Right-wing media figures advanced Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s suggestion that Ford Motor Company was sending Michigan auto jobs to Mexico despite the fact that Ford CEO Mark Fields said Trump’s innuendo was “absolutely not true” and that “zero” jobs are being exported from Michigan. The auto giant is retooling its Michigan Assembly Plant to focus exclusively on large, profitable trucks and SUVs while reallocating production of less profitable small cars to Mexico in response to changing consumer preferences in the United States.
Trump Suggests Ford Is Moving Jobs From Michigan To Mexico
ABC News: “Trump Attacks Ford Motor For Outsourcing Car Production To Mexico.” Donald Trump told audience members at the Economic Club of New York that “Ford has announced just yesterday that they're moving their small car production facilities to Mexico,” according to ABC News:
Donald Trump today called Ford Motor's plan to relocate a small car assembly plant to Mexico “disgraceful,” returning to the topic of the loss of manufacturing jobs that the candidate emphasized yesterday in a visit to Flint, Michigan.
“Ford has announced just yesterday that they're moving their small car production facilities to Mexico,” said Trump at the Economic Club of New York. “To think that Ford is moving its small car division is a disgrace. It's disgraceful. It's disgraceful that our politicians allow them get away with it. It really is.”
Trump in his visit to Flint this week focused on the contamination of the city's drinking water but also addressed Flint's history as a hub of auto manufacturing. He made a claim -- which he repeated today -- that Flint now bears similarities to Mexico.
“It used to be cars were made in Flint and you couldn't drink the water in Mexico,” said Trump. “Now, cars are made in Mexico and you can't drink the water in Flint.” [ABCNews.com, 9/15/16]
Right-Wing Media Figures Repeat Trump’s Outsourcing Claim
CNN Trump Surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes: Ford Is Moving Jobs “Out Of Detroit To Mexico.” Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes used Ford’s decision to move small car assembly operations to attack President Obama, who Hughes claims made Ford’s auto jobs “leave America”:
SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES: It's interesting you talk about Obama and jobs, when just this week, Ford announced in the next two years they're going to move all small manufacturing out of Wisconsin -- out of Detroit to Mexico. So actually in that case, Obama has caused jobs to lose to Mexico at this point. So it’s really interesting to talk about job creation and Donald Trump jobs losing to other countries, when we have a fact just this week of Barack Obama exporting jobs -- causing jobs to leave America and go to Mexico. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 9/15/16]
Fox Host Bill O’Reilly: Trump Plans To Threaten Ford “And The Others Who Are Moving Jobs Out.” Fox News host Bill O’Reilly claimed that Trump’s economic policy plans were “supply side” and included threatening “Ford and the others who are moving jobs out” of the United States:
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): It's a supply-side plan like Reagan, right?
MARIA BARTIROMO: Well, it's tax cuts.
O'REILLY: Cut corporate taxes, individual taxes and then threaten Ford and the others who are moving jobs out. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 9/15/16]
Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs: Trump “Tore Into” Ford’s Choice “To Move Small Car Manufacturing To Mexico.” Fox Business host Lou Dobbs reported that Trump bashed “the president’s policy of globalism” and “tore into Ford” for its “decision to move all of its small car production to Mexico”:
LOU DOBBS (HOST): Donald Trump laying out his economic policy with considerable detail calling for a slash of tax rates, regulations to boost economic growth slashed as well, the Republican nominee bashing the president's policy of globalism that he says has destroyed American jobs while enriching other nations. Trump touted the benefits, to ourworkers and American families, of his new policy of Americanism and “America First.” Trump also tore into Ford and the car maker's recent decision to move all of its small car production to Mexico. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 9/15/16]
Morgan Ortagus Claims Both Candidates Have Talked About “Penalizing Ford” For “Moving Jobs To Mexico.” Maverick PAC national co-chair Morgan Ortagus told Fox Business host Charles Payne that both candidates have talked about retaliating against Ford for “moving jobs to Mexico” but there is “no real plan for it”:
CHARLES PAYNE (HOST): People are resentful and they want someone to come in and put a factory back in their backyard so they can get that old school job that use to provide them with a home and enough money to send their kids to college.
MORGAN ORTAGUS: You’re right, and both candidates are promising to do that but there’s no real plan for it. No one said how they're bringing the jobs back. Now, both of the candidates have talked about penalizing Ford motor company, for example, for moving jobs to Mexico, back to the U.S. [Fox Business, Making Money with Charles Payne, 9/15/16]
Ford CEO Says It Is “Absolutely Not” True Jobs Are Leaving Michigan
Ford CEO Mark Fields: “Zero” Jobs Will Leave Michigan During Transition. Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields told CNN’s Poppy Harlow that Trump’s claim that Ford is sending jobs to Mexico is “absolutely not true” and that “zero” jobs will be outsourced from Michigan. Fields said Ford would replace small car manufacturing in Michigan “with two very exciting new products so not one job will be lost”:
POPPY HARLOW: So it is not true that Ford will be, quote, “firing all of its employees in the United States?” Will Ford cut any U.S. jobs as a result of this move? One? Any single one?
MARK FIELDS: Absolutely not. Zero. And what we announced is that we'll be moving our focus out of Michigan so that we can compete more financially in that particular segment. But at the same time -- and that is an agreement we have with the UAW. And what we'll be doing is we'll be replacing those products with two very exciting new products so not one job will be lost. And most of our investment is here in the U.S. and that is the way it is going to continue to be. [CNN, CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, 9/15/16]
This research has been updated for clarity