Trump Puts Pressure on Car Companies to Manufacture in the US

“This is just the beginning – much more to follow.”

By Rhonda FanningJanuary 4, 2017 11:24 am

President-elect Donald Trump ran on a platform of creating more jobs in the U.S. He’s also recently been on a campaign to stop automotive manufacturers from moving their operations out of the country. But why the fixation on the motor city?

Reporter Micheline Maynard has long covered the auto industry. She says Trump’s interested in Detroit for a couple of reasons.

“Trade is very important to the president-elect and there’s no industry that’s more connected to trade than autos,” she says. “Also, let’s remember that Michigan was one of the states that helped him to his electoral college victory. So autos and Michigan go together.”

Tuesday, Ford Motor Company announced it will invest $700 million in a Michigan assembly plant instead of a much more costly plant in Mexico. This leaves some wondering if the company is trying to curry favor with the president-elect. Trump, who’s been critical of Ford’s plans for the Mexican plant, tweeted his approval:

“It was probably a decision they were going to make,” Maynard says. “But when you have Donald Trump tweeting against you, and then also against your competitor, the faster you can make the decision the better.”

General Motors has also been on Trump’s mind. He called out the company for a little-known plant in Mexico. The plant produces about 50,000 cars and ships them mainly to countries other than the United States.

“It’s very interesting that Mr. Trump zeroed in on that,” Maynard says. “It’s also very interesting to see General Motor’s initial response which is the response you would make to journalists who called about it – a fact-based response.”

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.