Donald Trump to General Motors: Close a Plant in China, Not Ohio

The assembly line at the General Motors Flint Assembly Plant where the new 2020 Chevy Silverado HD is being built is shown on February 5, 2019 in Flint, Michigan. On Monday, GM began laying off approximately 4,000 salaried white collar workers, bringing the number of GM layoffs since November 2018 …
Bill Pugliano/Getty

President Donald Trump continued excoriating General Motors on Monday, for closing an automotive plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

“Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now,” Trump said. “Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!”

The president also expressed frustration that “talks” between General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union would begin in September or October.

“Why wait, start them now!” he wrote. “I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!”

Trump began attacking General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Sunday for closing down the plant at a time when the American economy was booming.

His posts on Twitter earned a phone call from Barra over the weekend.

“I asked her to sell it or do something quickly,” Trump revealed. “She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!”

The Lordstown, Ohio plant employed about 1,500 American workers and produced the Chevrolet Cruze before it closed. General Motors announced plans in November 2018 to lay off up to 14,700 workers in North America.

In June, General Motors announced that the revamped Chevrolet Blazer would be produced in Mexico, as the company employs about 15,000 people there. In December, they announced a new plant opening up in China.

Barra and Trump initially had a good relationship as she joined him for meetings and roundtables promoting the U.S. auto industry.

But GM’s continued layoffs raised tensions between the president and the CEO of General Motors, who was once considered a possible Vice President candidate by failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland,” Trump wrote in November 2018. “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!”

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