Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that Donald Trump has filled his cabinet with oil executives and Wall Street bankers, he is desperate to prove that he is a champion of working people. That’s probably why, on Thursday, he attacked Toyota for opening a new plant in Mexico.
‘Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.’
Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017
Trump seems to be ignoring, or simply ignorant of, the fact that Toyota is not an American company. They are, in fact, Japanese. It’s rather hypocritical for Trump to be railing against free trade while demanding a foreign company make their products in the U.S.
In response to Trump’s tweet, Toyota issued a statement clarifying where they pointed out that no American jobs will be lost as the result of this new factory. They also laid out some facts regarding their company’s history in the U.S.
‘Toyota has been part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for nearly 60 years. Production volume or employment in the U.S. will not decrease as a result of our new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico announced in April 2015. With more than $21.9 billion direct investment in the U.S., 10 manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships and 136,000 employees, Toyota looks forward to collaborating with the Trump Administration to serve in the best interests of consumers and the automotive industry.’
- “Over the past 30 years, Toyota has produced over 25 million vehicles in the U.S.
- Over the past 20 years, $2 out of every $3 invested in North America has been spent on U. S. facilities
- Toyota was the smallest importer of vehicles from Mexico to the U.S. in 2016.
- In 2015, Toyota exported more than 160,000 U.S.-built vehicles to 40 countries, helping to establish the U.S. as a global export hub.
- Our manufacturing facilities in Baja, Mexico, established in 2002, support production at our San Antonio, Texas plant, where 3,300 team members produced over 230,000 Tundras and Tacomas in 2016.
- Recent manufacturing expansions by Toyota in the U.S. include:
- $360 million investment in Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant, adding 750 new jobs
- $150 million investment at its Huntsville, Alabama plant
- $100 million investment in Toyota’s Princeton, Indiana plant, adding 300 jobs
- $90 million investment at its Buffalo, West Virginia plant, adding 80 jobs”
As Toyota’s statement illustrates, the United States has greatly benefited from trade agreements with Japan and other nations. Are our current trade deals perfect? Far from it. But Trump seems to want things both ways. He rails against trade deals when the cost American jobs, but demands that foreign companies manufacture their products in the U.S.
His stance is hypocritical and utterly unrealistic. He cannot demand foreign companies produce their products in the U.S. while railing against free trade.
Featured image via Getty Images.