Ford will build a plant in Michigan instead of Mexico as a “vote of confidence” in President-elect Donald J. Trump’s incoming administration, its CEO Mark Fields announced on Tuesday.
The announcement means Ford will cancel its plans to build a new plant in Mexico and will instead invest $700 million in Michigan—creating 700 new jobs here in the United States—CNN reports.
“We didn’t cut a deal with Trump. We did it for our business,” Fields told CNN, noting that his company had conversations on Tuesday with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Trump and Pence will officially be sworn in on Jan. 20.
Fields said his company’s decision to create jobs in America rather than in Mexico is a “vote of confidence” in Trump’s incoming administration and the pro-business environment it will create.
The investment, CNN reports, will be at the plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, and will aim “to produce more electric and self-driving cars” since “Ford believes electric vehicles will outsell gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”
Trump’s success in keeping Ford jobs here is winning praise even from labour unions.
“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” Jimmy Settles, the UAW’s vice president, said.
CNN notes that Ford’s decision to keep the jobs here in the U.S. rather than shipping them overseas to Mexico—as it announced early in 2016—is a “major U-Turn” for the auto manufacturer.
“The news is a major U-turn for Ford,” CNN wrote. “Last year, the company announced it would invest $1.6 billion in Mexico to transfer the production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to Mexico to save costs. Now the Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, and Ford will expand its plant in Flat Rock.”
Breitbart News was the first news organisation to ask Trump about Ford’s plans to ship jobs to Mexico. In an interview back in February 2016, Breitbart News asked Trump about this decision from Ford—and about similar plans from Carrier Corporation, which had planned to expand in Mexico and shut down U.S. facilities in Indianapolis—and Trump laid out his exact plans to keep the jobs here in the United States instead of seeing them drained to Mexico.
“There’s only one way you’re going to reverse it, and that’s that you’re going to have to make it more expensive to do business that way,” Trump told Breitbart News back then about the news from Ford and Carrier that they planned to go overseas:
First of all, you’re going to have to look to lower taxes [for those who do business inside the United States]—and we may very well have to charge taxes at the border, when somebody drives a car through the border to sell it in the United States. But look, we’ve closed our plants. We’ve lost our jobs. They’re no going to build cars in Mexico and sell them in the United States, okay? We can lower our taxes, and we’re probably going to have to charge a surtax at the border. Otherwise we’re going to lose a fortune. And that will help Ford and other people make a decision to buy in the United States, to build in the United States.
Even though he’s not even president yet, Trump has already succeeded on both cases, Carrier and Ford. He’s also succeeded in getting 8,000 other jobs in the U.S. with Sprint and OneWeb, news announced last week.
Trump, of course, shocked the political class by winning the state of Michigan against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton on Nov. 8 on his pathway to 306 electoral votes.