Ford’s top executives slam Trump travel ban
Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford and President and CEO Mark Fields said President Donald Trump’s travel ban “goes against our values as a company.”
In a joint statement shared with employees Monday, Ford and Fields said the company does not support Trump’s executive order issued Friday, which banned those from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days.
“Respect for all people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we are proud of the rich diversity of our company here at home and around the world,” said Ford and Fields. “That is why we do not support this policy or any other that goes against our values as a company. We are not aware, to date, of any Ford employees directly affected by this policy. We will continue working to ensure the well-being of our employees by promoting the values of respect and inclusion in the workplace.”
The statement comes a day after Bloomberg News published a report about automakers remaining silent on the issue.
Trump’s order spurred thousands to protest outside and inside Detroit Metro Airport on Sunday evening. Protests at other airports were held around the country.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors Co. declined to comment on the travel ban.
When asked by reporters Monday in Detroit, Mark Reuss, GM’s head of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, declined to comment directly on the ban and whether GM had been impacted.
“I’m very, very proud of General Motors. We’re a global company,” he said. “I think we have probably a really good representation of people from completely different backgrounds, culture, race, gender. I’m very proud of that.”
United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams said in a statement Monday that the union would not exist if immigrants hadn’t joined non-immigrants in fighting “for the rights we cherish today.”
“We must protect national security while remaining true to the very values that have made us a great nation,” he said. “The UAW opposes discrimination of any kind and denounces any policy that judges people based on their religion or nation of origin.”
Elon Musk, Tesla Motors Inc. founder and CEO, tweeted on Friday that entry bans are not “the best way to address the country’s challenges.”
“Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the U.S.,” Musk wrote. “They've done right, not wrong and don't deserve to be rejected.”
Musk is one of over two dozen business leaders advising Trump as part of the president’s manufacturing jobs initiative. He is also a part of Trump’s “strategic and policy forum,” which will give input on job creation and the economy.
The Ford statement comes a week after Fields spent two days in Washington, D.C., meeting with Trump on manufacturing and auto and environmental regulations.
Fields said then that Ford was encouraged by the president and his economic policies, including his order Monday to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“We’ve been very vocal both as an industry and as a company, and we’ve repeatedly said that the mother of all trade barriers is currency manipulation, and TPP failed in meaningfully dealing with that, and we appreciate the president’s courage to walk away from a bad trade deal,” Fields said. “I think as an industry, we’re excited about working together with the president and his administration on tax policies, on regulation and on trade to really create a renaissance in American manufacturing.”
Trump in early January took credit for Ford’s decision to cancel plans for a $1.6-billion plant in Mexico and instead invest $700 million at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan.
Ford said at the 2017 North American International Auto Show that he’d been in touch with Trump before the company announced the plans. He also said Trump did not play a part in the company’s decision.
“We made that decision,” Ford said. “It was the right decision for us. It was a business decision. We’ll always make the right business decision for Ford. But I think it’s important that we inform him of that, it’s important that we understand his policies and where he’s going.”