Trump Slams GM: Plants Close as Economy Grows

U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions from the press while departing the White House

'You better get back in there soon’: Trump vows to get tough with General Motors over plant closures

It is called the 'chicken tax.' If we did that with cars coming in, many more cars would be built here [.] and G.M. would not be closing their plants in Ohio, Michigan & Maryland.

The U.S. government lost $11.2 billion on its bailout of General Motors, according to a 2014 government report.

Beyond the subsidies given to customers, GM has received about $333.5 million in federal spending in the past 12 months, according to a US government website that tracks federal expenditures.

GM shares closed down 2.6 percent at $36.69 in NY trading on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, it's a fallacy to suggest that the new deal could have either prevented or ended up expediting the cuts, said Dan Ujczo, an OH trade lawyer who hails from Lordstown, the same community outside Cleveland that's home to one of the five GM plants where production is to cease next year.

His detractors may feel differently, but Donald Trump's scorched-earth approach to global trade is not the main reason General Motors is shuttering plants and slashing thousands of jobs in Canada and the United States.

Numerous job cuts would affect the Midwest, the politically crucial region where the president promised a manufacturing rebirth.

Trump also criticized GM for not closing facilities in Mexico or China.

Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, says both Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau believe the deal was created to help the automotive industry and auto workers, not foster job cuts. With some factories down to one shift a day, GM said it needed to cut its capacity to make traditional passenger cars, while keeping lower-cost production in Mexico. "I love OH. I told them, 'you're playing around with the wrong person, '" he added.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that the White House's reaction to the automaker's announcement was "a tremendous amount of disappointment, maybe even spilling over into anger". A day earlier, Trump issued a vague threat to GM warning it to preserve a key plant in the presidential bellwether state of OH, where the company has marked its Lordstown plant for closure. "You better get back in there soon - that's OH". While Trump could likely claim BMW building a new plant in the United States as a big win, the German company has far from confirmed any plans, and has also shown signs that the trade war is actively hurting its business in the USA.

Federal tax credits of up to $7,500 are available to those who buy GM electric vehicles.

GM, Tesla Inc. and Nissan Motor Co. formed a coalition earlier this month to lobby to have the purchase subsidy extended.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that she was not aware of a specific timeline for cutting the subsidies, but added that Trump is looking into the matter.

Donald Trump won Trumbull County, which is home to the GM Lordstown plant. The US saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!

Escalating the dispute further with his statement, Lighthizer said, "China's aggressive, state-directed industrial policies are causing severe harm to USA workers and manufacturers". China countered by imposing taxes on $60 billion worth of USA goods.

This week, the motor vehicle manufacturer announced its plans to lay off 15 percent of its salaried workforce (up to 14,000 employees) and close five plants in the United States and Canada.

The United Auto Workers union said it would challenge the move through "every legal, contractual and collective bargaining avenue open to our membership", and politicians on both sides of the aisle also slammed the layoffs. President Trump should not give up on getting GM to invest in Ohio. All the factories GM wants to close make slow-selling cars. Those SUVs are the only models built in that plant.

GM's decision to halt production at factories in the USA and Canada has angered many politicians.

"We have talked for the past few years about an engine plant to support our North American production and sales and we are now again investigating this option", BMW said in a statement. In October, nearly 65 percent of new vehicles sold in the USA were trucks or SUVs. Those tariffs are set to rise from 10% to 25% at the beginning of next year, putting yet another price hike on automakers' plates.

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