Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has blasted Ford Motor Co. following the automaker's announcement that it will be constructing a new assembly plant in Mexico.
Trump released a statement April 5 -- the same day as the Wisconsin primaries -- declaring Ford’s investment of $1.6 billion into the construction of a Mexico plant “an absolute disgrace.”
The new plant is slated to go into production in 2018, employing 2,800 people to assemble small cars. Instead of being located in Michigan or Wisconsin, the American automaker will be making this investment in the state of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, according to The Detroit News.
“Our dishonest politicians and the special interests that control them are laughing in the face of all American citizens,” Trump said. “These ridiculous, job-crushing transactions will not happen when I am president.”
Dennis Williams, president of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW), also issued a statement slamming the announcement.
“Today's announcement that Ford is investing in Mexico is a disappointment and very troubling,” Williams said. “For every investment in Mexico, it means jobs that could have and should been available right here in the USA.
“Companies continue to run to low-wage countries and import back into the United States," Williams added. “This is a broken system that needs to be fixed.”
Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of the Americas, countered that 80 percent of the automaker’s North American vehicles were built within the U.S. He added that the company had invested $10.2 billion and created 25,000 jobs within America in the last five years and will invest $9 billion more through 2019.
“The facts bear out that our investment in the U.S. continues to be substantial,” Hinrichs said. “The investments in Mexico are not having an offsetting effect in the U.S.; we’re not losing any jobs at Michigan Assembly Plant or southeast Michigan.”
Trump has criticized Ford repeatedly throughout his presidential campaign. In early March, the business mogul blasted the automaker while campaigning in the manufacturing-reliant Michigan, Detroit Free Press reports.
“We are going to do something that is going to [be] great [and] a very big beneficiary is going to be Michigan,” Trump said during a campaign rally. “The car business is being abused more than most other businesses … Mexico is becoming the new China.”
In response to Trump’s barrage of criticisms, Ford CEO Mark Fields told Yahoo! Finance that virtually all American automakers have opened plants in Mexico because it is a lucrative and convenient manufacturing neighbor.
“What’s important for our business going forward is we continue to open up our products to other markets,” Fields said.