Ford Motor's Bill Ford met with Trump over 'infuriating' attacks

Dan Harland tells us about a meeting between the Republican Presidential nominee and a top Ford executive.

WASHINGTON - Ford Motor's executive chairman revealed Wednesday that he had met with Donald Trump following the Republican presidential candidate's "infuriating" attacks on the automaker for expanding production in Mexico.

Bill Ford Jr. said he defended the company in a one-on-one meeting with the GOP nominee.

"I've had a very good meeting with him," Ford Jr. said at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. "He's a very good listener and he knows the facts."

The great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford told reporters he had met with Trump "a few months ago" after the reality TV personality and real estate baron began accusing the company of moving jobs from the U.S. to Mexico.

But Trump's attacks on Ford Motor have only escalated since then, with the nominee citing the automaker's growth in Mexico as an example of failed free-trade policies.

"Our jobs are fleeing the country. They are going to Mexico," Trump said last week during the first presidential debate. "So, Ford is leaving — thousands of jobs. Leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They are all leaving."

Ford Jr. seemed resigned to the likelihood that Trump's attacks would continue despite what he called "a great meeting" in which Trump asked "thoughtful" questions.

"The campaign trail is a different animal than anything I'm ever familiar with, so whatever he's saying he's going to say, I suppose," Ford Jr. told reporters after an on-stage interview with private equity executive David Rubenstein. "But the facts, in my mind, speak for themselves."

Ford Motor is moving production of the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max from a factory in Wayne, Mich., to Mexico in 2018 as part of a $1.6 billion investment in a plant that will create 2,800 jobs. But the automaker has vowed to preserve the Michigan jobs and says it is launching production of two new vehicles there.

Ford Motor has hired 26,000 workers and invested $12 billion in the U.S. since it narrowly avoided insolvency while competitors General Motors and Chrysler accepted federal bailouts in 2008 and 2009 and navigated bankruptcy.

"I would like to think Ford is everything that should be celebrated about what's right with the country," Ford Jr. said Wednesday. "We didn't go bankrupt, we paid back our loans, we did it the old-fashioned way, we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps."

(2016 © USA TODAY)


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