Trump talks to GM CEO about OH plant closure

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President Trump warned General Motors that "time is of the essence" to reopen a plant in OH that closed earlier this month, citing the strong economy and competition from companies like Toyota.

President Donald Trump says he has spoken to General Motors CEO Mary Barra to vent his frustration about the automaker's closure of an OH manufacturing plant while the USA economy continues to fare well. The union represents workers at the Lordstown plant.

Trump's tweet comes as four more GM plants prepare to close, including two here in metro Detroit.

The Lordstown GM plant stopped production on March 6 after General Motors announced plans last November to close multiple manufacturing sites and cut 15,000 jobs. A UAW spokesman said in a statement Sunday that the union's "focus is on our members and to leave no stone unturned to keep the GM plants open". Earlier this year, he threatened to cut the company's subsidies after it announced plans to slash production at several USA plants.

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"General Motors and the UAW are going to start "talks" in September/October".

Trump is set to visit a General Dynamics manufacturing plant in Ohio Wednesday before also attending a fundraiser.

Trump also targeted the president of the local united auto workers union, calling him a "Democrat" who "needs to get his act together". He claimed she "blamed" the closure on the United Auto Workers union.

CBS News reported that GM released a statement saying of the plant closures, "We remain open to talking with all the affected stakeholders, but our main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities". The letter came as GM laid off the Lordstown plant's second shift and announced the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer would be assembled in Mexico.

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GM says Cruze sales in foreign countries have remained stable, fallen less sharply than in the USA or even increased, as is the case in South America.

President Trump reacted via Twitter on Saturday, urging the automaker to act quickly and open the facility back up while praising the US investments made by their competitor, Toyota. GM did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Saturday.

Carmakers aim to use at least 80 percent of the production capacity they have in place, otherwise the plants usually lose money.

GM is threatening to close plants that build sedans and compact cars because consumers have been moving to sport-utility vehicles for several years.

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He also blasted GM for letting down the USA and asserted "much better" automakers are coming to the country.