Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears ready to lessen the severity of his proposed tariff against Ford cars and parts built in Mexico and imported to the US.
Ford’s plans to expand manufacturing in Mexico over the next several years have been a key talking point for Donald Trump, who has repeatedly suggested that if elected, he would level a 35-percent tax on vehicles and components that Ford produces in Mexico and ships across the border. However, in a recent interview with The Detroit News ahead of a Trump rally in Toledo, Ohio this week, the presidential candidate wasn’t so steadfast on the tariff rate.
“[The tariff could] be 35 percent, it may be 10 percent, it may be five percent, it may be 20 percent; we’ll determine what the tariff would be. But when companies leave Michigan or they leave Ohio and they go to Mexico and they think they’re going to sell product into our country with no tax, they’re wrong about that.”
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, negotiated during the Bush Sr. administration and ratified under Bill Clinton, Ford and other US automakers don’t pay a tariff on vehicles or parts manufactured in Mexico and shipped north. Ford has announced upwards of $4 billion in investments pending for Mexican production facilities, making the automaker a target for Trump and his anti-free-trade stance.