Donald Trump is in the news yet again, having just officially announced his candidacy for President of the United States of America. Interestingly, it looks like one of the central talking points of his campaign for the Republican nomination will be Ford Motor Company’s planned $2.5 billion in Mexican plant expansions.
According to The Detroit News, Donald Trump is vowing that if elected, and if Ford indeed carries out its plans to invest in Chihuahua and Guanajuato, Mexico, he will impose a 35 percent import tax on every vehicle and part that makes its way into the US.
It seems rather doubtful whether a hypothetical-future-President Donald Trump could actually enact this, as it would override the standing North American Free Trade Agreement – not even isolated to a single industry, but to a single corporation. The topic of NAFTA never surfaced during his tirade, of course, so we don’t gather that Mr. Donald Trump was implying he’d overturn it.
And then, there’s the simple fact that such targeted bullying is unprecedented and unheard of in business regulation; fines and lawsuits are the means through which government imposes punishment on a business, and even then, only when that business has broken some established law.
Nonetheless, Donald Trump was resolute with his threat. According to The Detroit News, he mimicked a hypothetical phone call that he might have with Ford CEO Mark Fields, saying: “‘Let me give you the bad news: every car, every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we’re going to charge you a 35 percent tax.’ Okay? And that tax is going to be paid simultaneously with the transaction. [Ford] is going to take away thousands of jobs.”
It’s worth noting that since 2010, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Nissan, Kia, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have all either built new plants in the country, or have expansion projects planned for the near future.