Trump Wants GM To Reimburse America For The Bailout?

Jermaine Castillo
December 1, 2018

Germany's BMW has a plant in SC with 10,000 employees.

Trump's tweets follow repeated expressions of anger earlier from the White House over GM's plan to cease production at five North American factories and cut about 14,000 jobs.

In its announcement, GM said it would effectively close five assembly and propulsion plants in the United States and Canada in 2019, a reorganization plan meant to make the company "highly agile, resilient and profitable".

"General Motors is very counter to what other auto, and other, companies are doing", he tweeted.

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Canada and Mexico, two other major sources of United States auto imports, are set to be exempted from any tariffs as a result of the new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated by Trump.

They also cast a pall over this week's signing of the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, the hard-won successor to NAFTA that Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, acknowledged Tuesday was created to foster the growth of the auto sector.

Federal labor data show automakers added almost 31,000 jobs during President Barack Obama's previous year in office.

The Ohio Democratic Party also is rallying support for the plant in the form of an online petition called "Tell General Motors: Protect Ohio Jobs". "As one withdraws from the country, the others then leave because of the pressure of receiving parts from the industry". He has promised to bring back and maintain industrial-sector jobs, including during rallies in OH - meaning the GM announcement could feed his 2020 opponents if Trump is unable to push the car-maker into restoring at least some of the positions.

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One potential partner could be Honda Motor Co., which already has r&d relationships with GM for fuel cell and autonomous vehicles. Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in April that the Oshawa complex was headed for closure in June of this year.

Treasury whittled down its GM stake through a series of stock sales starting in November 2010, with the remaining shares sold in December 2013 at a $11.2 billion loss.

Democrats are seizing on the plant closing and have repeatedly attacked Republicans in the past two days for giving large companies a tax cut.

Yet tariffs collected in the latest fiscal year ended September 30 rose by less than $7 billion from fiscal 2017, according to the Treasury.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer on Tuesday criticized Trump for "overpromising" as a candidate about protecting against plant closures if he was elected. Automakers were on pace before the GM layoffs to add 8,660 jobs this year. More than 1.3 million people held auto jobs in 2000, a total that now stands at roughly 970,000. Crosstown rival Ford Motor Co.is just starting to restructure its white-collar workforce, and thousands are expected to be let go by the middle of next year. "It emphasizes what a precarious position the North American auto industry is in, and why we needed the changes that we see in the new NAFTA".

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While U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is pushing for a bill he said will help direct more automakers to keep jobs in the United States, and U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, meets with Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, is taking a different approach.

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