Trump vs. General Motors

An insight into what Donald Trump means by Make America Great Again will be seen in the fallout from General Motors' announcement to halt production at three North American assembly plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario.  Shutting down these plants will affect around 14,000 jobs and is due to declining markets for the company's Chevy Cruz, Chevy Impala, Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac CT6.

These plant closures are due to market forces.  If there are not enough buyers for those sedans, why make them?  That is what the old-time Republican establishment would say.  And to be honest, said establishment would not shed many tears over the loss of United Auto Worker (UAW) jobs if the invisible hand of the market is behind it.  But that's not Donald Trump. 

Trump is for the American worker – unionized or not.  The president is apt to look around and say to Mary Barra, CEO of GM, "not so fast."  He will note that GM is presently building popular Buick SUVs in China, vehicles that can easily be built in America.  He will pointedly ask Barra: "Why isn't GM investing in and retooling U.S. plants to produce these SUVs?"

The truthful answer is that GM wants to benefit from low wages and loose labor and environmental laws in China and then have the advantage of exporting those cars into the American market with minimum tariffs applied to them.  And what of the American auto workers who lost their jobs in the process?  They're written off as casualties of globalization.

This has been going on since the 1980s in industries across the Midwest.  But Trump does not play that game.  He puts American workers and Main Street ahead of profits for Wall Street and giant international corporations.  This is what MAGA is all about.  Trump's coalition is middle-class Democrats (workers) and middle-class Republicans in the small businesses and professional and managerial jobs.  It is their interest he cares most about.

Yes, GM has a responsibility to its shareholders.  But the company lives in a bigger world than that.  And the height of irony is that GM, which now outsources American jobs, exists today only because of a massive U.S. taxpayer bailout just ten years ago.  Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.

Don't expect Trump to take GM's action lying down.  He's apt to use the threat of tariffs on Chinese cars as a way to help GM (and others) see the light.  He will look for a win-win out of this mess.

An insight into what Donald Trump means by Make America Great Again will be seen in the fallout from General Motors' announcement to halt production at three North American assembly plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario.  Shutting down these plants will affect around 14,000 jobs and is due to declining markets for the company's Chevy Cruz, Chevy Impala, Buick LaCrosse, and Cadillac CT6.

These plant closures are due to market forces.  If there are not enough buyers for those sedans, why make them?  That is what the old-time Republican establishment would say.  And to be honest, said establishment would not shed many tears over the loss of United Auto Worker (UAW) jobs if the invisible hand of the market is behind it.  But that's not Donald Trump. 

Trump is for the American worker – unionized or not.  The president is apt to look around and say to Mary Barra, CEO of GM, "not so fast."  He will note that GM is presently building popular Buick SUVs in China, vehicles that can easily be built in America.  He will pointedly ask Barra: "Why isn't GM investing in and retooling U.S. plants to produce these SUVs?"

The truthful answer is that GM wants to benefit from low wages and loose labor and environmental laws in China and then have the advantage of exporting those cars into the American market with minimum tariffs applied to them.  And what of the American auto workers who lost their jobs in the process?  They're written off as casualties of globalization.

This has been going on since the 1980s in industries across the Midwest.  But Trump does not play that game.  He puts American workers and Main Street ahead of profits for Wall Street and giant international corporations.  This is what MAGA is all about.  Trump's coalition is middle-class Democrats (workers) and middle-class Republicans in the small businesses and professional and managerial jobs.  It is their interest he cares most about.

Yes, GM has a responsibility to its shareholders.  But the company lives in a bigger world than that.  And the height of irony is that GM, which now outsources American jobs, exists today only because of a massive U.S. taxpayer bailout just ten years ago.  Talk about having your cake and eating it, too.

Don't expect Trump to take GM's action lying down.  He's apt to use the threat of tariffs on Chinese cars as a way to help GM (and others) see the light.  He will look for a win-win out of this mess.