May 25, 2019

Trump needles Toyota's top executive at Japanese state event

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

During President Trump's weekend trip to Japan, he was quick to single out Akio Toyoda, president of the Toyota Motor Corp., saying: "There's nothing like the boss," at a formal dinner with auto industry leaders, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: After Trump threatened to levy auto tariffs against Japan and the European Union, Toyota released a statement countering Trump's claims that foreign automakers pose problems for American national security, saying: it "sends a message to Toyota that our investments are not welcomed, and the contributions from each of our employees across America are not valued."

The context: Trump declared that imported cars pose a threat to national security on May 17. He will delay the decision to impose tariffs on foreign cars for up to 6 months, Reuters reports.

"As you know, the United States and Japan are hard at work negotiating a bilateral trade agreement which will benefit both of our countries. I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years. But that’s OK. Maybe that’s why you like us so much.”
— President Trump
  • The U.S. and Japan have been negotiating a bilateral trade agreement. Trump's said he hopes it benefits both countries since, "Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years," per Bloomberg.
  • The talks started in 2018.
  • The White House has hinted that it would seek voluntary export quotas on cars from its trading partners. "This sparked anger from automakers, dealers and foreign governments" per Reuters.
  • Toyota said it would invest $13 billion in the U.S., but changes to the status quo would be a "major set-back for American consumers, workers and the auto industry," per Reuters.
  • European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem tweeted: "We note that US postpones decision on car tariffs for 180 days. But we completely reject the notion that our car exports are a national security threat. The EU is prepared to negotiate a limited trade agreement incl cars, but not WTO-illegal managed trade."

Go deeper: Trump wants to keep car tariffs in his back pocket

Go deeper

Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 40 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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