DETROIT (WWJ) – Ford Motor Co. was the first major automaker to make a statement about the Trump administration’s immigration changes.
In the statement, attributed to Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Mark Fields, Ford said the company isn’t on board with President Donald Trump’s executive action over the weekend —banning travel to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries, while also putting a hold on admittance of any refugees for 120 days.
The statement, as follows, was shared by Ford internally and with the media on Monday,
“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.”
Ford is based in Dearborn, which is home to one of the largest Arab-American populations in the U.S.
In a separate statement from UAW leadership, UAW President Dennis Williams said that the union opposes discrimination. He adds that the U.S. is “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.”
Trump in the past criticized Ford and other U.S. automakers for importing cars from Mexico and has threatened tariffs of 35 percent on those cars. He later praised Ford, taking some credit when the company said it would scrap plans to build a new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico.
Fields, who sat down twice with Trump at the White House last week, said the meetings were “very positive.” Trump’s message was that he’s willing to help these business leaders with things like tax cuts, but he wants American jobs in return.
Speaking following an announcement involving fuel cell systems, General Motors Product Development Chief Mark Royce declined to comment directly on Trump’s policy, but told reporters:
“I’m very, very proud of General Motors; we’re a global company and we have, I think we have, probably a really good representation of people from completely different backgrounds, cultures, race, gender.”
(GM and Honda Monday announced they will jointly build fuel cell systems at a plant in Brownstown Township in 2020, adding about 100 jobs).
Trump, in a statement Sunday, defended his executive actions, stressing that he has not ordered what some have called a “Muslim ban.” He said it’s not about religion, but about protections U.S. citizens from terror.
“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave,” the president said. [Read more here].