Bridgestone to keep NAFTA operations unchanged

Bridgestone has no plans to adjust its operations in response to President Donald Trump’s policies, the CEO of the world largest tire maker said during a briefing before Japanese media in recent days.

Speaking at earnings briefing in Tokyo, Masaaki Tsuya said the company already has local production for each market and “is not considering changing its policies.”

The company has 19 tire-related plants in North America, including 15 in the U.S., three in Mexico and one in Canada.

When asked about possible changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump said he is willing to renegotiate, Tsuya said, “If NAFTA changes, we will take the best measures according to the new framework.”

He said Mexico, for example, could still be used as an export base targeting the South American market, which he said is “still growing.”

Bridgestone’s net profit for 2016 fell 6.6% to 265.5 billion yen (US$ 2.34 billion) due to the stronger yen. Foreign exchange factors took a 68-billion-yen bite (around US$ 599 million) out of its operating profit, the company said.

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