Ford CEO Mark Fields announced today that Ford has canceled plans to invest $1.6 billion in a new plant in Mexico. Instead it will produce the vehicles the Mexican plant would have manufactured at facilities in Michigan and Illinois. The move is expect to create approximately 700 jobs in the U.S.
The Washington Post buries this news in an article about Trump “targeting” American automakers, especially General Motors, by threatening to impose new tariffs on imports. At the same time, Post reporters Ylan Mui and Steven Overly decline to attribute Ford’s decision, and the American jobs it will create, to Trump.
In the Post’s telling, Ford’s decision is down to a decrease in the demand for small vehicle due to lower fuel costs. This trend rendered the new facility unnecessary. The Post also notes that, according to Ford, the decision to produce the cars in the U.S. was made without consulting Donald Trump or his team.
The article takes a few additional shots at Trump. It refuses to credit Trump with any role in Ford’s decision.
Yet the Ford CEO, Mark Fields, gave Trump considerable credit. He said that Ford’s decision was influenced by the expectation, based on statements by the president-elect, that under Trump conditions for doing business in the U.S. will be favorable.
Indeed, Fields called Ford’s decision “literally a vote of confidence” in the pro-business environment being created by Donald Trump. He added that Ford is “really encouraged” by the regulatory and tax policies that Trump says he intends to put in place.
The dishonest Washington Post chooses to ignore this. Yet, there can be little doubt that Ford’s decision was influenced by Trump’s threat to impose a huge tariff on Ford, his promise to create a more favorable environment for businesses, or both.
Donald Trump’s “America First” approach stands in marked contrast to the America-effacing approach President Obama has pursued for the past eight years. Whether it’s in dealings with U.S. businesses, America’s allies, or our foreign adversaries (acknowledged by Obama or not), the current administration has left plenty of chips on the table.
President “Art of the Deal” will aggressively attempt to collect those chips.