Trump looks to cut GM subsidies

Fredrick Soto
December 1, 2018

The Mahoning Valley, as it is known, is ground zero for what I refer to as the "Trump Democrat".

The president floated the idea of cutting subsidies for GM's electric cars program.

GM's announcement left manufacturing cities reeling.

President Donald Trump again rails against General Motors, tweeting that the company's job cuts and plant closures are an exception and "very counter to what other auto companies are doing".

GM announced it would cut six gas-powered auto models as part of a plan to close factories and cut costs so it can spend more on electric and autonomous vehicle development. Among those four is a vehicle factory in northeast OH, a state critical to victory in the 2020 presidential campaign. The changes come as part of a global restructuring for the company, which has said it will move away from lower-selling sedan models to focus on electric and autonomous cars, as well as crossovers, SUVs and efficient trucks.

The company announced that it will be closing up to four plants in the USA and laying off as many as 15,000 employees.

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet at the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss tariffs and other topics.

Kudlow told reporters on Tuesday that the administration had helped GM with fuel efficiency standards and other regulations.

"We've done this to help you and I think his disappointment is, it seems like that they kind of turned [their] back on him."

"This is a big headwind for the USA consumer", he said. The bill would allow customers a discount on cars made in America and stop tax breaks from auto makers that move overseas.

Trump has not followed up on these threats. "Nothing being closed in Mexico & China", Trump tweeted on Tuesday. "I look forward to further discussions with the administration and my colleagues in Congress about how to make this economy work for American workers".

"What's really disgusting is how Tim Ryan, Sherrod Brown and Dave Betras use the Lordstown issue as an excuse to criticize President Trump, who has done more to boost American jobs than any president in memory", Munroe said. "It's important to note that the factors that prompted GM's recent decision, the declining sales of the Chevy Cruze, were not due to the quality of the vehicle or the capability of the workforce, but rather current consumer preference", the letter states. GM sold almost 2.7 million vehicles in China through September, almost all built in China.

Economic advisor Larry Kudlow has told a press conference at White House that "the president said there is a good possibility that we can make a deal and he is open to it".

Unifor president Jerry Dias's proposal to hit GM with tariffs as high as 40 per cent was not picked up by Mr. Trudeau in the discussion with Mr. Trump.

But the law stipulates that the credit begins to phase out after an automaker sells a total of 200,000 eligible EVs, like GM's Chevy Volt, built near a factory in Detroit.

Final inspector Mary Skinner inspects the rear end of a General Motors Chevrolet Cruze at Jamestown Industries, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, in Youngstown, Ohio.

GM said on Monday that the Oshawa plant would close in December 2019.

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