Ford confirmed last week that two manufacturing plants in Mexico will see expansion, despite President Trump’s insistence on keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, along with other manufacturing and auto CEOs met with Trump in his early days in office to discuss strategies to bring back American jobs. Trump took to Twitter after the meeting to announce its success, thanking Ford for “scrapping a new plant in Mexico and creating 700 new jobs in the U.S.” Trump continued in his tweet “This is just the beginning – much more to follow”
Thank you to Ford for scrapping a new plant in Mexico and creating 700 new jobs in the U.S. This is just the beginning – much more to follow
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2017
Fields said the meetings were a step toward a “Renaissance in American manufacturing”. The cancellation of the San Luis Potosi plant, however, does not bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.– it shifts all 3,000 of them to one of the existing Ford Mexican plants.
The confusion stems from the cancellation being announced on the same day Ford revealed plans for a $700 million investment and over 700 new jobs at the Michigan plant. Ford never directly claimed to be bringing jobs back. Instead, the motor company invested in the Michigan plant to build self-driving cars as a “vote of confidence” in the Trump administration.
The plans to expand the engine plant in Chihuahua and the transmission plant in Irapuato were first announced in 2015. But the decision to continue with the expansion may seem contrary to the mounting pressure from Trump for automakers to bring jobs back into the U.S.
A vast majority of auto manufacturing jobs in Mexico are dedicated to building car parts crucial to the U.S. auto plants. According to government data, the Ford F-150 is the best-selling car or truck in the United States, and also gets 15% of its parts from Mexico. Fiat Chrysler’sbest-sellingg Ram 1500 pickup gets 27% of its parts from Mexico. General Motor’s best selling Chevy Silverado gets over 50% of its parts from foreign plants, and uses engines built in Mexico.