Put America first: Trump orders General Motors CEO Mary Barra to 'close a plant in China or Mexico' and reopen 'big, beautiful plant in Ohio' in early morning tweet - after 1,700 people were laid off
President Donald Trump stepped up his pressure Monday on General Motors' CEO Mary Barra to reopen an Ohio manufacturing plant that recently closed and put 1,700 people out of work.
Trump's arm-twisting came in a series of tweets aimed at GM and the United Auto Workers union that stretched across Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
'General Motors and the UAW are going to start "talks" in September/October. Why wait, start them now!' the president tweeted Monday in his latest salvo on the Lordstown plant, which had manufactured the Chevrolet Cruze.
'Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now. Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!' he wrote.
Ohio will be a crucial battlefield in Trump's 2020 re-election fight: Saving 1,700 jobs there would be a major feather in the president's cap, but losing them would give Democrats much-needed ammunition in the American midwest.
Trump capped his weekend of ranting with a tweet disclosing that he had vented his frustrations during a conversation with Barra.
'I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING,' Trump wrote.
'I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW Union — I don't care, I just want it open!'
Trump had previously told a UAW leader, David Green, to 'get his act together and produce' for the Lordstown workers. Green didn't respond to a request for comment.
In a Fox News Channel interview Monday morning, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway siad Trump is frustrated with the negotiation timetable that's unfolding in slow motion as Ohioans lose their jobs.
'In the president's mind, it's March. You're scheduling a meeting for October. And in the meantime jobs are going to keep seeping out of the country like they did in past administrations,' she said. 'He wants them to come to the table before that. ... When you tell a businessman, a non-politician, "We're going to meet seven months from now," he's just saying, "Can we accelerate and have the meeting sometime faster?"'
General Motors said in a statement released Sunday evening that the future of plants scheduled to be closed 'will be resolved between GM and the UAW.'
The automaker also says that it has 'opportunities available for virtually all impacted employees' at plants that are to be shuttered.
'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.
Even as he said he talked to Barra, Trump was calling on GM to reopen its Lordstown plant or find another owner, while insisting that the Detroit automaker 'must act quickly.'
He also blasted GM for letting down the U.S. and asserted 'much better' automakers are coming to the country.
Trump praised Toyota for its investments in the U.S. in an apparent attempt to depict GM as being less committed to its home country than the Japan automaker.
The Lordstown closure has become a hot-button issue in an area of Ohio that is expected to be critical for Trump if he seeks re-election as promised in 2020.
Trump prevailed in Ohio in the 2016 election, a win that helped him win enough electoral votes to become president despite losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.
That may be one reason why Trump joined a coalition of Ohio lawmakers in efforts to get the Lordstown plant running again.
GM's share price was down slightly on Monday but that was in line with falls which have hit it for the last four weeks, suggesting the markets were paying little attention to the Trump-Barra conflict.
The tweets marked some of his most pointed criticism of GM so far.
Trump has skewered several other U.S. companies for not doing more to help their country's economy, but his remarks so far have been more bark than bite.
For instance, he has publicly called upon Apple to shift most of its manufacturing from China to the U.S., but the Silicon Valley company continues to make its iPhones and most other products overseas.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, last week expressed doubts GM will reopen its Lordstown plant, but he said the automaker indicated it's in talks with another company about using the site.
More than 16 million vehicles were made at the Lordstown plant during its 53-year history until GM closed it earlier this month as part of a massive reorganization.
The company also intends to close four other North American plants by early next year.
Rambolina, City of Sails, New Zealand, 8 hours ago
How about the dimwit put America first, and resigned.
Trillz1207, Hamilton, Canada, 8 hours ago
Ford makes much better cars anyways. I think ford should buy the plant.
jonnsnow, calgary, 9 hours ago
Donnie is so smart, he should use a couple of executive orders and fire all of the CEO's of the big American companies and just run them himself! The stable genius could run all of corporate America in between his regular calls to Putin, Kim, MSB, and Hannity !
Mama.teacher.wife, Bakersfield, United States, 10 hours ago
Waa waa waa. Donnie dum turd, Quit picking fights with people on Twitter. You do have a full time job
Finnegan, Chicago, United States, 11 hours ago
Barra should tweet back "VETO!"
NZ JB, Wellington, New Zealand, 11 hours ago
Does he know nothing about economics at all? Rightly or wrongly, you make the cars in China, they are cheaper to make, cheaper to buy, and therefore you sell lots of them. Make them in the US, they cost a lot more and you don't sell many. Factory goes out of business. It's not right, but it's how it is. Unless he can find a way to reinvent the world's economy, demanding a factory be opened doesn't fix things.
hezzer93, San Jose, United States, 11 hours ago
Jimmyo, Milwaukee, United States, 11 hours ago
Obama gave half of gm to the uaw. So, the union is shutting it down.
Deabad, Virginia Beach, United States, 11 hours ago
He thinks he can bully her!!!
PNWBobsled, Up here, United States, 11 hours ago
Hahahaha, impotent trump.
Camarillo by Morning, Camarillo, United States, 11 hours ago
Repurpose the plant into a factory for a defense contractor. We need more military vehicles to one day take on China or Russia.
sparkles1, California , United States, 11 hours ago
What about Ivanka clothing line in China !
Ollana, Emerald, Barbados, 12 hours ago
GM to Trump: No, thanks, Twitter-Boy! Go build your own plant in Ohio, we're doing just fine in China and Mexico.
sjk378, noneya, United States, 12 hours ago
This hypocritical fat piece of lard produces his products in 12 other countries.
ReasonableHuman, Logic, Canada, 13 hours ago
Then get rid of the harmful tariffs, Dumpy. And stop hiring illegals on your golf courses. Hypocrite. Swine. Low IQ dotard.
Common Bloke, London, United Kingdom, 13 hours ago
Can't fault president Trump for supporting jobs for American workers. His duty is first and foremost to ensure the safety and prosperity of his own countrymen. Perhaps there are ways of making it advantageous tax wise for American companies to 'come home' again. Corporations after all, will go where the money takes them.
jbiv1971, Atl, United States, 13 hours ago
I didn't vote for Trump but can appreciate what he is trying to do for those people who have lost their jobs.
Tex, Austin, United States, 13 hours ago
Ivanka makes NONE of her crap in the U. S.!
TranscendingYOU, In Orbit, United Kingdom, 13 hours ago
America......are you GREAT again yet?
jataga5000, phoenix, United States, 14 hours ago
Did he and his daughter stop having their trinkets made in China?
hauntofhorror, Henrico, United States, 14 hours ago
That is hardly an order. Could you get anymore dramatic with your headlines?
Liebuster, York, United States, 14 hours ago
Trump should lead by making his cloths and ties in America. Hypocritical fool.
Truth Doctor, Liberals Idolize Karl Marx, United States, 14 hours ago
Apple should also shut down it's China operations, but won't. Liberal icon Tim Cook would argue that he still enjoys the cheap labor, plus the 15% corporate tax rate.