Donald Trump is wrong about Ford and Mexico

Schwarzman: Trump is 2016's P.T. Barnum
Schwarzman: Trump is 2016's P.T. Barnum

Donald Trump is taking credit for forcing Ford to shift production of medium-duty trucks from Mexico to Ohio. One problem: Ford made that decision four years ago.

And Ford's $2.5 billion engine and transmission plant in Mexico, which Trump cites often as an example of America losing jobs, is going ahead as planned, Ford said.

Neither of those facts stopped Trump from taking a victory lap on Monday.

"I brought [Ford's Mexican investment plans] up in so many speeches, and frankly I think I embarrassed 'em," he told a crowd in New Hampshire. "But Ford is now gonna build a massive plant in the United States, and every single person, even my harshest critics gave me credit for it."

On Sunday night, Trump tweeted "word is that Ford Motor" will cancel plans to build a new plant in Mexico.

Trump didn't stop at one tweet: "Do you think I will get credit for keeping Ford in U.S. Who cares, my supporters know the truth. Think what can be done as president!" and "Do you think Hillary, Ben or Jeb could do this?"

But in fact Ford said Monday that none of its plans have changed.

"Ford has not spoken with Mr. Trump, nor have we made any changes to our plans," said a statement from the company.

"We decided to move the F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks to Ohio Assembly in 2011, long before any candidates announced their intention to run for U.S. president," Ford said.

Ford added that it has invested $10.2 billion in U.S. plants since 2011 -- more than four times what it has invested in Mexico and Canada.

The October 2011 Ford announcement that it would move production of those trucks to Ohio was part of a labor deal with the United Auto Workers union.

The move saved about 1,000 jobs in Ohio. The first of the trucks built in that plant started rolling off the production line in August.

Automakers have been promising to shift work from Mexico and overseas to unionized plants in the U.S. as part of recent labor deals. Because of those guarantees, Ford added more than 12,000 U.S. hourly jobs in the last four years.

Related: U.S. auto industry doesn't need Donald Trump's help

Even with that shift of work to U.S. plants, GM (GM) has invested or plans to invest $5 billion in Mexican plants between 2013 and 2018. Fiat Chrysler announced more than $1 billion in Mexican plant investments two years ago.

But all three automakers are investing in their U.S. plants and adding workers here at the same time.

There is one Republican presidential candidate who can claim partial credit for Ford's decision to shift production of pickups to Ohio. That's Ohio Governor John Kasich, who helped pass tax cuts for Ford's Ohio plant a couple months after the UAW deal.

"Together Ohio brought Ford back from Mexico," Kasich tweeted on Sunday. "Our country needs real leadership and not empty, false rhetoric."

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