Ford still plans to move to Mex­ico

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

FORD Mo­tor Com­pany still plans to re­lo­cate some pro­duc­tion to Mex­ico de­spite the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, who de­nounced the move and has threat­ened to im­pose hefty tar­iffs on car im­ports.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion. Our plan is to move our Fo­cus down to Mex­ico to make room for two very ex­cit­ing prod­ucts that will be com­ing down to the Michi­gan Cen­ter,” Ford CEO Mark Fields told re­porters.

Speak­ing at the open­ing of the Los An­ge­les auto show, Mr Fields said a 35 per­cent im­port duty on cars pro­duced in Mex­ico, which Mr Trump threat­ened dur­ing the cam­paign, would hurt the US econ­omy.

“A tar­iff like that would be im­posed on the en­tire auto sec­tor that could have a ma­jor im­pact on the US econ­omy,” he said.

Asked about the con­se­quences of rene­go­ti­at­ing or pulling out of free trade agree­ments such as NAFTA – some­thing Mr Trump has pledged to do – Mr Fields said Ford re­mains “a big sup­porter of free and fair trade” but added, “We’ll see how things go.”

His re­marks echoed those made by BMW chief Har­ald Krueger in the wake of Mr Trump’s sur­prise elec­tion.

Ford will con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for poli­cies on cur­rency ma­nip­u­la­tion and fuel stan­dards that are “in line with mar­ket re­al­i­ties”, as well as tax re­form and “the safe adop­tion of au­tonomous cars”, Mr Fields said

Dur­ing the bit­ter cam­paign for the White House, Mr Trump crit­i­cised US com­pa­nies for re­lo­cat­ing pro­duc­tion abroad. Computer gi­ant Ap­ple has been one of his main tar­gets.

Ford in early April un­veiled a US$1.6 bil­lion in­vest­ment in a new fa­cil­ity in Mex­ico, where the work­force is very cheap com­pared to the US. It will be op­er­a­tional in 2018.

Car com­pa­nies that move US fac­to­ries off­shore have be­come a fre­quent target of politi­cians, not least be­cause Gen­eral Mo­tors and Chrysler – al­though not Ford – were saved from bank­ruptcy in 2009 with a gov­ern­ment bailout. –

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