Trump Administration's Strange Response to Ford Relocating to China

This article was published to my personal blog at Talkmarkets: https://talkmarkets.com/contributor/gary-anderson/blog/us-markets/trump-administrations-strange-response-to-ford-relocating-to-china?post=139558&uid=4798

Ford is going to establish its new Focus plant to China. The plant was going to Mexico, a nation that has prospered recently, causing fewer Mexicans to seek economic survival in the United States. One would think that is a good thing and should be encouraged.

So it is perplexing to me that regarding the Ford Focus, Donald Trump's administration said this:

“The Ford decision shows how flexible multinational companies are in terms of geography,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in response to Ford’s news. “I believe that as President Trump’s policies and reforms take hold, more companies will begin to locate their facilities in the U.S. as several German and Japanese automakers already have.”
The perplexing thing about this is that Donald Trump has spent a lot of time threatening to punish Ford for making cars in Mexico, rather than in the United States. But wouldn't Mexico be better than China? But Trump was adamant about the possibility of tariffs for the new Mexico plant as we see from the Huffington Post article:

Trump called the Mexico move an “absolute disgrace” and threatened to levy tariffs on Mexican-made Ford vehicles. 


The Huffington Post subtitle was "President Trump Will Not Be Pleased to Hear This News". But I had suspicions when POTUS did not immediately come out blasting Ford for moving Focus production from Mexico to China. And Ross's comments certainly confirm my suspicions.

To be realistic, components of cars come from many places, just like jetliners, so there is a shared prosperity no matter where these durable items are produced. And maybe the Trump response is just a maturity of accepting that reality.

Or, if you gravitate towards conspiracy like I do, you note that Kushner Companies, owned by the son in law of Donald Trump, made deals with China for more business in an unseemly manifestation of greed and selfishness that seems to permeate the politics of both political parties these days. As the New York Times has said:

Kushner Companies’ China roadshow, promoting $500,000 investments in New Jersey real estate as the path to a residency card in the United States, moved to Shanghai on Sunday after a similar pitch on Saturday in Beijing. Security was tighter in Shanghai than it had been in Beijing, where reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post briefly attended the event before being kicked out.
Is the China deal and perhaps more to follow, dependent upon Trump guaranteeing more auto production by American companies in the Asian nation? If that is true, and is at the expense of our neighbor, that has to be gauged as dirty pool by almost everyone's moral compass.

Is America that desperate for jobs that Trump would sell out Mexico to benefit China? As is the case in these behind closed door meetings, and they were behind closed doors, we will never likely find out the truth, and Trump will come out of it unscathed.

There may be a major backlash against Ford Motor Company, but Trump won't feel that pain.  Cars made in China by Ford had better be of decent quality or the company could take a major hit to its credibility. 



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