GM announced Monday that it would shut down five North American plants by the end of 2019 - including one in OH, two in MI, one in Maryland, and one in Ontario, Canada - as it discontinued several sedan models produced at those locations.
President Trump weighed in too, saying he directed GM CEO Mary Barra to replace production in the affected factories with other models rather than closing plants. "Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country", while "auto companies are pouring into the USA", he said in a tweet cheering the country's strong economic growth of late.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday retweeted a tweet which said that General Motors should pay back the money the government spent to keep it afloat as part of the auto industry bailout if it doesn't maintain jobs in the country.
The publication said Trump could make the move as soon as next week, now that the Commerce Department has presented him with a report that he asked for on the possibility of doing so on "national security" grounds-the same justification the president used for his steel and aluminum tariffs. "Otherwise, lets just make our Country richer than ever before!"
The White House has threatened to cut all GM subsidies, including for its electric-cars program. Auto companies are pouring into the USA, including BMW, which just announced a major new plant.
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on China to come to a deal with the United States to avoid a massive new round of tariffs that Trump says are aimed at correcting decades of unfair Chinese trade practices. "The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!" Numerous USA workers impacted by these actions will have the opportunity to shift to other GM plants where we will need more employees to support growth in trucks, crossovers, and SUVs.
"If we did that with cars coming in, many more cars would be built here", Trump wrote on Twitter. "I am here to protect America's Workers!" the tweet read.
Trump threatens General Motors after announced closures in Midwest
Trump noted on Twitter that brisk US small truck sales in the country are due to a 25-percent tariff on small truck imports.
Trump has also harshly criticized GM for building cars in China.
"The U.S. got hit harder than we did", said one Canadian government insider.
GM shut down its Australian manufacturing arm in October 2017, closing its Adelaide plant and placing 944 people out of work.
Trump said it was "highly unlikely" he'll accept China's request to postpone the tariff hike, which will take effect on January 1, 2019.
The president, who has made trade wars a signature of his "America first" administration, was angered by GM's decision to cut thousands of jobs in a series of plant closures, including in OH and MI. China countered by imposing taxes on $60 billion worth of USA goods.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer on Tuesday criticized Trump for "overpromising" as a candidate about protecting against plant closures if he was elected. If the U.S. went ahead with auto duties and its trading partners responded in kind it would take as much as three quarters of a percentage point off the global growth forecast that International Monetary Fund economists now expect to be 3.7 percent next year.