Ohio’s lawmakers are turning up the heat on President Donald Trump after General Motors announced Monday that it will be halting production at five facilities across North America, one in Lordstown.
In what one politician is calling “Black Monday,” General Motors plans to stop production of three of its Chevrolet models, including the Chevy Cruze, which is produced at the company’s Lordstown plant. By March 2019, an estimated 1,618 Ohioans will lose their jobs, unless General Motors repurposes its Ohio facility.
The announcement could strike a blow to President Trump’s record, since he promised to bring jobs back to the region when he visited last year.
“They’re all coming back. Don’t move. Don’t sell your house,” Trump said during a rally in Youngstown, which Ohio’s Democratic lawmakers are now predictably using against him.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) didn’t mince words when reacting to the news, telling WKBN that he’s “pissed off about the whole thing” and attacked General Motors for “screwing Americans all over the country.”
“So far, President Trump has been asleep at the switch and owes this community an explanation. We tried to get his attention on this issue two years ago,” Ryan later said in a press release. “He promised us that his massive corporate tax cut would lead to dramatic reinvestments in our communities. That clearly is not happening.”
Ryan, whose district includes Lordstown, went on to suggest that “corporations like General Motors and the President himself are the only ones benefiting from this economy.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Ryan in condemning General Motors’ decision, calling it “corporate greed at its worst.”
“The workers at Lordstown are the best at what they do, and it’s clear once again that GM doesn’t respect them. Ohio taxpayers rescued GM, and it’s shameful that the company is now abandoning the Mahoning Valley and laying off workers right before the holiday,” Brown said in a press release.
“Even worse, the company reaped a massive tax break from last year’s GOP tax bill and failed to invest that money in American jobs, choosing to build its Blazer in Mexico,” Brown added, saying the company “owes the community answers” on its “disastrous decision.”
Brown’s colleague, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), said he is “deeply frustrated” with the announcement, and met with General Motors CEO Mary Barra to urge her “to look to the Lordstown plant for production of other vehicles.”
“For decades, workers in the Mahoning Valley have made a commitment to GM, and today GM let Northeast Ohio down,” Portman continued.
Trump told reporters Monday that he also spoke with Barra after the announcement, saying he will continue to put “a lot of pressure on them.”
“I spoke with her when I heard they were closing, and I said: ‘You know, this country’s done a lot for General Motors, you better get back in there soon. That’s Ohio,'” Trump said. “I have no doubt, but in the not-too-distant future, they’ll put something else—they better put something else in.”
– – –