President Donald Trump once again has taken aim at Japanese automakers.
Trump, during his address to Japan Inc. on Monday, criticized Japanese automakers for not doing something that they in fact already do, according to CNN Money.
In the speech, which came on the third day of a 13-day, five-country tour of Asia, Trump told manufacturers that they should “try” making cars in the United States.
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over,” Trump said. “Is that possible to ask? That’s not rude. Is that rude? I don’t think so.”
We’ll let you decide whether asking OEMs to build cars stateside was rude, but it’s worth noting that they already do just that. Trump, to his credit, commended Toyota and Mazda’s plans for a $1.6-billion U.S. production facility, but failed to recognize the strong existing presence Japan’s manufacturers have in the country.
“Many Japanese cars are made in the U.S. already and this request is not reflective of today’s reality,” Stephen Nagy, a professor at Tokyo’s International Christian University, told CNN.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association reportedly says that three out of four Japanese cars sold here were produced in North America, with 4 million having been produced in the U.S. in 2016, compared to 1.5 million vehicles that were imported from Japan.
Nissan, for example, sold 1.5 million cars — and built 1 million, some of which were exported — in the U.S. last year. In 2016, Honda similarly moved 1.2 million vehicles, 70 percent of which were produced in the U.S.
Thumbnail photo via Jenna Watson/Indianapolis Star via USA TODAY Sports Images