Strategy and Governance
Participation in the Policy-Making Process
Ford seeks to be an active participant in the political process in a manner that is transparent and supports our business interests. On issues of highest priority for us, we stay in regular contact with legislators and regulatory officials in our major markets, to share with them our interests and perspectives and offer expert input into the policy-making process. Our Government Affairs offices, aligned with our business operations around the world, oversee these lobbying activities.
Membership in Coalitions and Associations
Ford belongs to a broad range of partnerships and coalitions, as well as industry and trade associations (such as the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers), that advocate for legislation and regulation on behalf of their members. Working with others in these types of organizations enables Ford to better leverage our resources on issues of importance to us, and to develop and promote policies that have potentially far-reaching benefits for industry and society.
Of course, we do not always agree with every position taken by these organizations. In cases where we don’t agree, we have to determine if, on balance, we agree with enough of the organization’s positions that we should continue to engage with them. And, we always reserve the right to speak with our own voice and make our own positions clear, even when they may not align with the positions of associations to which we belong.
Ford Policy on Political Contributions
Ford Motor Company does not make contributions to political candidates or political organizations as a matter of policy, but may do so in limited cases in some non-U.S. countries where it has operations. Company resources are not employed for the purpose of helping elect candidates to public office, even when permitted by law. Nor do we take positions for partisan political purposes – that is, specifically for the purpose of advancing the interest of a political party or candidate for public office. These policies remain unchanged, notwithstanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s January 2010 decision that loosened restrictions on corporate independent expenditures.
With proper executive approval, Ford may contribute to support or oppose a U.S. state or local ballot proposal, if such contributions are permitted by law and if the issue is of significant interest or importance to the company. Information with respect to contributions made in connection with ballot questions and referenda is publicly available through the appropriate local or state reporting authorities.
We do encourage employees to participate in political and governmental affairs, and we recognize that company efforts and programs to encourage employee participation must fully respect the right of employees to use personal time as they choose and to decide the extent and direction of their political activities. The Ford Motor Company Civic Action Fund (the “Ford PAC”), which is supported by voluntary donations from Ford employees, gives campaign contributions to national, state and local political candidates from both major political parties in the U.S. The company pays the solicitation and administrative expenses of the Ford PAC, which are minimal, as permitted by law.
All contributions made to the Ford PAC and all distributions from the Ford PAC are in compliance with Federal Election Commission (FEC) and applicable state regulations. A list of the Ford PAC’s contributions made during 2014 can be found at the FEC website.
Decisions about political contributions by the Ford PAC are made by Ford’s Governmental Affairs office, in accordance with business objectives that support our competitiveness in the global automotive industry. Ford PAC contributions are used to support issues directly related to manufacturing and Ford business objectives. All Ford PAC candidate contributions in excess of $3,000 must be approved by the Ford PAC Political Contributions Committee, an eight-member, cross-functional group of Ford employees representing a range of organizational levels.
Ford complies fully with all laws and rules governing our employees’ interactions with officials at all levels of government (federal, state and local). Furthermore, all of our contact and dealings with government officials must also comply with our global corporate Policies and Code of Conduct. Note that under federal law, foreign nationals are prohibited from making contributions in connection with any U.S. election and are thus not eligible to join the Ford PAC.