WASHINGTON - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is praising Fiat-Chrysler after the automaker announced plans to spend $1 billion on new manufacturing operations in the U.S. industrial heartland.
Fiat-Chrysler, the third biggest U.S. carmaker, said Sunday it would expand its plants in Ohio and Michigan, to produce new sports utility and pickup truck models, while adding 2,000 jobs.
The announcement came days after the No. 2 U.S. automaker, Ford Motor, said it was scrapping its expansion plans in Mexico and instead would spend $700 million to expand its U.S. operations and add 700 jobs.
"It's finally happening," Trump said in a Twitter message Monday after the Fiat-Chrysler announcement. "Thank you Ford and Fiat C!"
Ford said last week that it will expand in Michigan and U.S. instead of building a BILLION dollar plant in Mexico. Thank you Ford & Fiat C!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
Trump had in recent days attacked General Motors, the biggest U.S. auto manufacturer, and Toyota, the world's largest, after they announced they were adding to their operations in Mexico. The president-elect threatened to impose a hefty border tax if GM and Toyota try to send the new vehicles back to U.S. car dealers to sell.
Trump assumes power when he is inaugurated January 20.
During his lengthy presidential campaign, the Republican vowed to impose a 35 percent tax on products made overseas by American companies and then sent back to the U.S. for sale. But he would need congressional approval for any new tariffs, with many of Trump's fellow Republicans favoring free trade, which he says costs U.S. workers their jobs as American manufacturers look for cheaper labor in other countries.