Ford to Work with Trump to Keep U.S. Jobs
Company CEO Mark Fields Lays Out ‘Realistic’ Plans
During a recent interview with Bloomberg, Ford CEO Mark Fields stated that the car company is willing to work with President-elect Donald Trump to keep jobs in the good ol’ U.S.A. — if the right policies are put into place.
Fields stated that he was very specific about what Ford would like to see from Trump’s administration: realistic fuel economy standards, currency manipulation rules that favor fair trade, general tax reform and safe autonomous vehicle deployment.
Fields’ statements are cautiously optimistic. However, it seems that there is some lingering resentment. The cause for pause stems from targeted comments during Trump’s campaign regarding Ford’s production operations in Mexico, including threats of a 35% tariff on Ford’s manufactured goods south of the border.
A phone call from Executive Chairman Bill Ford attempted to smooth things over last month. He began by letting Trump know that Lincoln MKC SUV production will remain in Kentucky after initial plans to move production to Mexico. Needless to say, the plant was never intended to close but rather shift production to the huge-selling Escape instead.
From the sound of things, Ford is open to a give-and-take with the Trump administration, keeping jobs in the US as long as it is profitable to do so. After Trump’s recent deal with Carrier (a heating and cooling system manufacturer) that kept several hundred jobs in Indiana, it looks like this is a definite possibility.
When Carrier threatened to move 1,400 jobs to Mexico, Trump and Carrier worked out a deal for $7 million in state incentives that will keep 300 of those jobs in midwestern state popular for qualified hand labor.
While Ford did not receive any incentives for keeping MKC production in Kentucky, they’ve worked hard to keep America working. In the past five years alone, Ford has added almost 28,000 jobs in the US despite heavy investment in Mexico.
Ford isn’t alone in moving production to Mexico – since 2010, the “big three” (Ford, GM, FCA) have combined to invest over $24 billion dollars to more than double auto production south of the border.