News that Ford Motor Company is cancelling its plans to build a $1.6 billion car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico has many Maquiladora workers scared that America will take jobs from Mexicans.
President-elect Donald Trump promised to bring back manufacturing jobs from places like Mexico, regularly using examples of U.S. companies who have moved overseas, or who had plans to outsource American jobs in the near future.
The prevailing perception in Mexico is that Trump is making good on his campaign promise to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States at the expense of Mexican workers, according to Christopher Sherman of the Associated Press.
“It was on orders of Mr. Trump,” says Higinio Salazar, a Mexican worker who planned on the factory for long-term work, told the Associated Press.
While Ford insisted that its decision to cancel its $1.6 billion Mexico plant was not part of a “special deal” with the president-elect, CEO Mark Fields told CNN that its decision to instead invest $700 million in new car productions in Michigan is a “vote of confidence” in the pro-business environment shaping under Trump’s leadership.
Many companies have faced scorn from President-elect Trump over plans to ship jobs overseas. Trump’s willingness to publicly shame Fortune 500 companies for outsourcing jobs is unprecedented. (RELATED: Trump Calls Out Toyota For Plans To Build In Mexico)
Also of possible concern to Mexican workers watching the incoming administration is the fact that a vast majority of Mexican-made automobiles are exported, and all of the production is sourced from foreign automobile manufacturers.
General Motors led vehicle exports from Mexico with 495,790, followed by Nissan (464,877), Fiat Chrysler America (404,160) and Ford (351,691), according to the Mexican Automobile Industry Association. Toyota, which Trump call out Thursday for its plan to build a new plant in Mexico, was ninth in the country for auto exports, with 124,439 vehicles.
No U.S. factories moving south of the border, means no auto jobs for many Mexicans.
Trump visited Mexico during his presidential campaign in August, 2016, and during a press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, reaffirmed his commitment to build a wall between the two countries.