Bill Ford Jr. defends company against Trump’s Mexico attacks

Bill Ford Jr. defends company against Trump’s Mexico attacks
© Getty Images

The great-grandson of Henry Ford vehemently defended his family's company against recent attacks from the campaign trail after Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE blasted the automaker for pledging new investments in Mexico.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ford Motor Co. executive chairman Bill Ford Jr., speaking at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, said Trump’s criticism of the automaker's plan to shift its North American small-car production to Mexico was “frustrating” and “infuriating.”

“We didn’t go bankrupt. We paid back our loans. We did it the old-fashioned way: We pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps,” Ford said. “He and others should look at us and say that’s how you do business.”

Ford added that he actually met with Trump to explain the company’s investments in Mexico.

He called the Republican presidential nominee a “very good listener” but wouldn’t speculate on whether he thought Trump had changed his mind.

“Who knows what the campaign trail is all about,” Ford said. “I certainly don’t.”

Trump said during an event in Flint, Mich., last month that "we shouldn’t allow” the Ford move to happen.

"They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands of people, not from this country, and they’ll sell their car across the border," the real estate mogul said. "When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we’re also sending our tax base."

Ford emphasized that the move would not affect U.S. jobs because the automaker would be putting new vehicles into the Michigan plants. He also pointed out that Ford has invested $12 billion and hired 26,000 people in the U.S. since 2011.

Christin Baker, a spokeswoman for the company, has also noted that the plan was a part of contract negotiations with the United Autoworkers. As part of those negotiations, Ford is also set to invest $9 billion in U.S. plants, including in 11 facilities in Michigan.

“I would like to think Ford is everything that is right with the country,” Ford said.