Bloomberg News is reporting that Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford Motor Co., is open to brokering a deal with President-elect Donald Trump to keep jobs in the United States.
Ford’s CEO indicated he’s looking for a turnaround in the sort of overbearing government regulation that Trump campaigned against, including fuel standards put in place by the Obama administration and the EPA in 2012. As Bloomberg reported:
“We will be very clear in the things we’d like to see,” Mark Fields said in an exclusive interview at Bloomberg offices in Southfield, Michigan. “We’ll continue to advocate for currency-manipulation rules to promote free and fair trade. One of our priorities is making sure fuel-economy standards reflect market realities, tax reform in general we would be very supportive of, and the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles.”
Just two days ago, the Washington Post reported that the Obama EPA was holding firm on the fuel standard regulations it put in place that Ford’s CEO says don’t “reflect market realities.” WaPo wrote:
The Obama administration says it plans to stick with strict fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for the model years 2022 to 2025, despite protests from some automakers and concern about how the incoming Trump administration might alter them.
Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy on Wednesday proposed leaving the current standards in place, saying an extensive technical analysis had shown that automakers are well positioned to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets that were established in 2012 with the goal of reducing pollution and nearly doubling fuel economy.
The mention of autonomous vehicles by Fields shows the company’s commitment to emerging auto technology. Ford said in August that it is shifting some of its business strategy to focus on driverless cars to operate as taxis, competing with startups such as Google’s Alphabet and Uber. Ford plans to have vehicles with no steering wheel, gas, or brake pedals on the road by 2021.
The announcement by a major U.S. auto maker that it would work with Trump to save American jobs comes on the heels of the announcement by air conditioning maker Carrier that it would keep 1,000 jobs in the U.S. that the company was planning to movfe to Mexico.
Although the Carrier deal was hailed by Trump supporters as well as workers, who sent messages of thanks to POTUS-elect Trump, it was criticized by some in the media and by a Mexican official who called the deal “worthy of a banana republic.”
Ford CEO Fields told Bloomberg that he felt there were important differences between Ford and Carrier, saying that the regulatory changes he was proposing “would impact the entire industry, as opposed to giving special deals to individual companies.”
Ford currently has about 8,800 workers in Mexico but employees 85,000 in the United States.