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Toyota Motor Corp on Tuesday said it would add 400 jobs to build more SUVs at one of its U.S. plants, highlighting its expansion plans just as U.S. President Donald Trump calls on manufacturers to build more cars in the country.
The Japanese automaker said the jobs were part of a $600 million upgrade of its plant in Princeton, Indiana, and were included in its plans announced earlier this month to invest $10 billion in its U.S. operations over the next five years.
The president has previously favored a 35 percent tariff on imported vehicles and pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada to promote a "buy American and hire American" policy.
He has also criticized automakers including Toyota for producing cars in neighboring Mexico for export to the United States and on Tuesday had breakfast with the chief executives of General Motors, Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to discuss boosting U.S. employment.
Earlier this month, Trump in a tweet said Toyota could be subject to a "big border tax" if it went ahead with plans to build the Mexico plant, which the automaker announced in 2015. Toyota has said its mid-term investment plans are not a response to Trump's remarks.