Trump Claims To Be Pressuring GM To Return Jobs To Ohio After Plant Closures

Donald Trump speaking to reporters in front of Marine One.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

President Donald Trump is claiming to have spoken with the General Motors CEO Mary Barra on the fate of the nearly 15,000 jobs that will be lost due to company restructuring, according to NBC. On his way to appear in campaign rallies for Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith in Mississippi, Trump told the press that he pressured Barra to return jobs to Ohio, where one of the GM plants will be closing, and implied that “something else” would replace the closed plant soon.

“I spoke with her when I heard they were closing, and I said, you know, this country’s done a lot for General Motors, you better get back in there soon, that’s Ohio,” Trump said. “I have no doubt, but in the not-too-distant future, they’ll put something else. They better put something else in.”

According to the New York Times, Trump also brought up the fact that the United States government saved GM from bankruptcy in 2008 under President George W. Bush.

“You know, the United States saved General Motors,” he said, “and for her to take that company out of Ohio is not good.”

As the Inquisitr previously reported, GM recently announced that the company is laying off 15 percent of its total salaried workforce and closing several factories in the United States. The car manufacturer attributes this to a changing marketplace and slowing sales as the country shifts away from gas-powered engines and toward electric. However, there is speculation that the decision was influenced by the fact that Trump’s steel tariffs have cost the company $1 billion.

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra speaks to the news media before the automobiile maker's annual meeting of shareholders at GM world headquarters
General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Many of the nearly 15,000 jobs expected to be lost will be in northeast Ohio, which is widely considered to be Trump country. During a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump promised to bring jobs back to the area. He went so far as to tell the town’s residents not to sell their houses.

Barra has not yet indicated whether she had any conversation with Trump on the staff cuts or whether GM intends to bring any manufacturing back to Ohio or the other regions where plants are closing.

Meanwhile, Trump’s critics are saying that he is not living up to his promises.

“So far, President Trump has been asleep at the switch and owes this community an explanation. We tried to get his attention on this issue two years ago,” said Ohio Representative Tim Ryan. “He promised us that his massive corporate tax cut would lead to dramatic reinvestments in our communities. That clearly is not happening.”