General Motors announced a major new investment in Michigan on Friday, underscoring its commitment to vehicle construction and job creation in the United States, according to the automaker.
President Trump accused GM of closing a major plant in Lordstown all week. Ohio, with the loss of about 5,400 jobs. GM's announcement on Friday was aimed at placating Trump, but the investment is not a direct result of his contention, two people who were familiar with the matter and commented on the condition of anonymity reported that they had no authority to publicly admit express.
Car companies plan for years, which vehicles to build where. You have to negotiate a lot of details with United Automobile Workers Union and with state and local governments, which makes it impossible to roll anything out in days, as Trump said on Sunday in a phone call to General Manager of GM, Mary Barra, had demanded. [1
Barra, wearing safety goggles, spoke on Friday to the Orion factory alongside UAW leaders and workers. She said the expansion in Michigan was part of a $ 1.8 billion investment in the United States. About $ 1.4 billion of it is money that has not previously been announced.
Domestic investment follows the announcement that GM is spending $ 2.7 billion this week on expanding its production in Brazil.
Auto industry experts point out GM's agreement with the UAW expires in September, and it's typical of large automakers to announce significant new investments at this time as companies and the union look at payroll and production details for the UAW agree in the next few years.
Spring 2015 According to the Center for Automotive Research, GM announced additional investments of $ 2 billion, but many details about which plants would receive the money were not released until after the union agreement was completed.
"We're likely We've spent several years of discussions with GM to get to this point to make Friday's announcement," said Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research.  GM hoped to appease Trump, but the company did not sign up in Ohio.
Trump did not tweet about GM's announcement on Friday, a notable difference to his praise from Ford the week after the automaker said it would invest $ 1 billion in a facility in Michigan.
But Larry Kudlow, head of the Trump National Economic Council, said the GM news is welcome. He talked about it with Barra on Thursday.
"It's a big advantage. There are no two options, "Kudlow said." GM is building in America, and they are investing in America. "
Trump had demanded that Barra either reopen the facility in Lordstown or sell it to another company in the huge Factory would build something else foundation of "Steel Valley" in eastern Ohio.
"And what about General Motors going on? … Sell it to someone or open it yourself. Join now, and the UAW will help you, "said Trump on a visit to Ohio on Wednesday.
The Lordstown area had decades-long elected Democrats to the presidency before joining Trump after promising to return overseas jobs.
"Lordstown is a great area. I guess I like it because I've gotten so big there, "said Trump on Wednesday.
According to the Labor Department, most jobs for manufacturing have been added since 1997, with many companies cutting tax rates Most of them are not fans of its tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Trumbull County, where Lordstown is located, has not benefited so much from the strong economy in recent years, with the county's unemployment rate at 7 7 percent, more than twice the national quota, has changed little since Trump's inauguration of 8.1 percent.
The President has made it clear that he wants another vehicle in Lordstown.
Im Calling with Trump Barra tried to explain that the fate of the Lordstown plant will be decided this year, when the trade union negotiations abated But Trump did not like this reaction, according to two people familiar with the call.
GM dismissed the news as a sign that the company welcomed the new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada that creates incentives for the production of vehicles in North America.
"We are pleased to bring these jobs and this investment to the US," Barra said Friday
But some legislators in Ohio were not satisfied with Friday's GM announcement. "After GM put billions of dollars into tax cuts, they can certainly afford to make their workers right to rebuild the Lordstown plant and invest in the Valley, as was the case today in Orion Township," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
GM workers in Lordstown face a tough decision on whether to look for other jobs in the area, go to school to retrain or accept GM's offer to move to another country in the country.
Although GM has allowed several hundred Lordstown workers to voluntarily transfer to other factories, a few letters are sent stating that a worker will only have to work in the GM Lordstown factory in the future. This is a risky bet as the facility may not be reopened.
a very stressful place, "said David Green, president of UAW Local 1112 in Lordstown. "We had like 100 people who were forced to mail to Wentzville, Missouri. They said no. They are just not interested.