President Donald Trump is currently abroad in Japan so, obviously, it calls for another one of his foolish statements on basic things he knows nothing about. This time it was about the Japanese automotive industry.
While speaking to business leaders in Tokyo, Trump whined, “Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. That’s not too much to ask. Is that rude to ask?”
The real question is, where on earth does the president get his intel from?
In January, Trump accused Japan of keeping American car manufacturers out by putting up regulatory barriers and rigging the currency market in favor of its own brands. While withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, Trump complained about how Japan makes “it impossible to sell cars in Japan.”
On Monday, the president went on a similar tangent, saying, “For the last many decades, Japan has been winning. You do know that. Right now our trade with Japan is not fair and it isn’t open.”
“The United States has suffered massive trade deficits at the hands of Japan for many, many years,” he added.
It seems once again the president has displayed his embarrassing lack of knowledge about, well, everything — because Japanese automakers have been making cars in the U.S. for decades.
Honda, Toyota and Nissan already build millions of their vehicles in the United States every year. In fact, about 75 percent of Japanese branded cars sold in North America are also manufactured within the continent.
Toyota has factories in Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana, Texas and West Virginia. Its biggest plant is in Georgetown, KY, with 8,200 employees and a plan to invest $1.3 billion to upgrade the facility.
Honda has facilities in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana and Alabama and 70 percent of its cars sold in the U.S. are made in America.
Nissan has manufacturing bases in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee and Sabaru has one in Indiana. Mazda also announced in August that it was working with Toyota and investing $1.6 billion to build a manufacturing plant in the US — and which Trump acknowledged will produce 4,000 jobs in the country.
Trump to Japanese automakers: "Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. That’s not too much to ask" pic.twitter.com/ndpcKAsHcx— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) November 6, 2017
The clueless president has also made similar remarks to Germany over trade deals earlier this year when he called their cars “very bad” and threatened to stop their sales in the United States.
The statement similarly resulted in raised eyebrows since two of the biggest automakers in Germany, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, have factories in Alabama and South Carolina, respectively. Volkswagen makes its Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan in Chattanooga, Tennessee while Volvo is building its first plant in South Carolina.
These carmakers contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. GDP and create thousands of jobs each year. Trump has apparently forgotten about this or, more possibly, has never bothered to learn about these key facts of the automaking industry.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS, Thomas Peter