After at least a half-dozen automakers either expanded production or set plans to construct new plants in Mexico, Trump entered office armed with threats to pull out of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and renegotiate our “horrible” trade deals. Yet amid the President’s bombastic rhetoric targeting Mexico, Ford announced that it will import its Focus cars from China instead.
Ford had previously planned to build their new manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Trump slammed the move, calling it “horrible.” At a speech in Flint, Michigan, Trump further trashed our neighbor to the South.
“These ridiculous, job-crushing transactions will not happen when I am president. NAFTA has incentivized plants to move to Mexico, closing factories across the United States. When I am president, we will strongly enforce trade rules against unfair foreign subsidies, and impose countervailing duties to prevent egregious instances of outsourcing.”
“They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands and thousands of people not from this country and they’ll sell the cars right through our border. No tax, no nothing, and we’ll have nothing but more unemployment in Flint and in Michigan.”
Failing to deliver on his promise to make the United States more attractive to business, Trump will undoubtedly lament Ford’s decision. Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of global operations, said in a statement:
“Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles.”
Trump stormed into office promising to bring automotive jobs back from Mexico. Instead, even China has emerged as a better alternative for production than the United States. So much for our “great negotiator.”
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.