Donald Trump goes after Toyota over Mexico manufacturing in latest battle with automaker

Toyota drops on Trump tweet
Toyota drops on Trump tweet

In Donald Trump's latest Twitter rebuke of an automaker, the president-elect threatened Toyota Motor on Thursday with a large border tax if it builds a new plant outside the U.S.

Donald Trump Tweet: Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.

Following the tweet, the company's U.S.-listed shares ticked about 0.7 percent lower, hitting a session low of $120.32.

In response to Trump's tweet, Toyota said in a statement to Reuters that the new Mexican plant will not cut its U.S. employment, adding that it "looks forward to collaborating with the Trump administration to serve in the best interests of consumers and the automotive industry."

The threat about the Japanese automaker's planned new plant in Mexico is just the latest from Trump, who already has gone after two other automakers.

Earlier this week, Trump issued a separate ultimatum to General Motors: Make its Chevy Cruze cars in the U.S. or expect to pay a big border tax.

He has also been pressuring Ford about its own plans for Mexico. Two days ago, Ford announced it was canceling its plans to build a Mexican plant, but insisted Trump was not the main factor for the decision.

Toyota announced on Tuesday that it is beginning to move hundreds of jobs out of its northern Kentucky headquarters as part of a nationwide consolidation.

After Trump's tweet Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" that he does not favor a border tax. Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, argued the reason jobs are moving out of the United States is because America doesn't have a competitive, simple tax code.

"I prefer carrots over sticks, and I prefer tax reform over taxes," Hensarling said on Thursday. "What we need to do is make America the most attractive place to site a business, to grow a business, to create a business."

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.