Ford Builds in Mexico

Ford Builds in Mexico
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Last October, the Ford Motor Company announced that it will transfer the building of small cars to its new plant in Mexico. But, as the headline on page one of the October 19, 2016 New York Times insisted, “Yes, Ford Is Building in Mexico. No, It’s Not Cutting U.S. Jobs.” Read the online version here.

Ford isn’t cutting its U.S. work force. but the company is definitely not expanding that work force (Image from Wikimedia Commons).

Ford isn’t cutting its U.S. work force, but the company is definitely not expanding that work force (photo by Marcin Mincer [Public domain, GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

The seeming contradiction drew an explanation from Ford’s chief executive, Mark Fields. The production of the company’s small Focus auto will indeed be moved from Wayne, Michigan to Ford’s new plant in Mexico. But, the company will convert its plant in Wayne to building highly profitable very popular trucks and sport utility vehicles. The 3,700 jobs in Wayne will not be lost. Credit Donald Trump who made Ford’s initial plans an issue during his successful run for the presidency.

So Ford isn’t cutting its U.S. work force, but the company is definitely not expanding that work force. There are plenty of Americans who would love to be making the Ford Focus in Michigan or some other location within our nation. But those jobs now belong to Mexicans who can be hired at about one-third the cost of a worker based in the U.S.

There are other factors dictating where a company like Ford decides where to produce its autos. One is the 1994 NAFTA agreement that inspired maverick presidential candidate Ross Perot to characterize the effect of NAFTA as “a giant sucking sound” swallowing up American jobs. He was correct. NAFTA did lead companies in numerous industries to pack up and move away from the U.S. Another ingredient in the slowdown of American manufacturing is the combination of heavy taxation and the shrinking value of the U.S. dollar, brought on by federal deficits and paper dollars that have nothing backing them. A third is the demands of labor unions that force the cost of labor here to far exceed similar costs in places like Mexico.

While producing automobiles in America has become more difficult, consider the startling revelations about the virtually non-existent U.S. clothing industry. According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association, 97 percent of clothing sold in the United States is imported. Take a look at what you buy and you’ll see “Made in” tags naming China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand, and other low-wage nations. And the automobile and clothing industries aren’t alone in having their products made outside the United States.

Why all this is happening isn’t just protection of the bottom line by corporate America. Our nation is being targeted by the hidden designs of world planners who want to level the lot of all mankind and then merge all into their grasp. If a nation like the U.S. has a high standard of living, it has to be brought down so it can be merged into a “new world order” with poor and poorly run nations. Bring the so-called backward nations up and bring the prosperous nations down is the overall plan. In the process, every country will find itself beholden to a power structure likely located at the United Nations.

For decades, America’s leaders haven’t been pro-American. They have been doing everything possible to build the “new world order.” And Donald Trump, with all his idiosyncrasies and bluster, seems to be posing a threat to the world planners. That is why the dishonest media find fault with virtually every decision and every utterance from the rookie president. If he continues on his plan to “Make America Great Again,” he’s surely got a tough road ahead. We wish him great success.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Industries Still Heading for Mexico

Industries Still Heading for Mexico
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed into law by President Bill Clinton 21 years ago, has certainly spurred many manufacturers to close plants in the U.S and build new ones in Mexico. This is precisely what opponents of NAFTA, including The John Birch Society, expected and predicted.

Ford Fiesta MK5 TDCi X100, photographed in Warsaw, Poland. Emblem on the front grille. (Photo by Marcin Mincer, some rights reserved.)

In April 2016, the list of closed, or soon to be closed, factories in the U.S. grew larger when the Ford Motor Company announced its plan to build a new assembly plant in Mexico to produce its Focus compact vehicle and its C-Max hybrid. Company officials said Ford would possibly begin production of its trucks and sport utility vehicles at the Wayne, Michigan plant which will soon be vacant. Workers are holding their breaths hoping that Ford actually does what is merely a possibility at this point.

Ford admitted that it will pay Mexican workers less than half the $29 per hour workers in Michigan have been earning. Ford’s Chief Executive Mark Fields stated, “At the end of the day, we are a multinational company, and we will do what’s best for business.” Claiming that his company had added 25,000 jobs during the past eight years, he nevertheless announced that Ford intends to move more manufacturing to China and elsewhere. United Automobile Workers union leader, Dennis Williams condemned the Ford decision while blaming it on NAFTA.

The move by Ford parallels similar planned moves to Mexico by Toyota, Kia, and Audi. General Motors has already built a huge plant in Mexico to produce its automobiles. Eighty percent of the vehicles produced in Mexico are exported from Mexico, most of them into the United States.

While campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama targeted NAFTA saying, “One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA.” He also lambasted Hillary Clinton for her claim that “NAFTA has been good for New York” during her campaign for a Senate seat. In 2016, GOP candidate Donald Trump has made NAFTA one of his targets, even promising to have the pact repealed. And President Obama, no longer a foe of NAFTA, is anxiously working to have Congress approve the NAFTA-like Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The TPP will accomplish for 12 Pacific nations what NAFTA has done for Mexico. The TTIP would effectively have the United States join the sovereignty-compromising European Union.

The 20-year-old NAFTA pact filled 2,000 pages and covered far more matters than just trade, even establishing a tribunal whose decisions on trade matters have unfavorably impacted American companies. The pact additionally sets environmental standards for the three nations. It amounts to an economic and political revolution.

Yes, NAFTA is a job destroyer for Americans. But it also waters down U.S. sovereignty, something quietly desired by many of its creators and partisans. NAFTA should be repealed. And Congress should reject immersion into the TPP and TTIP.

If America continues down the road already shown by NAFTA and favored by President Obama, third-world status will soon be America’s fate. Contact Congress today to tell them to vote no on the TPP and TTIP.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.