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Autos

Ford resumes political donations after review

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co will resume making political donations and will not rule out donations to those lawmakers who voted on Jan. 6 against certifying President Joe Biden’s election win, according to a letter from Ford seen by Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Ford logo is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

The No. 2 U.S. automaker was among many companies that suspended political donations earlier this year pending a review, including some that opted to halt all donations to the 147 House and Senate members who voted against Biden’s certification, including Walmart Inc, Marriott Inc, AT&T Inc,, Amazon.com Inc, Comcast and American Express.

In the letter seen by Reuters, Ford said its political action committee (PAC) was resuming donations to lawmakers effective April 1, and had opted against imposing a blanket ban on the Republican lawmakers who voted against certification.

Five people died when supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 to prevent the U.S. Congress from certifying Biden’s win. Trump had urged them to protest the results of the Nov. 3 election, which he falsely claimed was rigged.

Microsoft Corp said in February its PAC would suspend all donations through 2022 to the 147 lawmakers who voted against certification, as well as contributions through the same period for state officials and organizations who suggested the election should be overturned.

Alphabet Inc’s Google and General Electric Co PACs also suspended donations through 2022, while Dow Inc said it would extend its suspension to senators voting against certification for up to six years.

It was not immediately clear whether any of those other companies had reversed those plans.

In the letter to company employees donating to its PAC, Chief Government Relations Officer Mitch Bainwol said Ford would strengthen principles it used for supporting candidates “by adding a new principle related to ‘public service and integrity.’”

Bainwol added that the candidates Ford supports must “demonstrate public service consistent with building trust and acting with competence, integrity and serving others.”

Ford noted it and the industry “are in a period of massive disruption that is deeply connected with policy issues. Participation in the political process has been a constant over our 118-year history and is central to navigating Ford’s global priorities in a world of competitive voices.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall

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