Just when you think he can’t embarrass America any more, he goes on a trip abroad and opens his big mouth. Trump told executives from automakers during a trip to Japan on Monday,
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so.“
It’s not only rude, it’s moronic.
Japanese automakers already have huge factories in the U.S. that churn out millions of cars each year. According to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, they built nearly 4 million vehicles in the U.S. in 2016, and employed nearly 90,000 people. The group said that 75% of Japanese cars sold in the U.S. last year were built in North America, including Mexico and Canada.
Japan’s big three automakers all have a major presence: Nissan says that it sold 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, and made 1 million in the country –although some of those were for export. Honda locally manufactured 70% of the 1.2 million vehicles it sold in the U.S. in 2016. Toyota, meanwhile, built 2.1 million cars at its North American plants last year.
In August, Toyota and Mazda jointly announced that they would open a $1.6 billion manufacturing plant in the U.S.
Toyota, which is spending $1.3 billion to upgrade a facility in Kentucky, has also scaled back a planned $700 million investment in a new manufacturing plant in Mexico.
The U.S. runs trade deficits with all five countries that Trump will visit in Asia, including a particularly big one with China.
Stephen Nagy, a professor at Tokyo’s International Christian University,
“Many Japanese cars are made in the U.S. already and this request is not reflective of today’s reality.”
Trump? Reality? They’ve never met.
(Photo, YouTube; via CNN)