News World Donald Trump gloats after Ford scraps plans for Mexico plant, keeps jobs in US
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Donald Trump gloats after Ford scraps plans for Mexico plant, keeps jobs in US

Ford keeps jobs in America
Donald Trump was quick to trumpet the announcement by Ford. Photo: Getty
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Carmaker Ford has announced it will cancel a $US1.6 billion ($A2.2 billion) car plant planned for Mexico, and invest $US700 million ($A968 million) in a US-based assembly plant instead.

The decision by the auto giant comes amid suggestions by President-elect Donald Trump of a “border tax” on manufacturers who go offshore.

Mr Trump has been repeatedly critical of Ford’s plans to offshore certain functions to Mexico, and other manufacturers threatening to send jobs overseas.

Predictably, Mr Trump was quick to link Ford’s decision to his earlier protestations and his pro-growth policies.

Ford chief executive Mark Fields told Fox News that the company would have gone ahead with its decision, whether or not Mr Trump had been elected president.

“We’re doing this decision based on what’s right for our business,” Mr Fields said.

“As we think about the investments here in Michigan, as you can imagine … we look at a lot of factors as we make those.

“One of the factors that we’re looking at is a more positive US manufacturing business environment under president-elect Trump and some of the pro-growth policies he said he’s going to pursue. And so this is a vote of confidence.”

Meanwhile, in another apparent victory for the Trump transition team, the New York Post has reported that a wireless provider, Sprint, and satellite internet provider startup OneWeb — both controlled by a Japanese billionaire, will bring a total of 8000 jobs to the US.

However, General Motors is still in the president-elect’s crosshairs for continuing to make hatchback versions of its GM Cruze in Mexico and sell them in the US.

Things off to bad start on first day of US Congress

The Republican-led US Congress began its first session of the Trump era in turmoil on Tuesday (US time) as the House of Representatives backed away from a decision to de-fang an ethics watchdog after a public outcry, including a dressing-down from the president-elect.

With Mr Trump set to be sworn in as president on January 20, Republicans will control both the White House and Congress for the first time since 2007, and they were set to begin laying plans for enacting his agenda of cutting taxes, repealing Obamacare and rolling back financial and environmental regulations.

But the moment was overshadowed by a surprise move by Republicans in the House of Representatives in a closed-door meeting late on Monday to weaken the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which is in charge of investigating ethics accusations against lawmakers.

Mr Trump, who campaigned on a pledge to “drain the swamp” and bring ethics reforms to Washington, was not pleased.

“With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority.
Donald Trump on Twitter

“Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!”

trump and republicans off to bad start
Mr Trump’s tweet prompted an emergency meeting and a quick change of course by Republicans. Photo: Getty.

The ethics office was created in 2008 following several corruption scandals but some lawmakers have charged in recent years that it has been too quick to investigate complaints from outside partisan groups.

Lawmakers wanted to have greater control of the watchdog, and inserted changes into a broader rules package, set to pass when the House convenes on Tuesday.

Even before Mr Trump’s tweet, many House Republicans, including top leaders, opposed the measure and worried about its ramifications.

Mr Trump’s tweet prompted an emergency meeting and a quick change of course by Republicans.

“It was taken out by unanimous consent … and the House Ethics Committee will now examine those issues,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Since his election on November 8, Mr Trump has made it clear he wants to move swiftly to enact proposals he outlined during the campaign such as simplifying the tax code, slashing corporate tax rates and repealing and replacing Mr Obama’s signature health insurance program known as Obamacare.

Mr Trump kept up his attack on Obamacare on Tuesday, tweeting: “People must remember that ObamaCare just doesn’t work, and it is not affordable,” and adding, “It is lousy healthcare.”