Trump Falsely Claims He Kept Ford From Moving Plant To Mexico

Evan Vucci

Donald Trump on Thursday took credit for preventing Ford Motor Co. from relocating a plant from Kentucky to Mexico, though no such plan was ever in place.

In a pair of tweets, the President-elect said he spoke to his “friend,” Ford chairman Bill Ford, who told him the Louisville Assembly Plant would remain in the Bluegrass State.

Trump said he “worked hard” to ensure the factory would not move, and thanked “the great State of Kentucky” for having confidence in him to do so.

Yet as The Washington Post reported, Ford never intended to shut down the plant. Instead, it planned as of last year to move production of a single line, the Lincoln MKC sport utility vehicle, out of Kentucky. The company confirmed to the Post that the company had canceled its plan to move MKC production to Mexico.

“Today, we confirmed with the President-elect that our small Lincoln utility vehicle made at the Louisville Assembly Plant will stay in Kentucky,” the company told the Post in a statement. “We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States.”

Ford executives previously said that no jobs would be lost by relocating the line because the company planned to expand production of the Ford Escape, which is also made in Louisville.

“Whatever happens in Louisville, it will not lose employment,” Jimmy Settles, a union official, told The Detroit Free Press last November. “They cannot make enough Escapes.”

Trump heavily criticized the car giant on the campaign trail, accusing Ford of giving American jobs to Mexican workers. He threatened to impose a 35 percent tariff on cars produced there.

The President-elect has falsely claimed credit for Ford’s business decisions before. In October 2015, he retweeted a fake news report that said he pressured Ford to build a new factory in Ohio rather than Mexico, and claimed that his “constant badgering at packed events” prompted the company to do so.

Yet the company went forward with plans to build the $2.5 billion plant in Mexico, telling the Post that the plan to shift the production of medium-duty trucks there from Mexico had been underway for years.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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