The “Trump Effect” continues into the new year as the president-elect influences corporate decisions even before he takes the oath of office.

With Inauguration Day still more than two weeks away, Donald Trump has already made an impact on air conditioning giant Carrier’s decision to move a plant to Mexico, which keeps between 800 and 1,200 jobs – employees and their families – in the United States, and now he’s turning his attention to automakers.

Trump took to his favorite communication method – Twitter – to warn General Motors on the consequences it would face if it followed through with announced plans to assemble its “Chevy Cruze” models in Mexico and sell them in the U.S.

“General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers – tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning as the business world went back to work after the New Year’s Day holiday on Monday.

Although GM didn’t respond to Trump’s tweet, hours later, the President and CEO of Ford, Mark Fields, made the announcement that it is canceling plans to build a $1.6 million plant in Mexico and expand production in Michigan.

The announcement gave the president-elect a reason for a follow-up tweet that, although not specifically mentioning the Ford decision, reinforced the campaign message that resonated with voters in November.

“Instead of driving jobs and wealth away, AMERICA will become the world’s great magnet for INNOVATION & JOB CREATION.”

Ford’s Michigan plant has 3,500 employees, who will retain their jobs, in addition to another 700 that will be created as a result of the decision.

When asked if Trump’s tweet about GM earlier in the day influenced the decision or the timing of the announcement, Fields said it was made “independently.”

“This makes sense for our business, and we look at all factors, including what we view as a more positive U.S. business-manufacturing environment under President-elect Trump. It’s literally a vote of confidence around some of the pro-growth policies he’s been outlining, and that’s why we’ve made the decision to invest here in the U.S. and in Michigan.”

The United States does not impose tariffs on products imported from Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed by President Bill Clinton, but Trump promised on the campaign trail to renegotiate the treaty for “more favorable terms” for the U.S.

The Mexican government released a statement saying it, “regrets the decision of Ford Motor Company to cancel the investment project.”

 
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