A clothing retailer based in Japan warned Wednesday that it would shutter its stores in the U.S. if it were forced to manufacture its product there, which is a policy championed by current President Donald Trump.
Tadashi Yanai, president and chairman of Fast Retailing Company, which included Fast Retailing USA a U.S. subsidiary and is the owner of Uniqlo, a retail chain featuring casual clothing told a newspaper in Japan he would be decisive in his action if he were told to move his manufacturing into the U.S.
Yanai said to the Japanese newspaper that if he were told directly to do it, he would withdraw from the U.S. market.
Trump, who during his campaign promised to revitalize manufacturing in the United States, has spoken of different measures to make those goods that are manufactured in the U.S. competitive, which includes placing a tariff on those goods made outside the U.S. that economists have said would increases retail clothing prices for the consumer.
The White House administration at different times has also urged or pushed via tweets from the president carmakers as well as other manufacturers to move their manufacturing into the U.S.
However, Yanai said the approach by Trump would not be beneficial to the consumer in the U.S.
Manufacturing quality goods inside the U.S. that are also affordable for the consumer is impossible said Yanai.
All manufacturers will say it is a situation that is impossible and that it would be meaningless to continue with business in the U.S. if products had to be made there since they would be too expensive, added Yanai.
Uniqlo, which has made Yanai one of the richest men in Japan, has been successful in a large part due to its expansion into global markets.
The presence of Uniqlo in the U.S. is quite limited with its 50 stores and has tried unsuccessfully to expand which led the company to scale its ambitious growth efforts back that had originally called for 200 Uniqlo locations in the U.S.
Yanai said there is still hope to open between 20 and 30 stores annually.
A spokesperson for Uniqlo said that the U.S. represented one of the company’s top priority markets and the company will keep it core business valued that include offering apparel of the highest quality at prices that are accessible.