Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz said the automotive industry would suffer if automakers were taxed for building plants outside of the U.S.
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Lentz made the comments in a FOX Business Network Exclusive in response to last week’s tweet by President-elect Donald Trump threatening to impose a large border tax on Toyota if the company built a plant in Mexico.
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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017
“It’s not good for the industry,” Lentz told FOX Business Network’s Jeff Flock. “There are some industries that benefit. The automotive industry definitely does not.”
Lentz did say that the U.S. corporate tax rate needed to be lower. But he was concerned over how the federal government would react to the shortfall if the tax rate is reduced.
“Today’s 35 percent – whether it’s 15, 20 or 25 – needs to come down,” he said. “The challenge is there’s a trillion dollars that someone has to find to pay for that.”
But that’s not his only concern.
He said that while the industry accepted the new EPA fuel economy standards, the midterm reviews of that standard that were promised have fallen short.
“I think we need to have a truly honest look at what we all agreed to. The reality is the industry agreed to these new standards,” he said. “But we also agreed to a mid-term review. An honest midterm review. I’m not sure if we’ve had that.”
Lentz then speculated on the outlook for oil prices, saying, “I think we’re going to see the price of oil in a trading range of probably between $40-60 for the foreseeable future.”