GOP Senator: Ban Japanese Cars
Mike Johanns sees chance to settle score for Japan ban on US beef
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2010 7:34 AM CST
Then-Senate hopeful Mike Johanns addresses supporters at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Neb., following his Republican primary victory over Pat Flynn on Tuesday, May 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Bill Wolf)

(Newser) – One Nebraska Republican has a simple solution to the Toyota recall scandal: Ban all auto imports from Japan. Sen. Mike Johanns, a former agriculture secretary, called the ban a chance to even the score for Japan's multi-year ban on US beef based on fears of mad cow disease. "I can tell you the American consumer is getting tired of this thing if we are getting substandard products," Johanns said.

One problem with Johanns' suggestion is that all the Toyotas recalled in January for sticky gas pedals were manufactured in the US, not Japan. Johanns made his remarks during yesterday's Senate committee hearings on Toyota safety recalls. The Transportation Secretary said Johanns' concern "needs to be raised" and the Japanese Embassy told USA Today, "we will follow this very closely."