Toyoda spoke at the U.S. capital at the invitation of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., one day after the automaker announced $749 million in fresh investments in the country. As Trump weighs new tariffs on foreign-built autos, Toyoda said: “Regardless of the direction we go, we will never leave the United States. We will stay here.”
Toyoda came to Washington to emphasize the company’s contributions to the U.S. economy, ahead of trade negotiations between the U.S. and Japan set to start as early as next month.
The executive opened his speech by highlighting the 2018 induction of his grandfather and Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda in the U.S. Automotive Hall of Fame. He recounted the history of the automaker with a sense of humor, and thanked the U.S. for playing a key role in Toyota’s success.
View the video … Kiichiro Toyoda inducted into the U.S. Automotive Hall of Fame
Watch the TPP Ministers’ press conference after the successful conclusion of the marathon talks in Atlanta, Mon, Oct 5, 2015 (59:46 min.) Read more
Autos and dairy seem to have been settled. Now only IP for biopharmaceuticals seems to remain. The U.S. has made a compromise proposal, moving from twelve years to eight, more than half-way to the Australian position of five years. U.S. congressional leaders have reminded negotiators that the TPP must be approved by U.S. Congress, along with eleven other legislatures. TPA passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a 218 – 208 vote. Talks have been extended until Oct 4. Canada, Mexico, NZ Trade Ministers said they’ll stay until TPP is concluded. Japan’s Trade Minister said Read more
Canada’s Trade Minister Ed Fast said, “Canada is prepared to negotiate, to stay here until we have a deal. We believe we are on track to do so.” NZ Dairy Assn: “We won’t get everything we want, but in the end we’ve got to be reasonable.” U.S. Congressional trade leaders send letter to USTR asking for close consultations so that the deal will be approved by Congress. Companies, business associations, and four Canadian provincial agricultural ministers converge on Atlanta as the TPP conclusion appears near. Read more
Ministers will meet again on Thu, Oct 1, but no deal is seen likely before Fri, Oct 2, or maybe Sat, Oct 3. Auto sector rules of origin, dairy, IP for biologics remain the key issues. But there are indications of movements toward compromise on all three. Canada has proposed 50% TPP content for autos, lower than the NAFTA rules of 62.5% for autos. Japan has offered to accept higher percentages on auto parts. In addition, former NZ PM Helen Clark said it was “unthinkable” for NZ to be left out of TPP, while NZ Trade Minister Tim Groser said, “Is there a better alternative?” NZ Governments have “tried to negotiate FTAs with the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Mexico for 30 years and have completely failed. With these four giant countries , it’s this or nothing.” Read more
Japan’s minister responsible for the TPP negotiations, Akira Amari, has warned that failure to reach a deal in Atlanta could delay an agreement for years. “In order not to let the TPP negotiations drift about for another year or more, we want to make it the last ministerial session,” Amari said. Read more
“How can we walk away from one of the largest free-trade agreements in the world — where we have an opportunity to participate and then don’t?” said Ontario-based Martinrea International company chairman Rob Wildeboer. Read more
Auto parts makers in all three countries are speaking publicly with a united voice on the matter, with industry leaders urging Ottawa, Washington and Mexico City to resist Japan’s efforts to water down domestic content rules for car manufacturing in North America.
Under the Japan-U.S. proposal, cars could be sold duty free in TPP member countries with only 45% TPP content and auto parts would be allowed to enter duty free as long as they had just 30% TPP content. Read more