Real and painful consequences: Ala. Trade Minister, Toyota Head "Deeply Disappointed" by Trump Action Action
President Donald Trump has now accepted a Department of Commerce Section 232 report that assessed the import of cars and cars sharing as a "national security threat" with the President's determination seriously worrying Alabama's car industry and economic development leaders.
The Ministry of Commerce's report, delivered to Trump on February 17, concluded that the import of cars and certain car parts threatens to detract from the United States national security. On Friday, Trump announced that he had completed his review of the report and agreed with his conclusion.
The president has commissioned US trade representative Robert Lighthizer to initiate a negotiation process with affected countries such as Japan, and if no agreements are reached within 1
Only for Japanese car manufacturers, Alabama is home to a Honda factory in Lincoln, and the substantiated Mazda Toyota joint venture in Huntsville has two Japanese car giants.
In a statement on Tuesday, Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota and chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), stressed "he is deeply disappointed with President Trump's announcement".
Speaking on behalf of JAMA said Toyoda, "We are horrified to hear a message suggesting that our long-term investment and employment contribution in the US is not welcomed. As chairman, I am deeply saddened by this decision. "
" For JAMA member companies, it is our top priority to provide the best possible vehicle opportunities to our customers. We now have 24 production facilities, 45 research and development / design centers and 39 distribution centers in 28 states and have cumulatively invested approximately $ 51 billion in production facilities alone, "he explained. "It is also important to remember that the JAMA member companies, even in the big recession, made a great effort to maintain employment, and currently we deliver more than 93,000 direct US jobs. According to a new survey, a total of over 1.6 million are being supported. jobs (including intermediate and spin-off jobs) in the US by Japanese automakers These figures speak for themselves about the long history of JAMA member companies with local contributions and engagement as US citizens, and we are confident that neither imported vehicles nor parts or ours US operations "threaten to weaken" US national security. "
"Any trade restraint would cause a serious blow to the US car industry and economy as it would not only exacerbate US consumers but also negatively affect global competitiveness in US-produced vehicles and suppress business investment in the United States," Toyoda told .
He continued: "We believe that free and fair trade as well as competitive business environment based on international rules support the global competitiveness of the US automotive industry, leading to consumer benefit and sustained growth in the US economy."
"JAMA member companies strongly hope that President Trump understands our desire to further contribute to the US economy and employment, and that the dialogue between the governments of Japan and the United States leads to a result that supports the development of the auto industry and the economies of both nations" concluded Toyoda.
In a statement by Yellowhammer News, Alabama Trade Minister Greg Canfield said "The US Department of Commerce's section 232 results … set the stage for tariffs threatening to seriously interfere with operations in" state auto-manufacturing operations "and put Alabama jobs on the line."  Canfield explained: "Car manufacturers in Europe and Japan have made profound contributions to the Alabama economy through significant investment and job creation that has enriched families and communities. Mercedes-Benz opened a factory in Alabama 22 years ago; Complex experienced nearly $ 6 billion in investment and is home to thousands of jobs, with Honda and Toyota investing just over $ 3 billion in their Alabama manufacturing business and employing more than 5,000 people in Alabama, Toyota and Mazda are currently investing 1 more. $ 6 billion to open a car assembly plant in Alabama with 4,000 new jobs. Auto suppliers to these automakers have also invested heavily in operations in Alabama – and they continue to do so. "
" Over the years, Alabama has formed strong partnerships with these automotive industries, "he added." We have also made many enduring friendships with industry leaders, including Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp. who personally came to Alabama & # 39; 39; s capital to announce the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA assembly plant in 2018 and Honda and Mercedes top management. "
" We regret seeing these conditions disturbed by the US Department of Commerce's section 232 finds that set the stage for tariffs that threaten to seriously interfere with the operations of these Alabama manufacturing operations and put Alabama jobs on the line. We will continue to work to help the Trump administration understand that these proposed tariffs will have real and painful consequences for many hardworking alligators and companies that have established roots in our state, "Canfield concluded.
Sean Ross is a Yellowhammer News employee author and you can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn