Donald Trump went onto twitter to declare a deal he made with the Chairman of Ford a success. “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky” Trump said. The President then complimented the state of Kentucky for believing in him stating, “I owed (sic) it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”(Trump Twitter)
Let’s look into what happened with the Ford deal, and see if it was really a successful deal or not.
Trump’s Ford Deal Promise
President-elect Trump decided that he would take action before taking office to discourage Ford from moving 700 jobs to Mexico. He accused Ford of planning to take their American jobs to Mexico from US workers in the Ford automotive factories. He went as far to call their actions “a disgrace” and said that no American company should do such a thing. Finally, he said that Ford was going to, “fire all its employees in the United States” (CNN Money).
Much like Carrier, the President-elect threatened Ford, and everyone else in the auto industry, that if their company moved production of their vehicles to Mexico it would be met with heavy tariffs and tax penalties. He also attacked GM and inferred they would pay if they moved out of the us tweeting, “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S,” and “Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!” (Trump Twitter)
Trump’s Actual Deal
On January 3rd, Ford publicly announced it would not move its plant to Mexico stating, “Make no mistake about it — Ford is a global automaker but our home is right here in the United States.” Ford then pledged to and has since invested $700 million to the Flat Rock, MI plant to make true to their word. Zero jobs were lost, and no one moved to Mexico. In fact Ford invested almost a billion dollars back into the company.
Trump immediately declared victory by tweeting out Donald went to twitter and proclaimed, “@DanScavino: Ford to scrap Mexico plant, invest in Michigan due to Trump policies” (Trump Twitter). The problem was that Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford, said that Ford never did any sort of deal with the President-elect (CNN Money).
Bill Ford asked Donald Trump to meet with him so he could talk about Ford’s position on the situation and give Trump his thoughts on the automotive market in the US. During that conversation Ford told Trump (weeks prior to his tweet taking cred) that he was keeping his plant in the US. Bill Ford also let him know they were keeping those jobs in the US, and that the decision was based on Ford “not seeing the volume and the demand that we expected for that plant”(Auto News).
Trump’s Promise versus Actual Deal
Not only was there not a Lincoln plant in Kentucky, but the Ford CEO came out saying that their decision to keep their jobs in the US had nothing to do with Trump. The Ford CEO later clarified his. He issued a statement that Ford no longer needed the Mexican facility and they could build what they needed, “in an existing facility and use capacity that we already have.” Ford then invested $700 million dollars expanding their plant in Michigan (Auto News).
All that happened in this “deal” is that the Chairman of Ford sat down with Trump and told him he wasn’t moving his plant. Somehow the President-elect took that as him saving jobs, and tweeted about his success. Since no deal was made, it cannot be said it was a good or bad deal.
It simply wasn’t a deal at all.