Ford says it will shift its small-car production from its factory in Wayne, Michigan to Mexico, a move that will create 2,800 jobs at its new plant in the San Luis Potosi state by 2020.
The company is expected to invest $1.6 billion in its new factory in Mexico, where autoworker wages are far lower than in the United States.
Ford made its announcement Tuesday, prompting criticism from Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who called the company's plans "an absolute disgrace," adding that, "These ridiculous, job crushing transactions will not happen when I am president."
United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams also blasted Ford's announcement as "a disappointment and very troubling."
"For every investment in Mexico it means jobs that could have and should have been available right here in the USA," Williams said.
The Wayne factory, however, will not close once small-car production moves to Mexico in 2018. The Michigan-based factory is expected to see new vehicles produced there.
Also, the union agreed last year during contract negotiations to take raises, in exchange for not fighting against's Ford plans to build a new small-car factory in Mexico.
Ford of the Americas President Joe Hinrichs pushed back on the criticism being directed at the company.
"We're proud to be an American company," Hinrichs said in an interview with CNBC. "We've invested $10.2 billion here in the U.S. over the last five years and that commitment won't change even as we expand around the world."