Since his election, President Donald Trump has used his office to promote misleading media narratives about his unique ability to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. He credited himself with brokering agreements with foreign companies to invest in the U.S. while using his bully pulpit to undermine American companies like Boeing, Carrier, and Ford. Trump generated a flurry of positive media coverage when he falsely claimed that strong arm tactics had prompted Ford to cancel an expansion in Mexico, which the company stated was part of a pre-existing business plan. Ford's decision to go ahead with a previously planned factory expansion in Mexico based on its own economic interests and with no regard for Trump's attacks highlights once again the importance of media outlets scrutinizing the president's boasts before broadcasting misinformation to their audience.
From the February 16 edition of Telemundo's Noticiero Telemundo:
JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART (HOST): In another open challenge to President Trump, automaker Ford announced that this year it would open two new plants in Mexico after having canceled the construction of an assembly plant in San Luis Potosí. As Issa Osorio reports, the project will generate 3,000 new jobs.
ISSA OSORIO (CORRESPONDENT): The old saying goes that when one door closes, another door opens. At least that’s how a few residents of Irapuato, of the municipality of Guanajuato where the company Ford announced it would construct a new plant.
RUBÉN RAMÍREZ (RESIDENT OF GUANAJUATO): To show the president of the United States that in Mexico, we are hardworking and honest people.
OSORIO: While at the beginning of January the American company canceled the construction of its plant in San Luis Potosí, the director of Ford in Mexico confirmed an investment of 2.5 billion dollars for the construction of two factories: one in Chihuahua and another in Guanajuato.
GABRIEL LÓPEZ (PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF FORD MEXICO): For those who doubted whether Ford would still be committed to Mexico, I say to them that we are still completely committed.
OSORIO: This occurring despite the warnings of President Trump. Last December, the Republican wrote a message on his Twitter account [saying] that there would be consequences for companies that build factories outside of the United States. But according to this analyst, many businesses, among them Ford, don't have the luxury of abandoning Mexico.
JORGE SÁNCHEZ TELLO (ECONOMIST AT MEXICO AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY): The president of the United States has deceived his electorate. The competition that American workers are facing is not [from] Mexico. It's not [from] China.