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Plants Close as Economy Grows — Trump Slams GM

01 December 2018
Plants Close as Economy Grows — Trump Slams GM

Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "discussed their disappointment in the announced closures of General Motors plants in their respective countries" during a phone call on Tuesday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.

Donald Trump won Trumbull County, which is home to the GM Lordstown plant.

The tweet came after GM announced plans this week to cut 14,000 jobs and shut five facilities in North America, dealing a blow to the President's promise to help auto workers. He also believes GM will reap benefits from the new Mexico-United States-Canada trade deal his administration worked out with America's neighbors, but "turned their back" on him despite his pushing for the pro-auto industry provisions, Lawrence Kudlow, chief White House economic adviser, said Tuesday.

"Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland" while sparing plants in Mexico & China, Trump tweeted, adding: "The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!" Auto companies are pouring into the USA, including BMW, which just announced a major new plant. The facility will employ about 600 people and serve "southern USA energy and construction sectors, which consume considerable amounts of flat roll steel products".

THE FACTS: Automakers have been steadily hiring since 2010 when Barack Obama was president. "My office sent a copy of the bill over to the White House [Wednesday night] and we will continue doing everything we can to fight for OH jobs".

Trump's policy goals may have helped contribute to GM's decision. China countered by imposing taxes on $60 billion worth of US goods.

Like GM, Ford Motor Co. said it will exit much of the passenger-car market to focus on SUVs and trucks. Another study found such tariffs would cut auto production and kill at least 200,000 jobs.

When President Trump visited Youngstown, he told to the crowd of 8,000 people that he noticed the skeletal remains of once occupied factories. Before the GM layoffs, automakers were on pace to add roughly 9,000 jobs this year.

All of this has left workers unsure what the future holds in Ohio's Mahoning Valley, once a proud steel-producing area where the GM plant is one of the few remaining industrial giants. Trump believes that foreign countries dump low-priced items in the United States and make it hard for U.S. manufacturers to compete, a trend that he says has destroyed millions of jobs.

"We appreciate the actions this administration has taken on behalf of industry to improve the overall competitiveness of USA manufacturing", the company said.

In October, nearly 65 per cent of new vehicles sold in the U.S. were trucks or SUVs.

German brands dominate the U.S. luxury auto market and account for tens of thousands of at assembly plants alone, mostly in the U.S. South.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown wants Congress to move on his "American Cars, American Jobs Act" which would end tax cuts for companies that move overseas and put that revenue into incentives for customers to buy American-made cars.