Friday, 6 January 2017 () Government officials and major Japanese companies have rebuffed Donald Trump’s claims after the President-elect called out Toyota Motor on Twitter yesterday. Trump was angered by Toyota’s plans to build a car factory in Mexico which would supply the US market, telling Toyota to move its production base across the border or face heavy import taxes. 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. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017 In-keeping with other companies threatened by Trump on Twitter, Toyota shares slumped on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday causing hundreds of millions of dollars to be wiped off the carmaker’s market value. But fellow Japanese firms and officials weighed in on behalf of their counterpart. “Toyota is responsible for large employment at US plants such as in Kentucky,” said Taro Aso, Japan’s finance minister. “It is questionable whether the new US President has a grasp of how many vehicles Toyota builds in the US.” The country’s trade and industry minister, Hiroshige Seko, added that, although it was a matter for a private company, the Japanese government would do its part in defending Toyota to the US administration. Sony’s chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, and Nissan boos, Carlos Ghosn, also aired their views backing Toyota. Back in 2015, the car manufacturer announced plans to build a new US$1bn production facility in Guanajuato which will make Corolla vehicles from 2019. Trump, still intent on “making America great again”, wants companies that benefit from the US’s large economy to create more jobs in the country. In response to his comments yesterday, Toyota has reassured its US workforce that no jobs would be lost as a result of the Mexico plant’s opening. Toyota shares closed on Friday at JPY¥6,930, almost 2% lower than close of play on Thursday.
Japan's government has hit back at President-elect Donald Trump, who's threatened to tax Toyota if the car company makes vehicles for the U.S. in Mexico. It comes amid wider fears of how Trump could impact on the industry. Laura Frykberg reports.
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