Trump threatens huge tax for Mexican-built Fords

Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president on Tuesday. So what would be one of the first things he would do if elected? Tax the heck out of Ford.

According to The Detroit News, Trump advocated instituting a specific tax against Ford products built in Mexico during a speech in New York. Rather than incentivize US production, the outspoken billionaire's proposal would penalize Mexican-built Ford vehicles and parts by 35 percent upon purchase. That would ostensibly raise the base price of a Mexican-built Ford Fiesta from $13,965 to over $18,800, and a Lincoln MKZ from $35,190 to over $47k.

He apparently made no mention of applying the same or a similar penalty to other vehicles or products imported across the border, or from other countries, raising serious questions about the legality and feasibility of instituting and enforcing the proposed measure.

Trump's remarks arrived against the backdrop of a shift in automobile production from the United States into Mexico – and specifically Ford's recent announcement that it was investing $2.5 billion and creating 3,800 jobs for its Mexican operations. Of course the Blue Oval isn't the only automaker shifting production across the border and still invests heavily in its US operations.

"We are proud that we have invested $6.2 billion in our U.S. plants since 2011 and hired nearly 25,000 U.S. employees," Ford spokesperson Christin Baker told The Detroit News. "Overall, 80 percent of our North American investment annually is in the U.S., and 97 percent of our North American engineering is conducted in the U.S."

Though Trump has generally stood against over-taxation, he's been a staunch critic of free trade agreements like NAFTA that shift American jobs overseas. Fortunately for Ford, though, America's combover-in-chief stands about as much chance of being elected to the White House as Dearborn stands of reviving Mercury or Edsel.

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