Trump Leans On Japanese Auto as U.S. Exports Rise

Posted on November 6th, 2017

Robots assemble a vehicle at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton. (Courtesy TMMI)

Robots assemble a vehicle at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton. (Courtesy TMMI)

President Donald Trump is in Japan this week and told Japanese business leaders they should make more cars in the U.S., and import less. He also thanked companies that already do business in America, including ones with a huge footprint in Indiana.

Japan has exported nearly two million vehicles to the U.S. in the past year – more than a third of its worldwide exports. But the United States, plus Canada and Mexico, is also producing more cars for Japanese companies than ever. That’s according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

It says three-quarters of Japanese vehicles sold in the U.S. last year were made in North America as opposed to Japan, compared to just 12 percent 20 years ago.

Indiana is home to more Japanese investment overall than any other state, and it gets more money from Japan than from any other country – especially at big factories such as Toyota, Subaru and Honda, and many of their suppliers. Honda is one Japanese company that exports more from the U.S. than it imports.

Japan is this country’s second-biggest investor, after the Netherlands.

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