Ford Motor Company President and CEO Mark Fields was confident in a call with analysts and media Thursday, reports website MLive, despite the uncertainty surrounding US President Donald Trump’s future trade and economic policy changes.
President Trump “is focused on driving policy that drives investment and job creation in manufacturing and automotive manufacturing,” said Fields. “It’s a very positive sign from my perspective that… in his first two days in office, he met with manufacturers, including auto.”
Trump has committed to creating a “friendly” environment for businesses in the US by relaxing existing regulations and cutting taxes, while doubling down on his promise to “renegotiate” the North American Free Trade Agreement in order to bring manufacturing jobs back to the country from member nation Mexico. All of that makes America’s future trade and economic policies hazy.
“We have to see what the policies are going to be,” said Ford’s CEO. “We’re doing a lot of different scenario planning.” At the same time, Ford wants “to be helpful… and be a trusted source on input” as the new president goes about planning policy changes. That’s already meant discussing US fuel-economy regulations with Trump, and arguing that one sweeping federal mandate holds automakers to an implausible standard.
Ford is also interested in border concerns, said Fields. The company is looking at potential impacts on its current supply chain, and already canceled a planned $1.6-billion manufacturing plant in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, possibly in anticipation of a shift in trade policy.
“We’re going to be ready,” said the Ford CEO. “We’re watching that external environment every day.”