President-elect Donald J. Trump’s proposal to levy a 35% tariff on cars made in Mexico would hurt the U.S. economy, according to the head of Ford Motor Co. (IW 500/4) -- the target of the future president’s tariff talk.
“A tariff like that would be imposed on the entire auto sector and that could have a huge impact on the U.S. economy,” Mark Fields, Ford’s CEO, told reporters following a speech at the AutoMobility conference in Los Angeles. Ford favors “free and fair trade.”
Trump has criticized Ford for planning to move all its North American small car production to Mexico, where wages are 80% lower than in the U.S.
On the campaign trail, he threatened to slap Ford’s Mexican-built cars with a 35% tariff.
He also said he would terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement that allows goods to flow between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada without tariffs.
Fields said the company has been in touch with Trump’s transition team and that he sent a congratulatory letter to the president-elect.
By Keith Naughton and Jamie Butters