Ford decided to cancel their plans to build a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi. And that is sounding some major alarm bells for Mexico. If Trump has this much influence before he is in office, imagine what will happen once he’s sworn in. Mexico doesn’t want to think about it.
Even as the country is being rocked by rowdy nationwide protests against a Jan. 1 gasoline price hike, the Ford news led the front pages of Mexico’s most influential newspapers Wednesday, and they tied the development directly to President-elect Donald Trump.
“Trump leaves Mexico without 3,600 jobs,” read the headline on El Universal. “Ford’s braking jolts the peso,” said Reforma, referring to the Mexican currency’s nearly 1 percent slump following the news.
“The jobs created in Mexico have contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States which otherwise would have disappeared in the face of Asian competition,” the Mexico Economy Department said.
The Mexican peso slid again Wednesday, with the Bank of Mexico’s 48-hour interbank exchange rate for the currency weakening from 21.05 to the U.S. dollar to 21.52 at the close.
Mexicans have been nervous about Trump’s tough rhetoric toward their country, including disparaging remarks about immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally and vows to wall off the border and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, upsetting ties with what is by far Mexico’s largest trading partner.