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Toyota's boss says it's a Japanese brand but a US automaker

Toyota's Akio Toyoda defends his company in response to President Trump's attacks saying it should be considered as a US manufacturer.

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Toyota's boss says it's a Japanese brand but a US automaker

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The boss of Toyota has been defending his company in response to President Trump’s attacks.

Point of view

We may be a Japanese brand ... but we're also one of America's car makers

Akio Toyoda Toyota's president

Akio Toyoda said the carmaker should be considered as a US manufacturer.

Trump has criticised the low number of US cars sold in Japan, demanded more cars sold in the US be made locally and threatened Toyota with a “big border tax” if it goes ahead with plans to build a new plant in Mexico.

Toyoda told reporters: “Toyota today has increased production in the US, and built up its local sales network. Our cars are produced by American workers at an American plant, and for American customers. I hope Toyota will be seen as basically a US automaker.”

He added: “We may be a Japanese brand … but we’re also one of America’s car makers.”

Trump has threatened to dump NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement – under which Mexican made cars are imported tariff free. Asked about that Toyoda said his company would adapt to any “rule changes”.

Toyota has 10 manufacturing plants in the US employing 40,000 people and indirectly more than 200,000 if dealers and suppliers are included. Last month the company pledged to invest around 10 billion dollars there over the next five years.

Samsung plant possible

Meanwhile Samsung is considering building a factory in the US to make home appliances, according to a Reuters report.

The South Korean electronics giant declined to comment on whether it has any specific plans to add production facilities in the US but said it has already made significant investments in the country.

“We continue to evaluate new investment needs in the US that can help us best serve our customers,” it said.