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.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.
Mr. 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.
North American Leaders Meeting Today to Discuss Job-Killing Trade Agreement
by JBS President John F. McManus
President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Harper, and Mexico’s President Pena Nieto met in Toluca, Mexico, on February 20. The most they could agree upon was the need to protect Monarch butterflies whose winter habitat happens to be losing its milkweed food source. But each of the three “amigos” (they enjoy using the term) wants to sink the three countries into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement involving twelve Pacific-rim nations – all the way from North America to Chile, Australia, Japan, and elsewhere.
Hoping to build on the 20-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the three leaders continued to claim that NAFTA was a huge success. Mr. Obama could have pointed instead to the loss of thousands of jobs, the creation of legal tribunals whose decisions trump U.S. law, even a more widely open border for illegal immigrants to stream into the U.S. But these consequences of NAFTA were never mentioned. One can only conclude that similar results will impact America if the TPP negotiations are completed and approved by Congress.
Right now, President Obama is seeking “fast track authority” that allows him to bypass congressional intervention on the way to an up or down TPP vote by Congress with no amendments. He told reporters at the meeting in Mexico, “We’ll get this passed if it’s a good agreement,” and he has already indicated that, for him, it is good. If Congress concurs, they will have ceded more of their constitutional authority to the ever-growing power of the Executive Branch.
Asked by his fellow amigos about progress toward enactment of TPP, Obama acknowledged twin difficulties, first with gaining fast-track authority and then with hammering out details that include immigration legislation, labor rules, and environmental regulations. He thereby confirmed that this newly desired trade pact deals with far more than just trade.
Customarily reliable congressional Democrats including Senate leader Harry Reid have expressed reluctance to approve the president’s fast-track request. But trusting Harry Reid to do what’s right for America is a risky proposition. Other members of Congress are voicing objections to the pact because of the results of NAFTA. They seem likely to turn thumbs down not only on TPP but also on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union scheduled for consideration in 2015.
America doesn’t need more “free trade” agreements that are never free and have lots more than trade in their hundreds of pages. Members of Congress can stop plans to plunge our country into such pacts and thereby avoid more job losses, more dilution of sovereignty, and more unneeded illegal immigration. History shows that supposed “free trade” agreements means economic union. And economic union is regularly followed by political union – as the 28 nations now caught in the European Union have discovered. They were told that they were joining a mere trade group that would enhance commerce. But they have discovered that they no longer control their own destiny.
Congress can stop these entanglements. It’s an election year when members listen more intently to constituents. Stopping TPP and TTIP should be the goal.
Learn more about how you can help by visiting Choose Freedom–Stop the Free Trade Agenda.