Donald Trump, while on the campaign trail in Michigan, is still promising to apply a 35-percent import tariff on vehicles built by Ford if it continues with plans to expand operations in Mexico, even though Trump wouldn’t have the authority to implement a tariff as president, reports The Detroit Free Press.
“We are going to do something that is going to (be) great (and) a very big beneficiary is going to be Michigan,” Trump said while speaking to supporters at Macomb Community College on Friday. “The car business is being abused more than most other businesses. … Mexico is becoming the new China.”
And we all know how much Trump looooooooves China.
From The Detroit Free Press:
In a speech full of references to Michigan’s dominant auto industry and the threats posed by foreign competition and outsourcing, Trump whipped up the crowd at the college Sports and Expo Center in Warren, saying he was “100% sure” a Trump presidency would keep Ford Motor Co. from opening any future plant in Mexico. And he suggested that was just the start for his negotiating better business deals in the U.S. and around the globe to create and save jobs.
“Within 24 to 48 hours I will get a call from the head of Ford and he will say, ‘Mr. President, we have decided we’re going to build our new plant in the United States.’ … That’s 100% sure. … They’re going to say, ‘We’re moving back. You want us to move to Michigan?’ And I’ll say, ‘Yeah.'”
However, even as commander in chief, Trump wouldn’t have the legal authority to apply tariffs to Mexican imports protected under the North American Free Trade Agreement. All tariffs, which includes those applied against automotive products defined in the agreement, were lifted by January 1, 2008 or earlier.
Following the speech, Ford reconfirmed its plan to invest $9 billion in U.S. facilities in the next four years.
The latest volley aimed at Ford is a continuation of threat made in June 2015, when the Republican presidential candidate hopeful said, “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 — OK? — and that tax is going to be paid simultaneously with the transaction. They are going to take away thousands of jobs.”
During the same speech on Friday, Trump condemned Japanese imports, even though a number of Japanese manufacturers have set up assembly facilities within the United States.
“I want those cars made in Michigan. The Japanese can do them, but let them make them here,” he said.
This comes after another false claim made by Trump in June 2015, where he stated you can’t find a Chevrolet in Japan.