President Donald Trump on Sunday suggested via Twitter that American automaker Ford could begin making its Focus model in the U.S., and therefore circumvent his tariffs.
But, Ford hit back at Trump, rebuffing his claims, and refusing his offer, the New York Times reports.
“It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment.”
In August, Ford announced it had killed its plan to import the new Focus, citing Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports as the reason for the maneuver. According to the automaker, the levies President Trump is threatening to impose on China-imported vehicles would be simply too much for the company.
Today, however, apart from contradicting Trump, Ford said that it would be adding hybrids, trucks, electric models, and utility vehicles to its U.S. lineup, in an effort to hit the 10 profit percent margin.
For President Trump, this is the second tweet aimed at American companies in two days. Yesterday, as the Inquisitr reported, Trump told Apple that it should make their products in the United States, and therefore bypass his tariffs. The president’s comment came after Apple expressed dissatisfaction with the trade war the Trump administration has been escalating with China.
“It is difficult to see how tariffs that hurt U.S. companies and U.S. consumers will advance the Government’s objectives with respect to China’s technology policies. We hope, instead, that you will reconsider these measures and work to find other, more effective solutions that leave the U.S. economy and U.S. consumer stronger and healthier than ever before,” Apple said.
“Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs.” CNBC. This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
Trump tweeted the Ford Focus "...can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!" The carmaker has responded that's not going to happen as it wouldn't be "profitable" https://t.co/GplGyQabbz— KTLA (@KTLA) September 9, 2018
With Ford joining Apple in criticizing President Trump’s tariffs, the pressure on the administration to back down and de-escalate the trade war is perhaps greater than ever. While Democrats, and the American left, rarely shy away from criticizing the president, even some conservatives and Republicans have criticized Trump’s trade policies.
For instance, as CNBC reported, the Koch Network launched a six-figure ad campaign, meant to campaign against Trump’s tariffs.
Furthermore, as the Huffington Post reported, citing federal statistics, U.S. trade deficit with China, and the European Union has jumped to a five-month high, in spite of the tariffs. Trump has refused to back down before, so it remains to be seen whether Ford’s most recent statements will inspire him to de-escalate tensions.
Auto industry analyst Ed Kim told the Guardian that Trump’s tariffs have, effectively, ruined Ford’s plan for the Focus.
“Without the tariffs, the business case was pretty solid for that model in the U.S. market,” Kim said.