- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 5, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump took aim Thursday at Toyota for plans to build cars in Mexico for sale in U.S., expanding his crusade to save American automobile industry jobs to a Japanese company.

“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,” tweeted Mr. Trump.

Following the tweet, Toyota’s stock price fell sharply.

It was the latest in a series of tweets threatening automakers with an import tax for moving production to Mexico. But the first time he went after a foreign company, although Toyota does dominate the U.S. automotive market.

The president-elect previously criticized Ford Motor Company and General Motors for plans to build cars on the other side of the border. He has vowed to impose border taxes on any company that ships jobs abroad.

Mr. Trump’s plans to get tough on offshoring, however, has hit a significant obstacle in House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who a day earlier said that Congress would not cooperate.

“No, we’re not going to be raising tariffs,” Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. “We think tax reform is the better way of addressing imbalances, leveling the playing field without starting trade wars, without having the adverse effects that you get with protectionism or trade wars.”

Toyota, which announced its plan to build the Mexican facility in April 2015, did not immediately comment on Mr. Trump’s statement.

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