(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) (AP)

After Trump pressured Ford out of moving factory to Mexico, company decides to build the new Focus in China

Ford Motors announced it would manufacture the new Focus in China, rather than Mexico as previously planned

Charlie May
June 20, 2017 9:47PM (UTC)

American consumers will be buying Ford Motor's next-generation small car from a plant in China instead of Mexico, the company announced on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

In 2019, after production ends at the current factory in Michigan, the second-largest car company in America will move Ford Focus manufacturing to China, the Times reported.


Ford had originally planned to open a new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico, but, facing pressure from President Donald Trump, they canceled those plans and chose China instead. According to the Times, Ford will also be investing "$900 million in a Kentucky plant to produce new versions of its Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport-utility vehicles," which the company said will save 1,000 jobs at the plant.

It's a bit peculiar that President Trump would push Ford out of Mexico and into China, especially after campaigning on a promise of preventing factory jobs from leaving the United States — though admittedly, Trump is not known for consistency.

"I beat the people from China. I win against China. You can win against China if you're smart. But our people don't have a clue. We give state dinners to the heads of China. I said why are you doing state dinners for them? They're ripping us left and right. Just take them to McDonald's and go back to the negotiating table," Trump said in July 2015.

But then Trump treated Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife to a dinner at his own Mar-a-Lago back in April, on the same night he decided to strike Syria with dozens of tomahawk missiles.

Since taking office, Trump has softened his rhetoric on China, and relied heavily on the country to mitigate tensions with North Korea. Trump has also walked back on calling the Chinese "currency manipulators," a term he frequently used until being sworn in, though more recently, he has looked the other way towards China.

But on Tuesday, the president noted in a Tweet that he was appreciative of the country's efforts in aiding in the U.S.-North Korea situation.


Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, who is a senior adviser to the president, were both invited to Beijing by the Chinese government on Tuesday. According to the State Department, the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue will take place on Wednesday, and will "focus on the nuclear and missile threat from North Korea, the South China Sea and maritime issues, working to defeat ISIS, and other risk reduction efforts and military-to-military relations."

Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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China Chinese President Xi Jinping Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner Mexico Nafta President Donald Trump

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