After exchanging verbal jabs, President Donald Trump and Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke one-on-one to find a solution to the impending closure of General Motors’ Lordstown plant.
Trump threatened to cut GM’s subsidies if the company follows through on its plan to shut down five North American branches, including facilities in Ohio, Michigan, and Maryland. He also told The Wall Street Journal that GM “better damn well open a new plant there very quickly.”
“I love Ohio. I told them, ‘you’re playing around with the wrong person,'” the president added, but later blamed Brown for the plant’s closure.
“Ohio wasn’t properly represented by their Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown, because he didn’t get the point across,” Trump said, though Brown later shot back.
“Instead of giving companies tax breaks to shut down American factories and lay off workers, why haven’t you supported the American Cars Americans Jobs Act?” the Ohio senator said in a press release in reference to bill he introduced in August, which would give consumers a $3,500 discount on American-made cars.
The two then spoke on the phone Wednesday night to discuss the situation, and Brown has now sent a copy of his legislation to the president.
“The president said he liked the bill. My office sent a copy of the bill over to the White House [Wednesday night] and we will continue doing everything we can to fight for Ohio jobs,” Brown told CNBC. “I’m glad the president said the right things [Wednesday night], but now he needs to follow it up with action.”
Brown spoke with CNN the morning after his phone call with the president, saying he requested that Trump revoke a provision in the GOP tax bill that allegedly incentivizes companies to move oversees.
“If you’re producing in Lordstown, you pay a 21 percent tax rate. If you move to Mexico, you pay a ten and a half percent tax rate, and I asked the president to get rid of that tax break that encourages jobs to move oversees,” Brown told CNN. “We’re going to move forward, and hope we can get this through Congress.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Sherrod Brown” by Sherrod Brown. Photo “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore.