Published: Wed, March 20, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Trump is putting pressure on GM to reopen OH plant

Trump is putting pressure on GM to reopen OH plant

"Get that big, attractive plant in OH open now", Mr Trump said on Twitter early Monday, after sending a series of missives at GM and the UAW over the weekend.

In a series of tweets Sunday and Monday, Trump targeted GM, saying the carmaker should close plants in Mexico or China rather than the United States.

GM didn't immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday.

The Lordstown closure has become a hot-button issue in an area of OH that is expected to be critical for Mr. Trump if he seeks re-election as promised in 2020.

'I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. Trump - who frequently references the USA economy and low unemployment rates in tweets, during meetings with world leaders and in gaggles and interviews with reporters - often complains he doesn't get enough credit for successes. "She blamed the [United Auto Workers] Union - I don't care, I just want it open!"

He also called on UAW Ohio division president David Green "to get his act together and produce" in the same tweet. The current deal expires in September.

Earlier in November, General Motors announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs and close manufacturing plants in Lordstown, plants in MI, and Ontario, Canada.

'We remain open to talking with all the affected stakeholders, but our main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities, ' the company said. Along with GM, the president slammed Democrats and even Fox Information anchors. "Come on down and have a look". Those tweets criticized GM for letting down the US and urged the company to reopen the plant or find a new owner quickly. It said it could minimize eight, 000 salaried and contract jobs, representing a 15% reduction in its workforce. "And he thinks that the economy is doing so well?"

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"Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors about the Lordstown Ohio plant".

Trump has skewered several other USA companies for not doing more to help their country's economy, but his remarks so far have been more bark than bite.

"The threat of steep tariffs on vehicle and auto component imports risks undermining GM's competitiveness against foreign auto producers by erecting broad brush trade barriers that increase our global costs, remove a key means of competing with manufacturers in lower-wage countries, and promote a trade environment in which we could be retaliated against in other markets".

A release from Senator Brown's office says that in 2018, J.D. Power ranked the Lordstown plant as number one for the highest quality production among GM's facilities. Likewise, his tweet conflicts with his own previous acknowledgment of GM's reason for closing Lordstown along with four other North American plants. In the following month, Ms Barra said in meetings with OH lawmakers that the future of the factory can turn on the outcome of labor talks.

The president cited Toyota Motor Corp's plans to add to its United States investments, announced Thursday, bringing the amount to nearly US$13 billion over five years ending in 2021.

Trump's GM tweets capped a day of presidential fuming on social media. In August of that year, it unveiled plans with Mazda Motor Corp to jointly build a US$1.6 billion factory in Alabama.

The plant stopped production March 6.

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