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Ford will import Focus from China, not Mexico

Chris O'Meara/AP

Ford announced plans Tuesday to import its compact Focus model from China, after scrapping a proposal earlier this year to expand a plant in Mexico. The planned Mexico facility had been roundly criticized by President Trump during last year's campaign, and the economics of the Mexico plant have been called into question as the Trump administration considers changes to NAFTA that could eliminate the advantage of producing in Mexico relative to China.

A blow to U.S. auto workers: Profit margins for sales of compact cars in the U.S. are thin, so it makes little sense for Ford to expand production of the Focus in the U.S. But when such cars are built in Mexico rather than China, they are typically sourced with American-made auto parts, supporting at least some domestic employment. The vast majority of parts for Chinese-built cars are made in China.

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