Uniqlo’s head and founder recently threatened to completely shut his clothing company’s operations in the United States should President Donald Trump insists on forcing firms to produce goods in the country.
Criticizing Trump’s policy, Fast Retailing Co. chairman and president Tadashi Yanai said he would rather withdraw from the United States if the government pursues imposing import duties, Asahi Shimbun reports.
“(What Trump is doing) is not beneficial for U.S. consumers. Anyone will think that it is an open-and-shut and impossible situation,” Yanai was quoted as saying in a recent interview.
In a series of tweets, Trump has been urging manufacturers to produce their products in the country. He also revealed plans of imposing “border taxes” on products produced abroad and then imported into the United States.
Yanai explained that it is impossible to manufacture quality products in the United States and sell them at an affordable cost for consumers.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017
“If (manufacturing products in the United States) is not a good decision for consumers, it is meaningless to do business in the United States,” he said.
About 50 Uniqlo stores are currently operating mostly in urban areas in the United States. Yanai said the company had plans of opening even more outlets in the future.
“I want to open 20 to 30 stores a year,” he said.
Founded in Japan in 1949 as a textiles manufacturer, the Uniqlo brand has since grown internationally, with over 1,000 shops worldwide.