President Trump animated whole swaths of Americans who felt left behind, overlooked, and misunderstood. Major American companies have been shutting down manufacturing, and blue-collar industries have been gutted, leaving millions of Americans in the grips of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness. Donald Trump promised to change the status quo, and millions cast their ballots based on that promise.
Now, with the news that General Motors is likely to shut down five plants in the United States and Canada, further decimating the already hard-hit American automotive industry, it feels like a promise broken.
“The company plans to cut 15 percent of its salaried workers, resulting in a 25 percent reduction of its executive ranks, the company said. The cuts will eliminate more than 14,000 jobs in all, roughly 8,100 white collar positions and more than 6,000 factory jobs, according to the company.”
The plants slated for closure are in Michigan, Ohio, and Maryland, as well as Ontario, Canada. Cars produced in these plants include the Chevy Impala, Cadillac CT6, Chevy Volt, Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Cruze, and the Cadillac XTS sedan.
President Trump has some tough talk for GM, saying:
“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!
We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars. General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) – don’t think that bet is going to pay off. I am here to protect America’s Workers!”
But the reality is that Trump’s economic policies, despite his guarantees, didn’t prevent these plant closures and might have even precipitated them. The GOP tax bill has saved GM over $150 million so far in 2018, and yet, are they using those saving to invest in workers and communities? Or to generate more jobs? Nope.
And in fact, in June, GM said that planned tariffs from the Trump administration would likely lead to “less investment, fewer jobs and lower wages” for its employees.
Plus GM isn’t the only company making these moves. In June, Harley-Davidson also announced that it was shifting some production out of the United States because of the escalating trade war President Trump initiated with tariffs on steel and aluminum.
We deserve better, both from President Trump and from these ostensibly American companies who are quick to take taxpayer dollars, line their pockets, and cut and run.