Trump Threatens Toyota with Border Tax over Move to Mexico


Though he has long been known for his skill at making deals, it would seem that President-elect Donald Trump’s preferred negotiating tool of late is his Twitter account, which he has used to great effect.

Most recently, Trump has used Twitter as a bully pulpit to put major corporations on notice that things will be vastly different from the status quo once he and his administration take office.

According to Breitbart, Trump set his Twitter sights Thursday on the Toyota Motor Corporation, issuing a warning about what may happen if it continues with plans to build a new car factory in Mexico, much like he did recently with both Ford and General Motors.

“Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax,” tweeted Trump.

Toyota received the message loud and clear and responded almost immediately, but it would seem they have taken a wait-and-see attitude with regard to their production plans in Mexico and Trump’s policies as president, according to Reuters.

“We will consider our option as we see what policies the incoming president adopts,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Thursday at a gathering in Tokyo.

CNN reported that Toyota also released a statement following Trump’s tweet pointing out that the car manufacturer had already invested more than $22 billion in the U.S., which included 10 manufacturing plants and 1,500 dealerships employing more than 136,000 American workers.

It also stressed that the new plant opening in Mexico would not come at the expense of any American jobs, which were all expected to remain in place.

Construction on the new plant, which is actually located in the Bajio region and not Baja, began in 2015, and was expected to begin churning out a redesigned Corolla by 2019, with the cars destined for the U.S. and other markets.

Trump has consistently said that he would be willing to use an import tariff as a means to discourage the outsourcing of jobs from America, though it was unclear exactly how that would apply to a foreign company that hasn’t outsourced jobs, as in this case.

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