Toyota Pledges U.S. Jobs as Trump Meets With Detroit's Auto CEOs

By Auto FOXBusiness

President Donald Trump points to Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields, center, at the start of a meeting with automobile leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. Also at the meeting are Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ... CEO Sergio Marchionne, right, and White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, second from the right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump hosted a meeting with the leaders of Detroit’s Big Three automakers Tuesday, keeping the focus on the car industry amid a push to create American jobs.

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General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra, Ford (F) CEO Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) CEO Sergio Marchionne joined Trump at the White House, where regulatory reform, corporate taxes and trade were topics of discussion.

Also on Tuesday, Toyota made a separate announcement that its factory in Princeton, Ind., will add 400 jobs under a $600 million investment. The money will be used to modernize the facility and meet growing demand for the Highlander SUV, according to Toyota. The project will begin in the fall of 2019.

“We have a very big push going to have auto plants and many other plants…built in the United States,” Trump said, adding that reducing taxes and unnecessary regulations are priorities.

Trump, who also met with CEOs of manufacturing heavyweights on Monday, has pressured automakers to invest in U.S. factories. General Motors, Ford and Toyota (TM) have faced Trump’s ire for expanding production in Mexico. Automakers have sought to smooth relations with the new president, headlined by Ford’s decision to cancel the construction of a Mexican factory.

Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford, said the industry is encouraged by Trump’s economic proposals.

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“We just had a great conversation with the president, and he is very focused on policies that will grow investment and jobs here in America and American industry and, of course, the automotive industry,” Fields said as he left the White House. “I think as an industry, we’re excited about working together with the president and his administration on tax policies, on regulation and on trade to really create a renaissance in American manufacturing.”

Barra echoed those sentiments.

“There’s a huge opportunity working together as an industry with government…to improve the environment, improve safety and improve jobs creation and the competitiveness of manufacturing,” Barra added.

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In a statement released after Tuesday’s meeting, Marchionne said Fiat Chrysler shares President Trump’s desire to build a strong manufacturing base in the U.S.

“I appreciate the President's focus on making the U.S. a great place to do business,” he said.

Fields also applauded Trump’s move on Monday to officially withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that Trump often criticized on the campaign trail. The deal didn’t meaningfully deal with currency manipulation, which Fields called “the mother of all trade barriers.”

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