Chairman’s Comment on the President’s Executive Proclamation on the Sec. 232 Automotive Imports Investigation
Akio Toyoda, Chairman, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.
May 21, 2019
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is profoundly disappointed by President Trump’s announcement that imported vehicles and parts “threaten to impair” the national security of the United States. We are dismayed to hear a message suggesting that our long-time contributions of investment and employment in the United States are not welcomed. As Chairman, I am deeply saddened by this decision.
For JAMA member companies, providing the best possible vehicle options for our customers is our top priority. We now have 24 manufacturing plants, 45 research-and-development/design centers, and 39 distribution centers in 28 states, and have cumulatively invested approximately $51 billion in manufacturing facilities alone. It is also important to remember that, even during the Great Recession, JAMA member companies made great efforts to maintain employment, and currently we provide more than 93,000 direct American jobs. According to a new study, a total of over 1.6 million jobs (including intermediate and spin-off jobs) in the U.S. are supported by Japanese automakers. These numbers speak for themselves about JAMA member companies’ long history of local contributions and commitment as U.S. corporate citizens, and we are certain that neither imported vehicles and parts nor our American operations “threaten to impair” the U.S. national security.
Any trade restrictive measures would deliver a serious blow to the U.S. auto industry and economy, as it would not only disadvantage U.S. consumers, but also adversely affect the global competitiveness of U.S.-produced vehicles and suppress company investments in the U.S. We believe that free and fair trade as well as a competitive business environment based on international rules support the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry, leading to consumer benefits and sustained growth of the U.S. economy.
JAMA member companies strongly hope that President Trump understands our desire to further contribute to the U.S. economy and employment and that the dialogue between the governments of Japan and the U.S. leads to an outcome that supports the development of the auto industries and economies of both nations.