Seeing representatives (and often top executives) from the Big Three automakers lobbying in Washington on behalf of the industry is nothing new. But General Motors, Ford and Chrysler aren't the only companies manufacturing automobiles in the United States these days. So too are a growing number of foreign automakers, chief among them Japanese companies, which are now eager to exercise their own lobbying influence on Capitol Hill.

In fact a group of 79 congressmen recently sent a letter to President Obama supporting Japanese automakers manufacturing and selling their cars in America. The bipartisan letter was drafted by Representatives Pete P. Gallego (D-Texas) and Alan Nunnelee (R-Mississippi), and urged the President to support Japanese automakers and their impact on the US economy while the administration undertakes negotiations over a 12-nation agreement that stands to create the second largest free-trade zone in the world.

"Congress and the administration must continue to foster a business climate that promotes the United States as a premier location for global companies to build, sell and export their products," read the letter, which was not supported by any congressional representatives from Michigan. The letter further noted that Japanese automakers have created some 76,000 jobs through its 29 plants across the country and another 419,000 jobs through dealerships that sell cars made by Japanese automakers.

According to Nunnelee, the lawmakers "wanted to remind the president of the significant contributions these automakers and dealers make to our nation's economy each day."


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  • 130 Comments
      Gordon Chen
      • 1 Year Ago
      In these harsh times I hope more American manufacturers start building back home as well. It may or may not cost more, but I think people will be willing to pay extra
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gordon Chen
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        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gordon Chen
        [blocked]
      Walt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Domestic automakers don't make cars the Japanese want to buy? Hogwash. Ever heard of the Fiesta or the Spark? So what is the real reason our goods don't sell in Japan? This article was written over 20 years ago and is a very long read, but is just as relevant today as it was then. http://www.uwsa.com/issues/trade/japanyes.html So why don't the Japanese buy American goods? One word - protectionism. America is the dumping ground for the world's merchandise, while profits are extracted and return to the home nation. Japan, China, South Korea and more are all guilty of protectionist home markets and stifle free trade and competition.
        Hedo D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Walt
        What are you talking about? There are plenty of European cars sold in Japan including Renault, Citroen, Peugeot, and Fiats. When was the last time US saw any Renaults, Citroen, and Peugeot?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Hedo D
          [blocked]
          Walt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Hedo D
          Aaron, first - read the article in my original post. If that's not enough, here is a chronology of how Japan created a closed auto market, both before and after WWII. http://www.fairimage.org/tradewithjapan.htm
          Skicat
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Hedo D
          Yeah, and they're built in China, Japan and Malaysia. Not in France to help hoe country workers or their economy. U.S. has no assy in Japan and the strong yen would make them uncompetitive even if they did.
          mylexicon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Hedo D
          @ Walt US imposed the Chicken Tax. We taxed all imported motorcycles over 750cc to protect Harley for many years. We also signed car manufacturing agreements during Bush I presidency. We are more tolerant of Japan's shenanigans because we thought we could help them recover from the lost decade, but now our balance of trade is so bad we can barely help ourselves.
        mylexicon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Walt
        These companies are global corporations. Profits are not being extracted to the home nation. Wages and jobs are being extracted to the home nation, which buys a lot more political power. When the US dollar dips and demand slumps from sluggish employment, the government issues treasuries to fund deficit spending. Foreign nations buy US debt to thwart balanced trade. It's not as bad as it used to be, but its still a problem. Why hasn't it been stopped? Oil. We import so much oil that we can hardly blame China or Japan for manipulating their currency. We can't build a coalition in the WTO b/c the developed world (EU mainly) is politically opposed to the inefficiency of the US auto fleet. CAFE 2025 and fracking.
        clquake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Walt
        Your view of how global companies works is extremely...1950's. There's no other way to put it. You need to educate yourself on how the international economies and financial markets work. You're sixty years behind.
        bK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Walt
        Fiesta and sparks are still too big, murica needs to make 0.6 liter cars (aka kei cars) to even get the japanese markets attention. And the last time i checked Japan "heavily" rely on imports of raw materials, fuel, food (corn, beef, etc) from murica. Doesnt that count as american goods?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bK
          [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          @bK
          [blocked]
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      He doesn't read intelligence reports, why would he read this.
