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According to several business reports last week, Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) is exiting from Japan and Indonesia. It will shutter operations in both countries by the end of this year, having determined there is "no path to profitability.""It has become clear that there is no path to sustained profitability, nor will there be an acceptable return over time from our investments in Japan or Indonesia," Karen Hampton, Ford's Asia-Pacific spokeswoman, told Bloomberg Business on Jan. 25.

Clare Goldsberry

February 3, 2016

2 Min Read
Ford exits from Japan and Indonesia after seeing no path to profitability

According to several business reports last week, Ford Motor Co. (Dearborn, MI) is exiting from Japan and Indonesia. It will shutter operations in both countries by the end of this year, having determined there is "no path to profitability."

"It has become clear that there is no path to sustained profitability, nor will there be an acceptable return over time from our investments in Japan or Indonesia," Karen Hampton, Ford's Asia-Pacific spokeswoman, told Bloomberg Business on Jan. 25.

OfframpThe Hill reported that two congressional Democrats blamed Ford's exit from Japan on the "lack of currency manipulation provisions in the sweeping Asia-Pacific trade deal." Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), "who are both opposed to the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that includes Japan, said the agreement doesn't crack down on exchange rate policies or remove barriers to Tokyo's auto industry that would help U.S. manufacturers," wrote The Hill.

Ford has called on the White House to "renegotiate the TPP and add enforceable rules prohibiting currency manipulation," The Hill said.

The report noted that Ford sold fewer than 5,000 cars in Japan last year. Steve Biegun, Ford Vice President, International Government Affairs, "has long argued for currency policies that give U.S. automakers a better shot of selling more cars in the Japanese market," said The Hill report.

In a blog post on the topic, the Alliance for American Manufacturing wrote, "the ink isn't even dry and we are already seeing proof that this massive agreement will sell out American workers and roll back the remarkable recovery of our auto industry."

It would seem that recent "free-trade" agreements negotiated and celebrated by the current administration as a win for the United States and the American worker are not being seen in the same light by American manufacturers. Maybe it's time to step back and rethink just how beneficial the TPP really is—or if it's another one-sided deal that strikes one more blow to U.S. workers.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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