Just think… Trump hasn’t even taken Office yet!
Ford Motor Co.’s cancellation of plans to build a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi has sounded alarms across Mexico.
Even as the country is being rocked by rowdy nationwide protests against a Jan. 1 gasoline price hike, the Ford news led the front pages of Mexico’s most influential newspapers Wednesday, and they tied the development directly to President-elect Donald Trump.
“Trump leaves Mexico without 3,600 jobs,” read the headline on El Universal. “Ford’s braking jolts the peso,” said Reforma, referring to the Mexican currency’s nearly 1 percent slump following the news.
“The jobs created in Mexico have contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States which otherwise would have disappeared in the face of Asian competition,” the Mexico Economy Department said.
The Mexican peso slid again Wednesday, with the Bank of Mexico’s 48-hour interbank exchange rate for the currency weakening from 21.05 to the U.S. dollar to 21.52 at the close. —AP
Trump is singled out as the catalyst for these developments:
“Mexico loses thousands of jobs with no word on a clear strategy for confronting the next U.S. government which has presented itself as protectionist and, especially, anti-Mexican,” the paper wrote. “Trump will try to recover as many U.S. companies that have set up in Mexico as possible. He will try to make them return at whatever cost, through threats or using public resources.”
“Ford’s decision is indicative of what awaits the economies of both countries,” the daily La Jornada said. “For ours a severe decrease in investment from our neighboring country, and for the U.S. a notable increase in their production costs.”
Hope said more decisions like Ford’s are likely to come. And while the loss of a single planned plant probably does not fundamentally change the U.S.-Mexico economic relationship, “it certainly shows that the idea that the status quo was entrenched was false.”
“This should put us on notice that when he says that he wants to renegotiate NAFTA, he means it,” Hope said. —AP
And how do we feel about that news?
We’ll drink to that!