Last week, we learned that Ford was cancelling plans to build a $1.6 billion dollar plant in Mexico. Instead, the company would be investing $700 million in Michigan, creating hundreds of permanent jobs. As USA Today reported:
Ford Motor announced Tuesday that it would cancel plans for a $1.6 billion Mexico plant and launch a Michigan expansion in a move that may be viewed as a capitulation to Donald Trump.
Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company would spend $700 million and add 700 jobs to “transform and expand” its Flat Rock, Mich. manufacturing plant to make autonomous and electric vehicles.
The move marks a sharp reversal for Ford, which has defended its production in Mexico even as Trump has assailed the company for expanding there.
“This is a vote of confidence for President-elect Trump and some of the policies he may be pursuing,” Fields said.
The media was loathe to give Trump much credit for this - or even acknowledge it as a positive development - but it was thrilling news for workers in job-strapped Detroit. Ford scored a PR win, Trump scored a “Make America Great” talking point, and workers had more jobs. Heck, even the UAW was pleased with the turnaround. It seemed everyone was happy.
Everyone, that is, except Mexico.
South of the border, the press is all kinds of upset. It seems Detroit - and Trump in particular - are stealing Mexican jobs!
Ford Motor Co.‘s cancellation of plans to build a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi has sounded alarms across Mexico.
Even as the country is being rocked by rowdy nationwide protests against a Jan. 1 gasoline price hike, the Ford news led the front pages of Mexico’s most influential newspapers Wednesday, and they tied the development directly to President-elect Donald Trump.
“Trump leaves Mexico without 3,600 jobs,” read the headline on El Universal. “Ford’s braking jolts the peso,” said Reforma, referring to the Mexican currency’s nearly 1 percent slump following the news.
“The jobs created in Mexico have contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States which otherwise would have disappeared in the face of Asian competition,” the Mexico Economy Department said.
If that doesn’t shatter the irony meter, I don’t know what will.
Here’s a clip of NPR doing some hand-wringing over Mexican jobs…
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