      Mike Pulsifer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good luck with that. As long as they're non-union, they're dead to Dear Leader.
        the.fog
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mike Pulsifer
        "Good luck with that. As long as they're not offering $$$, they're dead to OUR Dear LeaderS" --fixed that for you.
      Wetstuff
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Tea Party loves non-union jobs. Jim
        Mike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Wetstuff
        Corection.... The tea party loves choice
          MAX
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Mike
          Tea Party idea of a choice, serf or slave?
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Mike
          The Tea Party only loves the rich white male. All others can go pound sand.
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Time to boycott the Tea party lead South anyway. Haven't we helped JapanInc enough? Japan has a de facto closed market, even export powerhouse Hyundai even had to withdraw and it wasn't because they didn't make good small cars. http://www.autoevolution.com/news/hyundai-withdrawals-from-japan-to-keep-commercial-fleet-13929.html
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MAX
        [blocked]
          Phlegming Liberal
          • 1 Year Ago
          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/japan%E2%80%99s-misguided-car-imports-skyrocket/ Guess not. We just don't make cars them Japanese folks like, that's all.
          Skicat
          • 1 Year Ago
          Taxing the S%#T out of imports, dingbat.
          • 1 Year Ago
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      the.fog
      • 1 Year Ago
      What a disgrace....... This country is as 'bought and sold' as they come. Wow! You've created 76K jobs! And, tell me again, HOW MANY JOBS (Big 3 and suppliers) HAVE YOUR PRODUCTS TAKEN FROM OUR ECONOMY?
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @the.fog
        If they had built good cars from the start the japanese would not have been able to succeed. But since americans were extremely crappy it was not so hard. At least it forced them to build better products.
          Jake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          That's a bit over-simplified and does not take into account the historical context of the phony energy crisis of the 1970s, CAFE, and the dramatic forced market shifts that resulted from that.
      Muttons
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sadly our American manufacturers can't contribute much to the Japanese economy since the Japanese government won't really let them.
        Temple
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Muttons
        Well I don't think American car companies want to build factories in Japan to begin with. High wages, strict labor laws, and aging population. Not to mention Detroit doesn't build cars Japanese would want to drive, that's a country where the Civic was discontinued for being 'too large'. But there are a ton of successful American companies in Japan. Apple, Costco, Walmart, Aflac (which is Japan's largest life insurer), Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, the list goes on.
          wickedsc300
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Temple
          Finally someone who gets it!
          bK
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Temple
          This post needs to be a sticky. For all the uneducated complainers to see
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Muttons
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
      richard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Of course these southern republican lawmakers are shilling for the Asians. They get a bunch of non-union, lower wage temp jobs for the desperate people in their states, and say "we have the auto industry here now". Never mind that it makes it tougher for our own American manufacturers in Detroit. Japan and Korea are two of the most protectionist countries in the world. They make it real hard to buy an American car in those countries. The Obama administration should tell these southern Asia supporters to go to hell.
        Autoholics Anonymous
        @richard
        Did you even read the article correctly? You do realize what you are calling "shilling" was not partisan, and enough with the hate speech. "The bipartisan letter was drafted by Representatives Pete P. Gallego (D-Texas) and Alan Nunnelee (R-Mississippi)"
        tbird57w
        • 1 Year Ago
        @richard
        correct! japan's dirty little secret when it comes to their own market. the germans have always supported their own auto industry(including their unions).
        wickedsc300
        • 1 Year Ago
        @richard
        Never mind more "big 3" vehicles are assembled in Mexico and Canada than the U.S.
      • 1 Year Ago
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      • 1 Year Ago
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        vripper
        • 1 Year Ago
        Congratulations! You still have a perfect record for never contributing one ounce of intelligence into these posts.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        wickedsc300
        • 1 Year Ago
        They don't even build them Mexico and Canada do lol.
        carnut0913
        • 1 Year Ago
        Try tariffs, state manipulated currencies, taxes for larger cars, and a lot more national pride than liberals would ever show That's four reasons without scratching the surface regarding the declining market in Japan, that US automakers never needed to build Kei cars or A class vehicles for their home markets so we didn't play in the largest part of their market anyway.
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