Donald Trump Scolds General Motors for Moving Plants to China After Bailout

HAMTRAMCK, MI - OCTOBER 11: Assembly line workers assemble Chevy Volt electric vehicles and Opel Amperas at the General Motors Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant October 11, 2011 in Hamtramck, Michigan. Officials from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration toured the plant today …
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

President Donald Trump scolded General Motors on Friday for shifting car production to China, despite getting a taxpayer bailout.

“They moved major plants to China, BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “This was done despite the saving help given them by the USA. Now they should start moving back to America again?”

Taxpayers funded a $50 billion package that bailed out General Motors after the company went bankrupt in 2009, as the federal government ultimately lost $11.2 billion in the process.

Trump described General Motors as “once the Giant of Detroit” but mocked it as “one of the smallest auto manufacturers.”

Despite their history in Detroit, General Motors now employs fewer union American workers in the city than any of their domestic rivals.

In 2018, GM sold 3.6 million vehicles in China compared with about 2.9 million in the United States as sales in China make up to 43 percent of their global sales.

The Buick Envision SUV is built entirely in China, and now faces a 25 percent tariff to come to the United States, as a result of Trump’s newly enacted tariffs on Chinese manufactured cars.

Trump has continued to criticize GM CEO Mary Barra, particularly after she announced plans in 2018 to close four US auto manufacturing plants.



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