Let's give Ford the 2016 'bad timing award'
In the interest of full disclosure, I drive a Ford Focus with 105,000 miles and running great. I should add that I supported NAFTA and have done business because of it.
At the same time, it may be time to sit down with Mexico, and don't forget that the trio includes Canada, and review the deal.
More important, it's time to have a national conversation about the importance of keeping manufacturing in the U.S.
Ford's decision to move more operations to Mexico could have not come at a worse time for all concerned. This is from the Detroit Press:
Ford plans to eventually shift all North American small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico, CEO Mark Fields told investors Tuesday, even though the company's production investments in Mexico have become a lightning rod for controversy in the presidential election.
"Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States," Fields said at a daylong investor conference in Dearborn.
The news sparked a fresh round of criticism of Ford from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who was campaigning in Flint on Wednesday.
"We shouldn’t allow it to happen. They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands of people, not from this country, and they’ll sell their car across the border," Trump said during his visit. "When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we’re also sending our tax base."
The impact on Ford's U.S. employment will be minimal in the near-term. Ford already builds the Fiesta subcompact and the Fusion mid-size sedan in Mexico.
There is an expectation that Ford will build a new Ranger mid-size pickup truck in Wayne and possibly a new Bronco compact sport-utility.
The impact on jobs will be minimal? Maybe so, but the bad P.R. will be anything but minimal.
In reality, there is no law that can stop Ford from moving to Mexico. It would violate NAFTA and start a trade war that goes both ways. However, our next president should be willing to persuade these companies to stay here and take care of the home front that made them rich over the years.
We need a national conversation about the importance of making things here. It's vital to create good-paying jobs!
An America First attitude may be just what the doctor ordered.