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Trade war

Trump car tariff threat sends Japan on search for escape route

A 25% levy could mean $21bn in lost earnings for Toyota, Nissan and peers

Nissan's plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, came online in 2013. The automaker regards its Mexican operations as some of its most cost efficient.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- U.S. President Donald Trump's talk of 25% tariffs on cars has Japan's government and automakers scrambling to avoid a potential $21 billion blow, with little diplomatic leverage or room to shift highly globalized production networks to America.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross aims to complete a preliminary survey on the tariffs by August, U.S. media reported Friday. Unilaterally raising the tariffs would likely violate global trade rules and harm the American economy as well, and whether Trump will make good on his threat remains unclear.

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