Although Ford and General Motors canceled some of their investments in Mexico, on Friday the directors of both companies met in Mexico with the Mexican Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, where they talked about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Guajardo traveled to the city of Detroit to report on Mexico’s plan to modernize NAFTA, which US President Donald Trump wants to renegotiate, and to engage with leaders in the automotive and auto parts industry – including Ford, General Motors, Nexteer and BorgWarner – on the benefits they have had due to the trade agreement.
Trump has proposed a reinvention of the US trade relationship with Mexico, and cautioned to impose border taxes to pay for a border wall, thus generating uncertainty among companies that have production lines in Mexico. Guajardo did not elaborate on Friday’s meeting, the first high-level event following the announcement that automakers would give in to pressure from Trump to keep its production lines in the United States.
Automakers have argued that their decisions were not influenced by Trump, but came just at a time when the president was pointing the export of jobs to Mexico.
In January Ford canceled an investment of $1.6 billion for the construction of a plant in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí. Days later, General Motors announced the transfer of its production from Mexico to the United States.