Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ford mulls more China production

Ford mulls more China production

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Joseph Hinrichs speaks at a press conference at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. AFP

Ford mulls more China production

FORD is looking at speeding up plans to build more Lincoln models in Chinese plants amid the growing trade war with the United States that has made US exports less attractive, a senior executive said Monday.

Joseph Hinrichs, Ford’s executive vice president for global operations, said he did not see any easy resolution to the trade dispute between the United States and China.

President Donald Trump on Monday imposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, prompting swift retaliation from Beijing on $60 billion in US products.

“We have long been advocates for balanced and free trade,” Hinrichs said. “We continue to encourage both the US administration and the Chinese government that it’s in everyone’s interest to work out their differences.”

But, he said, “I believe this US-China discussion will go on for a while.”

The increasing exchange of tariffs makes it difficult to plan for the future and with tariffs on vehicles exported to China now reaching 40 per cent there is no business case for exporting vehicles from the United States, he said.

“China is a core businesses for us,” he said, but added, “You’re talking about two very powerful economies so we’re going to have to plan accordingly.”

The company has been planning to launch new vehicles in China to halt its recent slide in that market, he said.

Ford recently announced it was scrapping plans to import the compact Focus model from Chinese plants into the US market due to the tariffs.

Hinrichs also said he hoped a breakthrough on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement could be achieved this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to keep Canada in the continental trade pact.

“We need a three-way auto agreement,” Hinrichs said, noting that the deal struck last month between the United States and Mexico could serve as a basis for a more complete agreement that includes Canada.

“I’m worried a little bit that time will catch up with us,” he said at a luncheon, noting that he had spent more time in Washington DC working on trade issues than ever before.

US and Canadian negotiators have spent more than a month trying to resolve remaining differences after Washington sealed a tentative deal with Mexico City which they intend to sign by December 1, when a new government takes office.

The auto industry is key to NAFTA and the free trade deal is critical to the North American supply chain.

Hinrichs said that while “the language of US-Mexico trade agreement should work for Canada” in the auto sector, the remaining sticking points centered on other topics like timber, dairy and cultural issues.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,