Trump's economic moves fail to prevent GM closures

GM to Close 8 Plants, Lay Off Close to 15,000 Workers

In remarks to reporters at the White House, Trump said that he had spoken with GM president and CEO Mary Barra after learning earlier on Monday of the firm's decision to shut down seven assembly and production plants, a move that will directly affect some 14,500 workers in the United States and Canada.

General Motors is closing plants in Canada, Ohio, Maryland and MI and cutting its workforce by 15 percent as part of a company-wide restructuring announced by the company on Monday. "Don't move, don't sell your house", Trump said as the audience cheered. "They're all coming back". "And I would say there are warning signs flashing for Trump now, especially in MI and Ohio".

The closures will be accompanied by a broader restructuring, reducing GM's overall salaried and contract workforce by 15 percent.

General Motors announced Monday that Lordstown, along with several other plants of operation, will remain "unallocated" meaning they won't receive any new product.

The US carmaker has also announced it will close three plants outside North America by the end of 2019.

But while politicians are up in arms, Wall Street is happy. "They better put something else in", Trump said.

At the same time, many of GM's plants producing its higher-margin trucks and SUVs are running on three shifts, with some running six and sometimes seven days a week to keep up with demand. I said, well, get a auto that is selling well and put it back in.

The move provoked an immediate rebuke from President Donald Trump, who warned GM it was "messing with the wrong person" - and demanded the vehicle maker shut factories in China instead.

"Get a vehicle that is selling well and put it back in", Mr Trump said. Some 75 percent of its global sales will come from just five vehicle architectures by the early 2020s. "What we've gotten instead are broken promises and petty tweets". "That clearly is not happening". But sales of the Chevrolet Cruze are off 22 percent.

"The first thing I said is, 'What can we do?" The group called GM's decision "callous" and said the auto maker is putting profits above using American labor.

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Trump has since boasted about a renaissance in the industry thanks to his tax cuts and the removal of environmental regulations put in place by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. "His trade wars are backfiring". Presumably some corporate PR strategy already exists to deal with Trump's inevitable complaints about the company being "ungrateful" or whatever.

"It had nothing to do with tariffs".

Trump will this week travel to Argentina for G20 meetings, where he will hold a highly-anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping focussed on trade. The Detroit-Hamtramck facility is GM's last in the city, and the Lordstown plant in OH was one of its biggest. He won the county by about 6 percentage points, four years after then-President Barack Obama had won it by 23 points. The facilities made some trucks, but those trucks are also made at in Mexico.

"I implore President Trump to keep his word when he came to the Mahoning Valley a year ago and promised jobs were 'all coming back". "Don't move. Don't sell your house".

"I pressed GM again to provide new opportunities to the Lordstown workers and take advantage of the skilled workforce there". "After years and years of sending our jobs and wealth to other countries, we are finally standing up for our workers and for our companies".

GM, the largest automaker in the USA, which sells the Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands, said the moves will save $6 billion in cash by the end of next year, including $4.5 billion in recurring annual cost reductions and a $1.5 billion reduction in capital spending.

Two factories outside of North America will also close, but no word from GM as to what locations those are.

"We are right-sizing capacity for the realities of the marketplace", Chief Executive Mary Barra said, adding that the cuts were prompted by auto industry changes.

Government sources confirmed to CBC News that the Oshawa General Motors plant is set to close. "In the short term, I urged GM to at least reallocate some of the production and employees to the Toledo GM plant".

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