Chairman’s Comment on the U. S. Commerce Department’s Investigation of Imported Automobiles and Parts under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act
Akio Toyoda, Chairman, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.
February 21, 2019
Member companies of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) have given top priority to providing customers with the best possible vehicle options in the fiercely competitive United States market. They have 24 manufacturing plants and 44 research-and-development and design centers in 19 states, directly employing more than 92,000 people. According to a recent study, a total of 1.52 million jobs (including intermediate and spin-off jobs) in the U.S. are supported by Japanese automakers.
We are proud to have contributed in a significant way to American economic growth and employment as members of the U.S. automotive industry. Most important are our U.S. customers, to whom we are deeply grateful and to whom we owe our success. We strive to enhance the international competitiveness and sustainable development of the U.S. automotive industry through R&D on new technologies in the U.S. and through productivity improvements and workforce development initiatives. In order for automakers to continue such efforts, it is essential that they are able to make the most of free trade and competitive business environments based on international rules, and the highly-integrated supply chains that have developed under these conditions.
Imported vehicles create new market demand, including demand for new vehicle technologies, thereby expanding and diversifying the choices available to our U.S. customers. As such, these vehicles clearly do not threaten United States national security. Introducing import restriction measures would not only negatively affect our U.S. customers, but would also disrupt the operations of U.S. vehicle and auto parts manufacturers as well as auto dealerships. Adverse effects on the U.S. economy and American jobs should be avoided.
We share the Administration’s goals of creating more American jobs and growing the U.S. economy, and therefore would like to continue the pursuit of our business activities rooted in the United States. We hope the future dialogue between the governments of Japan and the U.S. will prove positive for the auto industry and for the economy on both sides, and we look forward to President Trump’s understanding and a careful and appropriate decision on his part regarding this matter of critical importance to the U.S. automobile industry and the American people.