A Ford Motor Co. Expedition sports utility vehicle (SUV) sits parked outside of the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Apple, Ford Urged by Trump to Move Jobs Home. They Probably Won’t.

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump insists his trade war with China will spur more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Two of the companies he’s targeted -- Apple Inc. and Ford Motor Co. -- disagree.

In a tweet Sunday, Trump said Ford’s decision not to import a new crossover vehicle from China means the Focus Active “can now be built in the U.S.A.”

The automaker has already said that it has no plans to manufacture the vehicle in the U.S. Ford announced on Aug. 31 that the Trump administration’s 25 percent levy on China-built autos undermined the profitability of importing it.

Ford stood by its decision on Sunday.

“It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment,” Mike Levine, a spokesman for the company, tweeted in response to the president’s post.

A day earlier, the president exhorted Apple to start building new plants in the U.S. after the tech giant warned that a proposed $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports would jack up the price of its products.

“Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower U.S. growth and competitiveness and higher prices for U.S. consumers,” Apple said in a Sept. 5 letter to the Office of U.S. Trade Representative. It asked the government to come up with other measures to bolster the economy. Back in May, CEO Tim Cook told Trump that duties “were not the right approach.”

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

Apple, Ford Urged by Trump to Move Jobs Home. They Probably Won’t.
Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China - but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive. Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting! #MAGA

Sent via Twitter for iPhone.

View original tweet.

The U.S. has imposed $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods with another $200 billion in the final stages. The public had until Sept. 6 to comment on the administration’s plan. Trump said Friday he is considering another $267 billion of tariffs on China, which analysts said will affect virtually every category of consumer goods, to retaliate against what he calls unfair trade practices.

In Ford’s case, pulling the plug on the low-volume Focus Active won’t be hugely significant to its business because it sells more than 2.5 million vehicles annually in its home market. But automakers may cull other vehicles as well if Trump continues to escalate trade wars with the likes of China, Europe and even Canada.

Ford has already announced it will eventually stop selling all passenger cars in the U.S. except the Mustang so that it can better whet Americans’ appetite for larger -- and profitable -- trucks and sport utility vehicles. Ford had planned earlier to move production of the Focus to Mexico, drawing rebukes from Trump leading up to the 2016 election. Last year, the company announced the plan to shift production to China.

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