During a rally in Lima, Ohio on Wednesday, President Trump called on the United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors (GM) to work together immediately to reopen the corporation’s Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant.
This month, GM closed the first of four American plants it is expected to shutter this year while ramping up production in China. The closure of the Lordstown assembly plant resulted in the immediate layoff of about 1,600 American workers and since 2017, about 4,500 American workers have been laid off by GM in Ohio.
The closing of the Ohio plant, economists reveal, is likely to result in regional economic devastation for the working and middle class communities in Lordstown and the surrounding areas, with more than 8,000 U.S. workers expected to lose their jobs due to the plant closure.
While speaking to a packed crowd, Trump called on GM and the UAW to hold negotiations as soon as possible to either reopen the Lordstown assembly plant or to sell the site to another automaker who can reopen the facility.
You’ve got to get over to a place that I like a lot, Lordstown … what’s going on with General Motors? We have the best economy we’ve ever had. We have the lowest unemployment that we’ve ever had in 50 years — soon will be the record, all time. And what’s going on with General Motors. Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it. Everybody wants it. Sell it to somebody or open it yourselves. Get it going now. [Emphasis added]
And the UAW will help you. The UAW, you’re going to help. The UAW just promised they’re going to help. Get it open now, don’t wait. They said they have discussions coming up in September, October. I said ‘Why not tomorrow?’ Why not on Monday? What do you have to wait months for? Get the discussions going. Get it open. Lordstown, it’s a great area. [Emphasis added]
Most recently, the UAW voiced their support for Trump being involved in negotiations with GM CEO Mary Barra to reopen the Ohio plant, writing online, “Thank you, Mr. President, for fighting alongside the UAW against GM. We will leave no stone unturned to keep the plants open!”
— UAW (@UAW) March 17, 2019
— UAW (@UAW) March 18, 2019
While GM closed its Lordstown plant this month, the multinational corporation’s Mexico production has remained unaffected by layoffs, and production in China has ramped up.
Lordstown’s economic downturn from the plant closure would come as Barra continues raking in an annual salary of about $22 million, and GM profits about $11 billion before taxes.
Curt Ellis with America First Policies recently told Breitbart News that Trump should impose a 25 percent auto tariff to save American jobs from being further outsourced to China and the U.S. auto industry from being dominated by the Communist Party of China.
The goal has got to be raising the wages of Americans, not the cheapest t-shirt, but the best quality of life. That should be the … the north star, the guiding principle for our economic policy. [Emphasis added]
Just look at the pickup truck tariff. It did not destroy the American auto industry. In fact, it saved it. And there is certainly a case to be made for the national security importance of the automobile industry. If we don’t get the 25 percent tariff on automobiles to knock some sense into GM’s head, how about asking them for that $11 billion that they still owe the U.S. treasury? [Emphasis added]
American manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy, as every one manufacturing job supports an additional 7.4 American jobs in other industries. Decades of free trade, with deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), have devastated American manufacturing and U.S. workers’ job prospects, as well as suppressed their wages.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.