Having previously tweeted thanks to Asian automakers for U.S. manufacturing, he recently suggested they “try building (cars) in the United States instead of shipping them over.” Um, what?
Donald Trump's first stop on his tour of Asia was to Japan, where he asked its leader Shinzo Abe (which he still mispronounces as Ob-ee) to make more cars in the U.S...
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over,” Mr. Trump said, disregarding the fact that Japanese carmakers have built huge assembly plants in the United States. “That’s not too much to ask,” he continued. “Is that rude to ask?”
That's about like telling Trump: Try tweeting in English. That's not too much to ask. Is that rude to ask?
Setting aside whether it's rude (since when does he care about being polite?), we can definitively say it's stupid. From those remarks, a reasonable person would conclude he thinks they build every Toyota in Japan and put it on a boat, and that he's the first guy who ever had the idea to just build them in the U.S. instead.
Of course, that's exactly what they already do.
More than 75 percent of Japanese brand cars sold in North America were made in North America. Honda specifically says 70 percent of its American auto sales are made in the U.S. It's been making cars here since 1982 and exporting vehicles since 1987. In 2013, it exported more cars it made in the U.S. than it imported from Japan for the first time.
Japanese automakers have two dozen manufacturing plants and 43 R&D facilities in the U.S., according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. They're in 20 states and support 1.5 million jobs.
Donald Trump knows at least some of this. When Toyota and Mazda announced plans in August to build a new plant in the U.S., he tweeted praise. He thanked them again during his visit in Japan.
But apparently the business guy jetting around the world to make new deals isn't aware of the old deals. Because if a tree falls in the woods and Donald Trump didn't tell it to, it must not have happened.
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