Toyota made a huge announcement today [SEE HERE] that’s a direct outcome of the NAFTA replacement USMCA trade deal; and the new 75% rule of origin within the Auto sector.
CTH: The Toyota announcement is a total of $13 billion investment and includes expanded component part production in: Alabama ($288 million), Kentucky ($238 million), Missouri ($62 million), Tennessee ($50 million) and West Virginia ($111 million). Additionally, Toyota will open a new assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama ($1.5 billion) and serious investments in several other areas. [Details Here]
The guiding decision here relates specifically to the construct of the USMCA (NAFTA replacement). Toyota was previously focused on multi-billion-dollar investments in Canada as they exploited the NAFTA loophole and procured component parts from Asia for North American assembly and shipment into the U.S. Market. However, when they renegotiated NAFTA and created the USMCA President Trump and USTR Lighthizer closed closed the loophole.
The new USMCA agreement requires that 75% of automobile parts must be made in North America; and 45% must come from plants with minimum labor costs ($16/hr); or face tariffs to access the U.S. market with the finished good. As a result Toyota has to either pay a tariff to continue importing Asian component parts, or move the higher-wage component manufacturing directly into the U.S. more