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Trump threatens GM with reprisals over plant closures

November 28, 2018

Trump threatens GM with reprisals over plant closures

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to withdraw all government subsidies to General Motors, including those for electric vehicles, in response to the company’s decision to shutter several production facilities including Ohio’s Lordstown, and idle roughly 14,000 workers.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Trump said he was “very disappointed” with General Moters and its CEO, Mary Barra, “for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!

....for electric cars. General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) - don’t think that bet is going to pay off. I am here to protect America’s Workers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2018

He said he’s now looking at cutting all GM subsidies, including those for for electric cars.

“General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) - don’t think that bet is going to pay off,” Trump’s continued on Twitter. “I am here to protect America’s Workers!”

The company responded by reiterating its commitment to “maintaining a strong manufacturing presence in the U.S.” and noting that many of the U.S. workers affected by the closures will have a chance for jobs in “new growing areas” of the company.

...That includes adding technical and engineering jobs that support the future of mobility. We’re on a journey to create a better world today, and for generations to come.— General Motors (@GM) November 27, 2018

 

Trump, who repeatedly promised his administration would restore manufacturing jobs to the industrial Midwest, has taken heat from Democrats in the wake of the job losses. Niles Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan pointed out that Trump told the Mahoning Valley last year that jobs were “all coming back” and that people shouldn’t move or sell their houses.

Closure of the Lordstown plant will eliminate more than 1,400 jobs.

 

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman told reporters on Tuesday that cutting subsidies for electric vehicles - as Trump suggested - could put U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage to Chinese companies that are trying to corner the market.

He said he’s been trading phone calls with Ohio Governor-elect Mike DeWine to discuss incentives that state and federal government might be able to provide to “entice them to come back.”

He said he hopes GM might be able to retool the plant to build some of the new electric vehicle models they intend to launch.

“My hope is that we’ll be able to convince GM that Lordstown is the right place for the future,” said Portman.

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