Trump ramps up pressure on General Motors after Ohio plant closure

Trump ramps up pressure on General Motors after Ohio plant closure
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE over the weekend lashed out over a move by automotive giant General Motors (GM) to close one of its plants in Ohio, ramping up pressure on the company's CEO and calling out a local union official.

His comments were in response to a decision by GM to shutter a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, earlier this month, as the company plans to significantly scale down its operations in the U.S.

The plan, which called for the elimination of 15,000 jobs and the shuttering of four factories, immediately drew the ire of Trump when it was first announced in November. 

Trump told reporters then that he had personally pressed GM CEO Mary Barra to continue manufacturing cars in Ohio, saying that the company "better get back in" Ohio "soon."

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On Saturday, Trump renewed his calls, urging GM to reverse its plans and invest in the Lordstown plant, citing America's economic position.

"Because the economy is so good, General Motors must get their Lordstown, Ohio, plant open, maybe in a different form or with a new owner, FAST! Toyota is investing 13.5 $Billion in U.S., others likewise. G.M. MUST ACT QUICKLY. Time is of the essence!" he tweeted.

Then, on Sunday, Trump went after a local union boss over the closure, tweeting that United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1112 President David Green "ought to get his act together and produce."

The UAW has sued to keep GM plants open, arguing that shuttering them violates their contract with the auto manufacturer.

When asked about Trump's tweet, UAW spokesperson Brian Rothenberg told The Hill that the group is "focused on our members and keeping no stone unturned in keeping these plants open."

Later Sunday, Trump tweeted that he had once again spoken to Barra about the closure.

"I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING," Trump tweeted. "I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!"

GM told The Hill that the "ultimate future of the unallocated plants will be resolved between GM and the UAW."

"We remain open to talking with all affected stakeholders, but our main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities."

When GM's plans to shutter plants were first announced, Trump criticized Barra and threatened to end the automaker's federal tax credit for electric vehicles in retaliation.

Trump has made revitalizing America's factory industries a key aspect of both his campaign and presidency, and has criticized companies in the past that have moved or cut production.

On the campaign trail, Trump frequently referenced Carrier, a company which had been planning to close its factory in Indiana and move production to Mexico.

Carrier ended up not moving after reportedly receiving $7 million in tax breaks over a 10-year span from state officials.