The Current

Corporations brace for Trump's impact on Canadian manufacturing

Manufacturing companies are having to devise new strategies to deal with the U.S. president-elect, considering a tweet from Trump has the power to move markets.
During the 2016 election campaign, Trump repeatedly called for the end of NAFTA. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

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Ford Motor Company announced Tuesday it is cancelling plans to build a factory in Mexico — instead investing about 700 million U.S. dollars in a Michigan assembly plant to build self-driving and electric cars.

"One of the factors we looked at was the more positive U.S. manufacturing environment under president-elect Trump. We're looking at some of the pro-growth policies that he's been talking about. So, clearly this is a vote of confidence," said Ford president and CEO Mark Fields on why they made the move.

When it comes to corporations adjusting to the new reality of an incoming Trump administration, Ford is far from alone.

Ford president and CEO, Mark Fields, addresses the Flat Rock Assembly Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, in Flat Rock, Mich. Ford is cancelling plans to build a factory in Mexico, instead adding 700 new jobs to a Michigan plant. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)

The president-elect has also taken GM and Toyota to task on Twitter —  targeting the automakers for producing cars in Mexico, and threatening them with heavy border taxes. 

Following those tweets, both company share prices dipped.

"We're in an age of disruption. We're in an age where the president elect — soon to be president — has the ability to move share price, share value — potentially by billions of dollars — in a day," says Richard Levick chairman and CEO of communications firm, Levick. 

"Many of his facts, many of his tweets, are incorrect … Most of these tweets are emotional, but it still works."

In an era where 140 characters can sink a stock price, manufacturers find themselves navigating a landscape that's far from business as usual.

But The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti gets the insider tips from Richard Levick, who advises businesses on how to negotiate the new reality, and gauges what this shift means for Canadian manufacturing.  

Trump and the auto sector

5 years ago
8:44
Cyndee Todgham Cherniak, founding lawyer at LexSage, on the incoming president's pressure on the auto sector 8:44

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this post. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Willow Smith and Sarah Grant. 

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