Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, and Bill Ford Jr., Executive Chairman at Ford, both just weighed in on President Donald Trump’s latest executive order signed on Friday. The executive order effectively barred citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, while also preventing the entry of all refugees for 120 days.
The Ford Motor Company is located in Dearborn, Michigan, an area home to a large Arab American and Muslim population. So far no reports have shown whether any Ford employees have been directly affected by this travel ban. In a joint statement sent to Ford employees the top executives stated the following:
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. 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.
This adds to the complicated relationship between Ford Motor Company and the 45th President of the United States. Back in early January, Trump had taken the credit for Ford’s decision to cancel their $1.6 billion in Mexico and instead to invest $700 million to improve their Flat Rock, Michigan plant. And more recently, Mark Fields had sided with the President regarding the U.S. desire to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership deal:
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. 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.
As more automakers are becoming more global entities, and selling more and more cars overseas, it’s in the best interest for them to come out quickly and show support for inclusive policies, while shunning those that discriminate and promote isolationist ideals. The United Auto Workers have also joined in on expressing their thoughts on the latest travel ban:
We are a nation of immigrants and our union would not exist if immigrants and non-immigrants alike hadn’t fought in solidarity 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. The UAW opposes discrimination of any kind and denounces any policy that judges people based on their religion or nation of origin.
No other automaker in Detroit has commented on the travel ban just yet, but we envision an announcement will be made sooner than later.