General Motors Layoffs Signal Uncertain Future for American Cars-and More

His detractors may feel differently but Donald Trump's scorched-earth approach to international trade is not the main reason General Motors is shuttering plants and slashing thousands of jobs in Canada and the United States

'You better get back in there soon’: Trump vows to get tough with General Motors over plant closures

The angry response to GM's decision is coming from multiple top Trump officials.

And, referring to the 2008 federal bailout of the auto industry, Trump angrily continued that "the USA saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!"

The restructuring reflects changing North American auto markets as manufacturers continue to shift away from cars towards SUVs and trucks.

The Twitter account of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amplified a message from an anonymous account called "The_Trump_Train" on Wednesday that demanded GM "pay back the $11.2 billion bailout that was funded by the American taxpayer". Most importantly he said he wanted to stop the job loss the region has seen.

He blasted GM's CEO, Mary Barra, "for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland" even though "nothing" was "being closed in Mexico & China". Trump tweeted, noting that GM facilities in both China and Mexico appeared to escape unscathed.

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Earlier this week, Trump said he told GM CEO Mary Barra that she should quit making cars in China and open a new plant in OH to replace the one in Lordstown, which is ending production, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed in July to hold off on any new tariffs while negotiations were underway. If companies don't want to pay Tariffs, build in the United States of America. "We are going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and others and whether they should apply or not".

Democrats and Republicans in Congress and union leaders are also pressuring the company to keep the plant running, in what's now a high-stakes decision for all involved, not just for the workers and the battered Rust Belt community nervously watching.

Honda said it was in a similar boat. Ford said it will cut jobs and BMW's exports have slumped. "After years and years of sending our jobs and wealth to other countries, we are finally standing up for our workers and for our companies..."

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who was in the Prime Minister's meeting with Mr. Dias, said Ottawa is ready to look at options to save the Oshawa plant, including loans and subsidies. It sparked tariffs on foreign-made brandy, dextrin, potato starch and vehicles - specifically, light trucks, such as pickups. Mr. Bains said the lesson of the planned GM plant closings in Canada and the United States is that tariffs don't work, pointing to the USA tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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The US President tweeted that tariffs were "being studied" and that duties could have stopped the GM closures.

Getting Ottawa to impose tariffs on Mexican-made vehicles would be a long shot.

And given its condemnation of the United States' use of national-security grounds to hit Canada with steel and aluminum tariffs, the government isn't likely to go that route either.

"We're gonna work on this and I'm gonna take the president at his word", Brown said.

"Jerry Dias, head of Unifor which represents the 2,500 Canadian workers that will find themselves out of work at the end of 2019 when GM shutters its Oshawa plant, met earlier with Trudeau". "So enough is enough". "I said, 'You know, this country has done a lot for General Motors".

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Such tariffs, according to an analysis released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics in May, could see production fall by 1.5% and "cause 195,000 USA workers to lose their jobs over a 1- to 3-year period or possibly longer". If the U.S. went ahead with auto duties and its trading partners responded in kind it would take as much as three quarters of a percentage point off the global growth forecast that International Monetary Fund economists now expect to be 3.7 percent next year.

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