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Trump on Toyota hit

The elected American president will show the Japanese auto giant "kuzkina mother"

Trump on Toyota hit

Valery Kistanov

Head of the Center for Japanese Studies of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies
Donald Trump, who will sit in the chair of the President of the United States of America on January 20, was a fourteen-year-old teenager in 1960 and probably does not remember how the then head of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly in his native New York promised to introduce the Americans to Kuz kina mother "- the mysterious" kuzka mother ". Recently, however, it is in the spirit of Khrushchev, but in the American way specifically, he has been pouring economic (and not only) threats against Japan, China and other Asian competitors of the United States. So, on January 6, on his Twitter page, Trump promised the world's largest car manufacturer - Toyota Corporation - an increase in import duties by 35% if it implements its plan to create another plant in Mexico for exporting products to the US market. We are talking about the construction in this Latin American country in 2019 of an enterprise for the production of the Corolla model.

This statement lies in a series of other loud statements by the billionaire, designed to present him in the form of a defender of the interests of American workers. A similar tough warning trump addressed to domestic Ford. Having capitulated to its future president, the American automaker has already abandoned plans to build its own automobile plant in Mexico worth 1,6 billion dollars for the same purpose - selling its products in the US domestic market.

The Japanese automotive industry has already managed to get a painful blow: on the barely opened in the new year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the statement of Trump Toyota shares fell by 1,7%, Nissan's shares, which among Japanese automakers has the largest production base in Mexico, fell by 2,2%, and Mazda collapsed as much as 3,2%.

The news literally blew up not only the circles of car manufacturers, but the business and political world of the Land of the Rising Sun as a whole. A series of alarmingly outraged statements followed from prominent representatives of Japanese business organizations and members of the Japanese parliament. Trump's attack on Toyota has also worried the cabinet. A government source said that imposing higher tariffs on Japanese automotive products would be contrary to WTO rules and the government could resort to countermeasures.

Such an acute reaction is explained by the fact that Toyota for the Japanese is "our everything": not just a symbol, but also the backbone of Japanese industry. From how "affairs on Toyota", the state of the economy of the country as a whole depends. And Toyota itself is to the highest degree "tied" to foreign markets. According to the captains of Japanese business, Mexico now seems a risky place for business, and after the inauguration of Trump, the world in general will be completely different.

Indeed, even during his election campaign, Trump said that if he was elected, he would remove the United States from the projected Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement uniting 12 of the Pacific countries, which together account for 40% of world GDP. Tokyo placed special hopes on it, as duty-free trade within the framework of the agreement opened a new wide gateway for the flow of Japanese cars to the world's largest car market in the USA. True, Tokyo would have to pay for this with its agriculture, which is in the greenhouse conditions of protection, which cannot withstand competition from American cheap agricultural products.

In an attempt to clarify Trump's true intentions for the TTP, and at the same time, the military alliance with Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe achieved an unprecedented meeting in New York with 17 November 2009 with the uncharted president of America. Details of the meeting were not disclosed, but after it the Japanese parliament ratified the agreement on the TTP, and Abe himself does not lose hope of discouraging Trump from the disastrous solution for this partnership. By the way, Japan is very worried and Trump's statement about the need to review the agreement on free trade in North America (NAFTA). It was this that allowed the Japanese corporations to create a powerful export base in Mexico and Canada with a view to the capacious market of the United States.

And yet, apparently, between Japan and the United States is unlikely to break out of the automobile war in the spirit of 80-ies of the last century. A representative of Toyota in the US has already said that the corporation intends to invest in the US economy for five years a huge amount of 10 billion dollars. True, he filed this fact not as a response to Trump, but as part of the existing business strategy of the automaker. Although the mouthpiece of the Japanese business community, the Nikkei newspaper, frankly regards this message as "paying off" to Trump. With the aim of cajoling the "American Khrushchev", the Japanese also remind that by the present moment Toyota has already accumulated its direct investments in the USA for the total amount of 21,9 billion dollars, created 1500 dealer centers and provided work to 136 thousands of Americans.

Most likely, Trump's threat to Toyota will remain on Twitter. Well, if it is still implemented, then Japanese automakers will have to expand markets to market their products in other countries and continents. In this regard, Russia is of considerable interest to them, which, according to Japanese experts, is the most promising car market in Europe. Although Toyota already firmly occupies the place of the leader in foreign car sales in the homeland of Kuzma and his mother.
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