Trump claims credit for Ford investment plans that predated his election


President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed direct credit for a Ford investment in the United States that was largely planned since 2015.

"That was not going to happen, believe me, if I didn't win," Trump said of Ford's investment during a town hall with CEOs at the White House.

Last week, the White House heavily promoted Ford's announcement that it would put $1.2 billion into three Michigan plants, planning to create or retain 130 jobs at one of those facilities.

Still, more than 70 percent of that investment was part of a previously announced project.

About $850 million of Ford's announcement was part of the company's $9 billion investment in its U.S. facilities, first announced in 2015 as part of its contract with the United Auto Workers, said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president for the Americas. About $200 million of the new investment is for a data center.

Trump has pushed automakers and other companies to produce their products in the U.S., saying those efforts will boost American manufacturing and create jobs. He has repeatedly threatened penalties for American companies that make products abroad and try to sell them at home, doing so again Tuesday.

Ford, General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler have made U.S. jobs announcements since Trump won the presidential election in November, and he has repeatedly touted their plans. On Tuesday, he again highlighted those announcements, saying American automakers are "staying here."

However, many of those projects were in the works well before Trump won the presidency.

Since taking office, Trump has met with Ford CEO Mark Fields, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.