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Reagan Tapped in Auto Trade Debate

Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum, Simi Valley, California

Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum, Simi Valley, California

Toyota Motor Corp., Hyundai Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co., all with plants in the Southeastern Automotive Corridor, were among the foreign automakers who came together in mid-June to create a TV commercial touting their American factories, targeted for the cable TV channels President Donald Trump is known to favor. 

“It’s morning again for auto manufacturing in America, and thanks to trade and open markets, our auto industry is stronger, prouder and better than ever before,” the ad proclaims.

Chock full of soft-focused shots of American workers happily building cars on the line, the ad is a remake of sorts of a 1984 Ronald Reagan ad with themes underlining the benefits of competition and manufacturing jobs in small-town America.

“We think it’s really important that policymakers understand what the auto industry looks like today,” John Bozzella, chief executive of the Association of Global Automakers, told Bloomberg. The group is a Washington-based trade group that represents most of the automakers behind the campaign.

President Trump has lashed out at foreign automakers over trade imbalances and criticized American automakers who assemble their plants in lower-cost countries such as Mexico.

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