It’s not easy to find a topic U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can agree on.
But when it comes to General Motors’ announcement of plant closures in the two countries, the two politicians are on the same page. Both expressed their frustration regarding GM’s decision that will impact the lives of more than 14,000 of workers in North America. Unsurprisingly, Trump was a lot more outspoken than Canada’s head of state.
“They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal. “I love Ohio. I told them, ‘you’re playing around with the wrong person,’” he added.
The U.S. President told reporters at the White House that he had talked to GM CEO Mary Barra and “was very tough” with her.
“I spoke with her when I heard they were closing and I said, ‘You know, this country has done a lot for General Motors. You better get back in there,’” VOA News quoted Trump as saying. The President added that he believed GM would be “opening up something else” in the state of Ohio.
On Monday, General Motors announced it would stop production at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio where the Chevrolet Cruze is made. That’s something Trump seemed particularly angry about: “They say the Chevy Cruze is not selling well. I said, well, get a car that is selling well and put it back in”.
As always, Ohio will be a key state in the 2020 presidential campaign. In the 2016 elections, Donald Trump won the state by more than 8 percentage points.
As for Justin Trudeau, he said he had spoken with Mary Barra on Sunday to express his “deep disappointment in the closure” of the Oshawa plant near Toronto. The Canadian prime minister also announced support for the laid-off workers.
“We’ll do everything we can to help the families of those affected by this news get back on their feet,” the Canadian Prime Minister wrote on Twitter.
GM workers have been part of the heart and soul of Oshawa for generations – and we’ll do everything we can to help the families affected by this news get back on their feet. Yesterday, I spoke with @GM’s Mary Barra to express my deep disappointment in the closure.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 26, 2018