including 19 production facilities.

Earlier Friday, Trump agreed on the conclusions of his trading department, which investigated the import of vehicles and auto parts and found that they were damaging national security by leading to a decline in market share for "US-owned" car manufacturers since 1980 the number. The White House set a deadline of 180 days to negotiate deals with Japan, the EU and other major auto exporters.

Toyota said there is still hope that these talks can be resolved quickly, but warned that it would force US consumers to reduce imports Pay more and be counterproductive for jobs and finances. The company's criticism comes two months after the promise to add $ 3 billion to a year-long US investment plan.

Representatives of other automakers were more diplomatic, but also noted concerns about the Trump administration's saber rattling. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trading group representing a dozen of the largest domestic and foreign automakers operating in the United States, warns Friday that higher fares prices could put 700,000 US jobs at risk.

“ We are very concerned that the administration continues to consider imposing auto tariffs, & # 39; & # 39; said the car industry in a statement. “ By increasing car prices across the board and driving up car repair and maintenance costs, tariffs are basically a huge tax on consumers. & # 39; & # 39;

The repair from Toyota marks a break from many years of trying to work its way into Trump's good days after criticizing the president elected in January 2017 to plan to build Corolla cars in Mexico, Toyota announced. an investment plan of $ 10 billion. In August of that year, the company said it would join Mazda Motor Corp. in building a $ 1.6 billion factory in Alabama.

But all these efforts have done little to curb repeated threats by the White House to impose tariffs of as much as 25% on imported vehicles and auto parts.

"Our operations and employees contribute significantly to the American lifestyle, the US economy and are not a national security threat," the company said.

(Updates with reaction to the White House decision from the automaker trade group in fifth paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Chester Dawson in Southfield at cdawson54@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1 @ blomberg.net, Melinda Grenier

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