Those who were hoping that the campaign promises of Donald Trump were just more of what is typical during the political process, empty promises that are made in the pursuit of votes and quickly forgotten, are realizing that is not the case. Those who are waking up to the new reality include many reading their morning papers across Mexico.
Ford Motor Company’s cancellation of plans to build a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi has made believers south of the border, within our own nation and around the globe. The headline on El Universal read, “Trump leaves Mexico without 3,600 jobs.” Reforma proclaimed “Ford’s braking jolts the peso,” which took a nearly 1 percent drop following the news.
In espousing the distorted logic that nations must rely upon when they are engaged in hostility that they won’t admit to, the Mexico Economy Department said, “The jobs created in Mexico have contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States which otherwise would have disappeared in the face of Asian competition.”
That’s total nonsense, some of the jobs created in Mexico previously existed or would have been created in the United States. As for Asian competition somehow being more damaging than that from Mexico, the only benefit is that some illegals might go back home. Otherwise, once the job leaves our soil, what difference does it make who has it?
Mexico analyst Alejandro Hope said the decision not to build the Ford plant and Trump’s pressure on General Motors should be a “much-needed wake-up call.” He said it shows “how much actual leverage Trump has within specific companies, which is far greater than what Mexican elites thought until recently. They claimed that at the end of the day economic interests would prevail over political messaging. That’s clearly not the case.”
El Universal recalled the deal Trump made with Carrier to keep 800 of 1,300 jobs at an Indiana furnace factory from being relocated to Mexico, in exchange for millions of dollars in tax incentives. It was also implicitly critical of the lack of an adequate response by the Mexican government’s to the incoming Trump administration.
The paper wrote, “Mexico loses thousands of jobs with no word on a clear strategy for confronting the next U.S. government which has presented itself as protectionist and, especially, anti-Mexican. Trump will try to recover as many U.S. companies that have set up in Mexico as possible. He will try to make them return at whatever cost, through threats or using public resources.”
That’s good for America, which is the country he was elected to lead. It’s laughable how they incorporate a double standard, berating their president for not acting in Mexico’s interest and ours for doing what’s best for American jobs into the same sentence without any hint that they recognize their hypocrisy.
The daily publication La Jornada said, “Ford’s decision is indicative of what awaits the economies of both countries. For ours a severe decrease in investment from our neighboring country, and for the U.S. a notable increase in their production costs.” And manufacturing jobs, don’t forget to mention that, La Jornada, as “sincere” as your concern for the bottom line of those American companies must be.
Hope more decisions such as that of Ford to be ahead. He noted that while the loss of a single plant would not likely fundamentally change the U.S.-Mexico economic relationship, “it certainly shows that the idea that the status quo was entrenched was false.” He added, “This should put us on notice that when he says that he wants to renegotiate NAFTA, he means it.”
The foreign ticks and fleas are figuring it out. The free ride at the expense of the American people is over. We’ve got a real American president on deck, representing us for a change.
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