Ford rules out building Focus Active in US

Mae Love
September 10, 2018

In a statement Sunday in the wake of tweets by President Trump, Ford said production of its Focus Active hatchback won't be coming back to the U.S.

As The New York Times notes, it was the second such tweet in as many days, after Trump on Saturday called on Apple to begin making iPhones in the us if it wanted to avoid import tariffs. "This auto can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!".

Ford spokesman Michael Levine said the Focus Active is built in Europe.

World shares were flirting with their longest run of declines since early 2016 on Monday, hit by rising anxiety about the U.S.

Mr. Trump presumably learned about Ford's decision to cancel the Focus Active from a TV news program and inferred the announcement meant that Ford would build the CUV in America.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for a comment on Trump's latest broadside.

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Tension has also persisted over limits on USA firms' access to Chinese markets, intellectual property protection, technology transfers and investment.

But if Apple shifted to building its iPhones in the U.S. instead of China, it would require "20 percent price increases to offset the incremental labor costs", Bank of America Merrill Lynch told clients on Monday.

The plan, said industry analyst Ed Kim of AutoPacific, was to pare down the Focus lineup to Active wagons and import them from China.

Ford has already announced it will eventually stop selling all passenger cars in the USA except the Mustang, in favor of meeting Americans' appetite for large - and profitable - trucks and SUVs. China has retaliated and both countries threaten more tariffs.

Despite tariffs hitting the Chinese economy, exports to the United States are still showing relative resilience and that will be something that will continue to draw the ire of Trump in this whole dispute.

The technology sector is one of the biggest potential losers in the $200 billion tariff list proposed by Washington on Chinese imports because the tariffs would make imported computer parts more expensive.

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