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Japanese auto and steel sectors wary of Trump's trade salvo

Toyota, Honda and Nissan stand to lose tens of billions of yen, an estimate shows

Honda Motor operates this auto plant in the U.S. state of Ohio.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Global trade frictions sparked by U.S. President Donald Trump appear likely to leave a dent in export-heavy Japanese companies such as automakers and steel producers.

The U.S. imposed tariffs last week of 25% and 10% on imported steel and aluminum, respectively. If this measure were applied to all the steel and aluminum Japanese automakers use in U.S. production, group operating profits would be squeezed by about 50 billion yen ($475 million) for Toyota Motor, 46.7 billion yen for Honda Motor and 36.4 billion yen for Nissan Motor, estimates Akira Kishimoto, an analyst at JPMorgan Securities Japan. Those figures equal roughly 2% to 6% of the operating profit forecast by the companies for the full year ending March 31.

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