Whether “President” Donald Trump knows it or not, our economy is suffering under his “leadership,” which consists of bullying tactics and hurling insults. Not a good way to get people to work with you. In the case of the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, Trump has been bullying UAW leader David Green while simultaneously begging CEO Mary Barra to keep the plant open. He attacks the one he sees as the weaker of the two.
Never mind that David Green wrote two letters to Trump last year, seeking his help on the impending closing, to which Trump never responded. One can only wonder where he’s been since GM made the announcement in November 2018. The reason Trump is livid about the Lordstown plant is his (fake) campaign promise to increase manufacturing jobs. He then took office and imposed the very thing that hurts manufacturing: tariffs.
In all fairness, the Lordstown plant primarily manufactured the Chevrolet Cruze, which was no longer of interest to car buyers, and GM decided to stop production and streamline its facilities to assist with overall profitability. As reported by Vox, part of this plan included closing four U.S. Plants (two in Ohio, one in Michigan, and one in Maryland) and one Canadian plant and cutting its workforce by 15%.
Not only was Trump made aware of this by David Green, GM announced last fall that it was offering voluntary buyouts to 18,000 salaried workers to cut costs and that the “tariffs under the Trump administration could lead to a ‘smaller’ GM,” Vox reports. Has Trump not been paying attention? Of course he hasn’t. He’s too busy waging war against his perceived enemies. Now, it’s a crisis for him. As a wise man once said, “Be careful where you point your finger; you’re pointing two back at yourself.” Too bad Trump doesn’t know that.
As Vox points out, Trump’s trade policies didn’t help. His tariffs are getting the better of the very jobs he claimed to protect. Now it’s someone else’s fault. To try to save his shrinking base in that area (which has decreased by 19% according to USA Today), he traveled there, as if his presence is going to make a difference. GM isn’t the problem; Trump is.
As Politico points out, Trump doesn’t understand the global economy any more than he understands the U.S. economy, and the auto industry is very much a global industry. With auto makers building cars in the U.S. using foreign parts, and foreign manufacturers using U.S. parts, they all depend on each other. President Obama understood that nuance, and his policies increased investment, which Trump is single-handedly destroying.
Donald Trump has seemingly never understood that tariffs are in essence an additional tax on U.S. citizens. Read a detailed analysis of tariffs by the Tax Foundation here. One can only assume that in addition to closing plants, he hasn’t noticed all of the retail businesses that are closing and leaving untold numbers of people unemployed. Yep. Trump is “making America great again” one bankruptcy or closing at a time. And the auto manufacturers are still moving operations to Mexico. Thanks, “President” Trump.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years