Ford and Sherrod Brown Looking to Protect U.S. Employment

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Sherrod Brown at Ford

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, whether or not you’re old enough to have seen the original in theaters, you were probably excited for Episodes 1, 2, and 3. As you eagerly awaited the scroll for The Phantom Menace, you quickly realized you were in trouble when in the first paragraph it said, “The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.”

You were expecting an action-filled sci-fi movie, but instead got a dose of political science with some Jar Jar Binks added for extra punishment. So why should you care about Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D – Ohio) visit to the Ford EcoBoost assembly plant in Cleveland, Ohio?

Currency manipulation.

Whether or not you’re an employee of Ford, or just a fan, you want to see the company succeed. In the past couple of years, Ford has brought many jobs from overseas to the United States. In fact, 450 jobs were brought to Cleveland from the EcoBoost plant in Valencia, Spain.

Cleveland Engine Plant Investment

A huge percentage of the transmissions that appear in Ford vehicles are assembled in Ohio. The F-650 and F-750 trucks will soon be assembled in the Buckeye state. Not only does Ford have huge investments in the United States, but also in Ohio.

In order for these operations to be successful, components and full cars need to be able to be sent to other countries.

With free trade, those borders don’t exist and companies can import and export goods without financial barriers. Except that each country has its own money and value for that money.

Cleveland Engine Plant Investment

The concern is that countries can, through monetary policy set by the government, artificially manipulate the value of their currency to make it cheap to export their goods to the United States, but make it expensive for the United States to import goods into that country.

According to Senator Brown, when looking at Japan, for every one vehicle that is imported into Japan from the United States, 99 are exported and sold in the United States. According to the Senator, that’s due, in part, to currency manipulation.

The Senator, along with fellow members of Congress, want to include legislation in the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership to address these concerns and help prevent currency manipulation.

Cleveland Engine Plant Investment

Ford also has deeply vested interest in protecting not only their new investments in the United States, but also protecting their global One Ford plan.

Let’s not forget that we as a country can also control the value of our currency through outlets like the Federal Reserve.

While it’s definitely above my pay grade to decide what the right solution is to these issues, it’s clear that Ford is closely following what is going on and has an interest in the results.

CHECK OUT: Think EcoBoost? Think Cleveland!

For now, things are good for U.S. workers and Ford. With the $200 million investment just at the Cleveland Engine Plant, they’re adding more jobs and producing more engines than ever before. That helps the local, and national, economies, and is something I think we can all support.

What do you think? Please keep the political discussion civil, but feel free to sound off in our forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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