Rising Japanese Imports Causing Fears Of A Standoff With Trump

Japanese automakers are exporting an increasing number of vehicles to the United States and this is sparking fears that the country could become the next target for President Trump’s protectionist policies.

The fears aren’t entirely unfounded as The Wall Street Journal says Trump recently complained that “Japan sends us millions and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all.” Trump went on to say the United States doesn’t export much back to Japan as there are “trade barriers and lots of other things.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing Trump to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership to help eliminate some of these obstacles but it wouldn’t have any effect on increasing American car sales in the country as Japan doesn’t tax imported vehicles. Trump doesn’t seem interested in the offer either as he prefers a one-on-one deal with Japan instead.

While a number of Japanese automakers have plants in the United States, America’s insatiable demand for crossovers means Japanese exports have been on the rise. Nissan’s exports to the United States climbed nearly 30% last year thanks to the introduction of the Rogue Sport. Likewise, Toyota imports more than 50% of the RAV4s sold in America from Japan.

Last year, Japanese automakers sent 1.76 million vehicles to the United States while the American companies only sold a handful of cars in Japan. American automakers control less than one percent of the market in Japan and Ford bailed on the country in 2016 as it couldn’t find a path to profitability.

The situation could get slightly better in the future as Toyota and Mazda recently announced plans to open a joint factory in Huntsville, Alabama. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 300,000 units and it will build the Toyota Corolla as well as a Mazda crossover.

  • Status

    What’s he gonna do? Force the Japanese to buy American cars that they don’t want?

    • LWOAP

      Don’t give him any ideas. lol

    • Moveon Libtards

      Well, he forced China to cave on trade

    • Nick099

      Even playing field Ace.
      You are aware of unfair trade practices …or don’t they exist in fantasy land?
      See my comment above to shed some light on the issue.

      • Status

        So lets say you’re even right and POOF, the Japanese import tariffs and devalued yen practices are gone. Then what?

        You still have a whole market that is insular and isolated from the outside world where they accept few imported products, a society where their mass-transit system is second to none, and over 50 years of Detroit kicking itself it’s own teeth with substandard products in a race not to provide quality, but quantity.

        I don’t have to look up shit, hotshot. Even if the Japanese bend to the US’s free market demands, they aren’t going to buy an American car simply because it costs less.

        The Japanese have no problem buying Mercedes and BMW’s, so I don’t buy your tariff argument at all. Tell your fellow countrymen to build better cars first; don’t ask Japan to lower the bar for you so you can gently lift your weighty ass over it.

        • Loquacious Borborygmus

          Haha, weighty ass, haha.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Unless the tariff is applied on parts as well as the cars (which would be quite likely), I don’t think the Japanese need to be as afraid (except for Mazda and Mitsubishi) since most of the cars they sell in the US are already made there.

  • Moveon Libtards

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/33d00e99f7bb3e01b7beae074a881baa17dfeb3c9c329650fcf1c9e23249ae99.png Finally we have a president standing up for Americans, American manufacturing jobs, and American communities!

  • ME

    I like my CX-5 made in a Japan, and I like my Jeep made in America. I voted for him but he should only change NAFTA.

  • Nick099

    Hey genius, maybe you should research the issue before embarrassing yourself.

    From the Democrat House Ways and Means report:

    “The tariff for autos is zero; Japan relies on
    deep, shifting, impenetrable non-tariff barriers to keep out foreign autos
    (e.g., currency manipulation and discriminatory
    taxes, standards, entry procedures, distribution structures,
    and zoning requirements) Repeated negotiations have
    failed to remove these barriers.”

    “(e.g., a Ford Focus Hatchback costs $18,300 in the U.S., but $29,558 in Japan).”

    Look up the rest yourself.

  • Shobin Drogan

    How many 600cc American cars are there for the Japanese to buy? lol

  • Maykel

    So bailing the big 3 out is not enough huh?

  • Donal Maher

    Sure, big, thirsty, unreliable, cheaply made cars are exactly what Japan wants…..
    If you actually produced a product fit for market it would likely be a different story.
    It’s the same every time they try to launch into Europe and fail miserably*.

    *Ford and GM make global cars, with European level specs

  • Infinite1

    I don’t think that they really care about Trump’s tariff threats

  • Jason Miller

    The Japanese don’t import a lot of American cars because they simply do not want them…

  • LWOAP

    It’s not like we aren’t trying it’s just that some companies favor quantity over quality.

  • Kyle Newberry

    When Ford is the only US maker that makes quasi decent smaller cars, but then doesn’t bring them to the US (ie new Fiesta)? A Ford ST Focus/Fiesta is the only American car that me or any of my friends would consider. But they’d somehow have to beat Mazda and Honda and Subaru, not to mention now even Toyota makes fun to drive cars again. Heck, even the Korean’s are bringing the heat with the recent Veloster N.

  • I just spent a couple of weeks in Japan, walked a lot in many cities from Fukushima up north to Fukuoka in the south, mostly in Tokyo, and it seemed to me that in almost every block there was some German car; I bet they are much more expensive than domestic/Japanese cars, some even have left-hand steering wheel (cumbersome for use in Japan), yet they are desirable; not much of a barrier problem there.
    Americans manufacturers should stop complaining and build a reputation; it will take time, for sure, but that and desirable cars will help gain a foothold in Japan; I see no problem with the latter since there are many great designs coming out of the Big Three and quality is improving a lot.
    And vehicle size really doesn’t appear to matter – I saw a lot of Jeep Grand Cherokees!! (right-hand drive models), more than Land Cruisers (any model), also, many Chrysler 300’s (left-hand drive) and too a lesser scale, Mustangs, Camaros, and Hummers.

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