Can Trump Increase Japanese Car Plants Stateside?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 11/08/2017 03:36:00 PM
Actually, Japanese-branded cars "Made in America" are already plentiful. The point is making even more.
Here's a welcome dose of reality--even if just a little--from a person mostly devoid of it: Donald Trump lives a considerable amount of the time in cloud cuckoo land where he hatches his most harebrained ideas--global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a backdoor to the PRC conquering the United States, we're going to build a wall along the US-Mexican border and get the Mexicans to pay for it, and so on and so forth.

To be fair, the idea of getting the Japanese and Koreans to buy more US-made automobiles is a bipartisan obsession since Clinton and Obama had the same idea at one time or another. As I've repeatedly pointed out, though, it would help if American car manufacturers actually designed cars meant for these markets. Insofar as they haven't done so, you hardly see any American makes in these countries unlike, say, German ones. On his swing through Asia--why does a guy who pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership meant to draw America closer to the region want to do there anyway--Trump, however unlikely, had a rare moment of insight.

Instead of asking Asians to buy American crapmobiles--which is as silly as it sounds--why not have Japanese carmakers make more cars Stateside and create more (American) jobs in the process as well? It sounds reasonable enough...
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over,” Trump implored during a briefing with [Japanese] business executives before asking, “That's not rude?”

Trump's comments echoed his previous jabs, but they were notable because he lobbed them publicly during his visit here. And they’re an indication that he will not let his close relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe quiet his long-standing concerns about trade and manufacturing.
OK, Trump's phrasing could be improved, but hey, we'll take what we can get when it comes to this guy. As the Japanese Automobile Manufacturer's Association (JAMA) points out--see the graphic above--Nippon's automakers already have a considerable presence making cars Stateside. It's a rejoinder to Trumpist Japan-bashing as if it were the 80s all over again since Trump seems to be stuck in that decade:
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s (JAMA) U.S. office has released its 2017-2018 Contributions Report. Our 2017-2018 report celebrates JAMA member companies’ 35 year history of investment and innovation in the U.S. and features updated U.S. contributions data showing that JAMA members produced a record-high of nearly four million vehicles in the U.S. in 2016, a more than tenfold increase since the mid-1980s. It also shows that JAMA members provide over 90,000 direct U.S. jobs in manufacturing, R&D, and other roles; an eightfold increase over the same time span.
So I'm not going to split too many hairs here since getting Trump to say something with a reasonable semblance to reality is hard enough. He could have said, diplomatically, that Japanese automakers ought to continue the great job they've been doing of building cars Stateside and do even more of it.

After all, the Japanese will never buy US-made cars in large quantities.