Mexico is agitated by Ford Motor Company’s plans to cancel the construction of a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi. The country has been faced by widespread nationwide protests a Jan. 1 gasoline price hike. The Ford news was all over the front pages of Mexico’s most influential newspapers on Wednesday as they all associated the recent developments to the President-elect Donald Trump. The headline in EL Universal read that ‘’Trump leaves Mexico without 3,600 jobs,’’ while the Reforma read ‘’Ford’s braking jolts the peso,’’ as it reffered to the Mexican currency’s slump by almost 1 percent following the announcement.
The Mexico Economy Department said that the jobs created in Mexico have directly contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States which otherwise would have been impossible in the face of the Asian competition.
Trump’s disparaging remarks about immigrants who sneak into the U.S. illegally and vows to build a wall around the border and plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement have upset ties with Mexicans since U.S. is the largest trading partner for Mexico.
Alejandro Hope, a Mexican analyst pointed out that the scampering of the planned Ford factory and Trump’s pressure on General Motors, two weeks before inauguration should a much-needed wake up call for the Mexicans.
Hope pointed out that the recent developments clearly show how much leverage Trump has within specific companies, which is greater than what Mexican elites thought. Adding that claims of economic interests prevailing over political messaging were nothing but false claims.
The EL Universal also recalled Trump’s deal with Carrier where the company was to keep 800 of 1,300 jobs at an Indiana furnace factory from being sent to Mexico, in exchange for millions of dollars in tax incentives.
The EL Universal also criticized the Mexican government for not having a clear strategy on how it would approach the recent developments as it added that thousands of jobs are being taken away from Mexico by the next U.S. government which has presented itself as protectionist and anti-Mexican. The paper also warned that Trump would make sure that he returns all the companies that are based in Mexico at whatever cost.
The daily La Jornada pointed out that Ford’s decision is a clear indication of what is awaiting the economies of Mexico and the U.S. adding that Mexico will be affected by the severe decrease in investment from the U.S. Hope warned that more companies will take the same path that Ford has taken.