Multiple media reports have blamed Ford’s latest announcement of layoffs on President Donald Trump’s tariffs.
A Ford spokesperson told Watchdog.org, however, that this is a mischaracterization.
The latest job reduction will be for salaried employees, not manufacturing employees, and is a restructuring unrelated to the tariffs.
“The reports you have read about our organization redesign work being related to external forces such as tariffs are incorrect,” Ford Motor Company spokesperson Karen Hampton told Watchdog.org.
“This is a global effort and not specific to the U.S.,” she added. “We began this effort recently as part of our CEO’s work to make us a faster, more nimble, more innovative company.”
Hampton said she wished that everyone in the media had reached out to Ford before publishing their articles.
Ford’s changes, according to a company statement, do not impact any hourly or manufacturing jobs at all. Rather, there will be changes in global salaried positions, which will also result in a total reduction of salaried employees only.
The change is intended “to support the company’s strategic objectives, create a more dynamic and empowering work environment, and become more fit as a business.”
Ford has not yet released the specific number of employees that will be lost, but said it will reveal more specifics when the time is appropriate.
Although Trump’s tariffs are not causing these layoffs, some analysts have suggested that Trump’s tariffs will force Ford and other automakers to lay off autoworkers if trade deals are not reached.
Ford has lost about $1 billion as a result of the international trade war, according to reports, and Morgan Stanley predicted Ford would have to lay off about 12 percent of its global workforce, which is 24,000 people. Ford’s stock was down 29 percent in afternoon trading.
Ford’s and other automakers’ predicament are predominantly being caused by rising steel and aluminum prices, which are a result of the trade war with other nations.
However, Trump’s recent trade deal with Canada and Mexico resulted in positive comments from multiple automakers, including Ford, for knocking down some trade barriers.
Ford has officially taken the stance that it supports policies that reduce trade barriers.
Tariffs have a very unique effect on Michigan’s economy because 40 percent of its GDP comes from exports and imports with other nations.
“It is clear from the global trade experience, scholarly evidence and economic theory that tariff increases would likely cost us more jobs than we might gain from them,” the Mackinac Center’s Senior Director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative Michael LaFaive told Watchdog.org.
“To the Trump Administration’s credit, they have made as a stated goal eliminating tariffs and subsidies and other barriers to worldwide free trade,” LaFaive said. “That is great, but in the meantime the tariffs imposed already appear to be raising the cost of doing business for many American job providers, and with some unfortunate consequences.”
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