U.S. President Donald Trump has not forgotten about General Motors’ decision to stop production at the Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Trump posted a series of tweets over the weekend urging GM to either restart production in Ohio or sell the plant to someone else who can get it up and running.
The tweets, abundant in exclamation marks, began on Saturday, which is when the President likely learned about Toyota’s increased investments in U.S. vehicle production.
“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. GM MUST ACT QUICKLY. Time is of the essence!” read the first GM-related tweet.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2019
It’s safe to assume Donald Trump later talked to GM CEO Mary Barra about the issue, because on Sunday he took to Twitter again. “I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING. I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW union — I don’t care, I just want it open!” the President tweeted.
A subsequent tweet expressed the President’s disappointment that GM and UAW will start talks about the plant’s future in September/October. “Why wait, start them now! I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!” Donald Trump replied, probably unaware that GM’s and UAW’s current contract expires in September.
Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors about the Lordstown Ohio plant. I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING. I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019
The President also suggested a solution for General Motors that would allow it to restart production in Ohio: “Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now. Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!”
GM stopped production at Lordstown Assembly on March 6, when the final Chevrolet Cruze for the U.S. market rolled off the line. The Ohio plant is the first of four GM U.S. plants to stop production this year.
The automaker didn’t refer to Trump’s tweets directly and refused to comment on the assertion that Barra blamed the UAW for the closure of the Lordstown plant. “To be clear, under the terms of the UAW-GM National Agreement, the ultimate future of the unallocated plants will be resolved between GM and the UAW,” GM said in a statement cited by Bloomberg. The automaker added that it remains focused on offering affected employees jobs at its other plants.