Republican Hopeful Donald Trump Threatens Ford With Tariffs Over Mexico

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Republican presidential hopeful and billionaire Donald Trump wants to bring the pain via punitive tariffs to Ford for manufacturing vehicles in Mexico.

During his announcement of his 2016 campaign Tuesday, The Detroit News says Trump vowed he would levy a 35 percent tariff on Ford parts and vehicles imported from Mexico if the automaker presses forward with a $2.5 billion investment in the nation, claiming the move would “take away thousands” of jobs from American workers.

Trump then proceeded to roleplay how he would deliver the “bad news” to “the head of Ford,” CEO Mark Fields:

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.

Announced in April, the $2.5 billion investment would add 3,800 jobs to the 11,300 already employed by Ford in Mexico, and would include new engine and transmission plants aimed toward the export market in the United States and other global markets.

Trump continued on with his roleplay, stating Ford would use lobbyist power to persuade “President Trump” to drop the tax, only for him to sandbag the automaker into submission. He added he knew Fields personally, and thought Ford was a good company overall.

In response, spokeswoman Christin Baker reiterated Ford’s investments into its home market:

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. Overall, 80 percent of our North American investment annually is in the U.S., and 97 percent of our North American engineering is conducted in the U.S.

Of course, Trump wouldn’t be legally able to punish Ford for building its plants wherever it wanted, let alone single-out Ford with his plan without also doing the same to General Motors and FCA (how he would deal with Fiat owning Chrysler would be a whole other round of metaphors and hyperbole altogether).

At least one thing is for certain in Trump’s campaigning thus far: the dead cat on his head is actually his hair.

(Photo credit:Gage Skidmore/ Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Turf3 Turf3 on Jun 19, 2015

    Never mind Trump, the real question here is whether free trade is the be-all end-all godsend that conventional wisdom says, or whether the emperor has no clothes on. I believe one should judge policies by their results. Of course it's impossible to prove causality, but do consider that the roughly 30 past years, during which free-trade-at-all-costs has become the policy of the US government (both parties, thank you very much) is the same time frame that has seen the reversal of a century-old trend of an expanding middle class in the US and a dramatic increase in income inequality. I would pose to you, furthermore, that the dramatic expansion of China's middle class has come about because their government actively supports wealth creating activities (primarily manufacturing() whereas our government seems to be actively attempting to kill US manufacturing. And finally, I would propose that the health and quality of a society is not determined by how well the richest, most successful members are doing, but rather by how well the weakest and poorest are doing. By that measure I would submit that in the United States our weakest and poorest are doing worse than they were 30 years ago, that one of the reasons (among many) is the diminution of manufacturing jobs, and that this does not bode well for the long term future of the US. Remember, there are only three ways to create wealth: make something, grow something, or dig something out of the ground. All else is just moving the wealth around.

  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Jun 19, 2015

    I am a 100% supporter of Donald Trump for president - now and forever. But, then again, I have to be. I am his hairdresser. By the way, you are correct about the comb over.

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