Awhile back, we reported on some harsh criticism that Donald Trump offered to Ford Motor Company regarding the automaker’s controversial $2.5 billion future investment into Mexican production. The Presidential hopeful’s words essentially boiled down to this: “If you increase production in Mexico, I will personally tax you punitively once I’m elected President.”
Regardless of whatever sentiments one might harbor for the high-profile businessman and TV celebrity, it seems that a lot of the public is on his side on the matter. Many regular readers of the Detroit Free Press took the time to write that publication last month, blasting Ford Motor Company for the similar news that the automaker planned to shift Focus and C-MAX production away from the Michigan Assembly Plant in 2018.
Since then, Donald Trump has continued to loudly decry Ford Motor Company’s production shifting, and at a speech earlier this week in Birch Run, Michigan, he unloaded on the Detroit automaker.
In his speech, Trump boasted that he would be successful in persuading Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields not to go through with the announced expansion plans in Mexico, although the “how” remains vague. “I would say, the deal is not going to be approved, I won’t allow it. I want that plant in the United States, preferably here,” he told the crowd, before asking rhetorically: “Do they move the plant to the United States the same day or a day later?”
It’s notable that in neither of these attacks on Ford Motor Company’s expansion in Mexico did the GOP Presidential candidate mention dismantling the North American Free Trade Agreement. Implemented under President Bill Clinton, NAFTA is one of the key enablers in such a production shift, as it eliminated virtually all trade tariffs between the United States and Mexico, making outsourcing and then importing more financially viable for American automakers.
In reporting the news, Bloomberg included a response from Ford Motor Company to Trump’s bitter threats. According to that outlet, Ford Spokesperson Karl Henkel stated that Ford is “committed to leveraging our global manufacturing footprint and will continue to invest where it makes the best sense for our business.
“We are proud that we have invested $6.2 billion in our U.S. plants since 2011 and hired nearly 25,000 U.S. employees.”