Ford Exec Fires Back at Trump’s Mexico, NAFTA Comments

Ford Motor Co. is tired of taking pot shots from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over its plan to move some operations abroad when many U.S. companies, including rival General Motors Co., are doing the same thing, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said.

Ford factory

During a recent debate with Democratic president nominee Hillary Clinton, Trump railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement that eliminated trade and investment barriers between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and specifically singled out Ford’s plan to shift some operations to Mexico as contributing to the loss of U.S. jobs.

Ford announced last month that all of its small-car production would be moved to Mexico. Trump has called the expansion plan “disgraceful.”

Ford is tired of being picked on, Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, said during an Oct. 5 Economic Club event. The Mexico plant would not diminish the company’s U.S. workforce, he said.

Ford’s staff is already pretty evenly split between its U.S. and international operations, Ford said. He added that Ford had hired 26,000 workers in the U.S. since 2011 and makes more cars and trucks domestically than its competitors.

“I would like to think Ford is everything that should be celebrated about what’s right with the country,” Ford said. “We didn’t go bankrupt. We paid back our loans. We did it the old-fashioned way. We pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps.”

Ford said he met with Trump a few months ago and tried to set him straight on the facts. He described it as a great meeting during which Trump was thoughtful and asked “good” questions.

But the meeting doesn’t appear to have changed Trump’s tune on the campaign trail.

Trump at the debate