Honda Marysville assembly employees applaud the 25 millionth Honda car produced in the U.S. in a plant celebration last year. Bill Lackey/Staff

Honda disagrees with Trump’s “security threat” declaration

One of Ohio’s largest automakers is expressing disappointment in the Trump Administration’s recent declaration that autos and auto parts may threaten U.S. national security unless they originate with American-owned companies.

Such language makes Honda’s work more challenging, the automaker said.

“While we build the vast majority of our products in America and have a very significant R&D presence in the U.S., we disagree and are disappointed with the decision to declare imported automobiles and auto parts a national security threat,” Honda said in a statement sent in response to questions from the Dayton Daily News.

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“The continued uncertainty on the imposition of tariffs – in addition to other trade issues, such as the global steel and aluminum tariffs and USMCA (U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement) – is of great concern and poses challenges to our business, our suppliers and customers,” Honda added.

Nearly two-thirds of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in America last year were built in the U.S., ranked second among full-line manufacturers, the automaker said.

The company also says that on average, domestic content of its U.S.-built vehicles reaches 70 percent.

Honda has more than 31,000 American employees and more than 13,000 in Ohio, including about 1,000 who commute to Honda facilities from the Dayton area. Troy is home to a major Honda distribution operation.

While President Trump last week delayed imposing new tariffs, he did agree with a U.S. Commerce Department report which classified auto and auto parts imports as a “national security threat.”

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association also expressed disappointment in administration language, saying in a statement from JAMA Chairman Akio Toyoda: “We now have 24 manufacturing plants, 45 research-and-development/design centers, and 39 distribution centers in 28 states, and have cumulatively invested approximately $51 billion in manufacturing facilities alone.”

More than 1.3 million American-made Honda and Acura cars and light trucks have been exported overseas from the U.S. since 1987, Honda also said.

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