Business

Toyota chief meets with Pence in Washington

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda met with U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence in Washington on Tuesday, a company source said Wednesday.

The meeting follows the carmaker’s announcement at a trade show Monday that it plans to make $10 billion in capital investments in the U.S. over the next five years.

After President-elect Donald Trump criticized Toyota’s plans to build a new factory in Mexico on Twitter last week, Toyoda is believed to have used the meeting with Pence to explain the degree of Toyota’s contribution to the U.S. economy.

Trump, who has pressed companies to keep jobs and production in the United States, said on Twitter on Jan. 5, “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.”

At a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where Toyoda announced the $10 billion investment, he also stressed that it had invested $22 billion in the United States over the past 60 years and employs 136,000 people in the country.

But at a news conference on Wednesday, his first since winning the Nov. 8 presidential election, Trump threatened to impose hefty taxes if companies operating in the United States relocate overseas at the expense of American workers.

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