Trump proposes 35 percent tax on foreign-produced cars

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE on Thursday said he would impose a 35 percent tax on any cars that are produced by U.S. companies overseas and then sent to the United States. 

“Basically, when they make their car and they think they’re going to get away with this, and they fire all their employees in the United States, [and] they move to Mexico, when that car comes back across the border into our country that now comes in free, we’re going to charge them a 35 percent tax,” he said on “Fox and Friends.”

“They’re never going to leave. They’ll never leave in a million years. And if they want to leave, we’re going to make a lot of money, because they’ll have to pay the tax."

The Republican presidential nominee's vow comes a day after he repeated his criticism of Ford, which plans to move its small-car production operations to Mexico. 

Ford argued that the shift would not reduce its U.S. employment because of other investments it is making in its U.S. facilities, which will continue to produce trucks, vans, SUVs and other cars in the United States. 

“It’s unfortunate that politics are getting in the way of the facts,” Ford spokeswoman Christin Baker told The Hill. "We have more hourly employees in the U.S. than any other automaker, and we produce more vehicles here than anyone.

“Ford’s investment in the U.S. and American jobs is stronger than ever, and we’re very proud to have invested $12 billion in our U.S. plants and created 28,000 U.S. jobs over the last five years.”

Trump has repeatedly hammered Ford as evidence that international trade deals are hurting the American economy.

The billionaire on Thursday said his criticism of companies like Ford is boosting his appeal in states with auto-manufacturing backgrounds.

“I’ve been saying for five years that this was going to happen. That’s why I’m doing well in Michigan. That’s why I’m doing well in Ohio.”

Polls show Trump either behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin Anti-Trump protests outside White House continue into fifth night Opera singers perform outside White House during fourth day of protests MORE or in a tight race between the pair in Ohio.