Trump threatens 25-percent tariff on imported cars

01 December, 2018, 01:17 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Trump says he’s contemplating slicing GM subsidies in response to layoffs			 0					By		Marta Subat

Trump lashed out at General Motors (GM) this week, after it announced it will close four USA plants, and eliminate 14,000 jobs, as GM shifts away from building weaker-selling auto models.

Since GM announced on Monday that it would lay off roughly 15,000 workers and idle four factories in the US, Trump has attempted to bully and badger the US automaker into sticking around. Sherrod Brown hold at least one common goal: getting General Motors (GM) to abandon its plan to lay off workers at an OH plant.

"Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country", while "auto companies are pouring into the USA", he said in a tweet cheering the country's strong economic growth of late.

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

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".

Donald Trump won Trumbull County, which is home to the GM Lordstown plant. The average wage of a Mexican worker in a GM plant is $3 per hour. Among the largest are a Department of Defense project that began in 2000 and earned the company $167.9 million, as well as two Department of Energy grants of more than $100 million related to electric vehicles and batteries awarded during the Obama administration.

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While U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is pushing for a bill he said will help direct more automakers to keep jobs in the United States, and U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, meets with Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, is taking a different approach. Killing the subsidies may have little financial impact on GM because it is on the cusp of reaching its subsidy limit. As of now, GM shares are back to where they were before Monday's big announcement. "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.

"It's the classic Trump thing of policies he supports working against goals he also supports", Dutta added.

U.S. Steel earlier this year announced plans to restart its Granite City blast furnace.

These moves drew the ire of the president, who said, "We have a lot of pressure on them" to maintain operations in places like Lordstown, Ohio - a state key to his re-election.

The reductions could amount to as much as 8 per cent of GM's global workforce of 180,000 employees.

The restructuring reflects changing North American auto markets as manufacturers continue to shift away from cars toward SUVs and trucks. GM did receive government bailout funds after the financial crisis, as did many other companies, but it repaid its U.S. loans - $6.7 billion - in 2010. In October, nearly 65 percent of new vehicles sold in the USA were trucks or SUVs. The United States slapped an additional 25 percent tariff on Chinese-made vehicles earlier this year, prompting China to retaliate.

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