CEO Says Trump’s Metal Tariffs Cost Ford $1 Billion

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Not including Trump's tariffs on parts and electronics that may find their way into vehicles, the CEO of Ford Motor Company says Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum have cost the company at least $1 billion.

Ironically, CEO James Hackett says the primary reason why it has cost them so much money is because most of what they use is produced in America.

“From Ford’s perspective the metals tariffs took about $1 billion in profit from us,” CEO James Hackett said at a Bloomberg conference in New York, “The irony of which is we source most of that in the U.S. today anyway. If it goes on any longer, it will do more damage.” [...]

Higher U.S. steel prices have resulted in “hundreds of millions of dollars” in additional annual costs, Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, told the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, even as more than 90 percent of steel in its vehicles assembled in the United States is made domestically.

Trump's tariffs on foreign metal have raised prices for automakers who primarily use domestic metal because the tariffs have increased the price of domestic metal.

Actually, that's the whole idea. The reason you impose tariffs on foreign metal is to increase demand for domestic metal and, theoretically, increase employment in the metal industry.

That's not what's happening. The price of domestic metal has increased, but the increased profits are not being being passed down to workers and the industry has not gone on a hiring spree.

Even the most generous estimates say Trump's tariffs on foreign metal will kill far more jobs in associated industries that use metal than it will create in the America metal industry. At the end of the day, you're killing hundreds of other jobs just to create one. A premium political value has been assigned to one job in the steel industry at the expense of jobs in factories that make washing machines, cars, or soda cans.

Vice News recently spoke to steel workers who are angry because Trump's tariffs have been good for company executives and shareholders but not for them.

And yes, I want to shake these guys for believing the hype. This self-described "right wing guy" deserves whatever happens for believing in Trump, one of the biggest snake oil salesmen in history.

  • muselet

    If we’re all very lucky, the US auto industry—and other industries using materials and components subject to the Trump Tariffs—will survive Donald Trump.

    I don’t blame the steelworkers for threatening to strike, but I do wonder if more than a handful of them has paid attention to the past, oh, forty years of R rhetoric about “supply-side economics.” If you’re not wealthy and you vote R, you’re a chump.