President Trump promised to create and bring back jobs to places like Lordstown.
- In Youngstown, Trump said, “…those jobs have left Ohio. They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back. Don’t move. Don’t sell your house. Don’t sell your house.” [Trump speech transcript, Time, 7/26/17]
- Trump said that the GM Lordstown closing “doesn’t really matter” because “Ohio’s going to replace those jobs like in two minutes.” [Cleveland.com, 12/16/18]
- As of May 2019, “Trump has made 35 claims that companies would create 8.9 million jobs in the U.S. thanks to his policies and actions.” [ProPublica, 5/7/19]
Despite President Trump’s promises, workers and families in Ohio and across the Midwest are facing devastating job losses.
- Trump Promised Tax Cuts Would Bring Back Jobs, But GM Workers In Ohio Feel Betrayed: “The Trump administration sold the huge rate cuts, the driving force behind the tax law, as the way to bring back American jobs and keep companies from moving overseas… But that’s not how it worked out for workers here in northeastern Ohio. In fact, the results, so far, have been the opposite of Trump’s promises. GM has shed roughly 3,000 hourly and salaried jobs in the area since the tax cuts.” [NBC News & The Center for Public Integrity, 3/23/19]
- “Manufacturing Works [a non-profit economic development organization in Cleveland] projected that the shutdown of Lordstown will lead to the eventual loss of as many as 43,000 jobs in Ohio and across the industrial midwest.” [Cleveland.com, 12/9/18]
- “…how much credit does Trump deserve? We tracked the president’s tweets and speeches about job creation to try to figure out how well his claims stacked up. The answer is: Not well.” [ProPublica, 5/7/19]
IMPACT OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ECONOMIC POLICIES
Working families have seen virtually nothing from the tax law President Trump pushed through Congress. Instead, the tax law handed corporate America a windfall and a massive break on foreign profits.
- “Economic data shows that the tax bill’s benefit to workers was largely a mirage.” [Vox, 12/8/18]
- “Workers barely benefited from Trump’s sweeping tax cut, investigation shows” [The Guardian, 4/30/19]
- General Motors has already received a $157 million tax windfall thanks to the law. [Detroit Free Press, 11/26/18]
Worse yet, Trump’s tax law has incentivized companies to ship jobs overseas and plants like GM Lordstown to shut down.
- “Expert Witness Confirms Tax Bill Encourages Corporations to Outsource Jobs, Keep Profits Overseas” [Press Release, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, 11/14/17]
- “CBO confirms GOP tax bill will worsen offshore tax dodging” [ThinkProgress, 4/16/18]
- “Under the new law, income made by American companies’ overseas subsidiaries will face United States taxes that are half the rate applied to their domestic income, 10.5 percent compared with the new top corporate rate of 21 percent…’“It’s sort of an America-last tax policy,” said Kimberly Clausing, an economist at Reed College’… “Having such a low rate on foreign income is outrageous,” said Stephen E. Shay, a senior lecturer at Harvard Law School and a Treasury Department official during the Reagan and Obama administrations.” [The New York Times, 1/8/18]
In addition to the tax law, the Trump administration’s tariffs are negatively impacting Ohio jobs. In fact, General Motors cited tariffs as a reason for layoffs from the GM Lordstown plant.
- In a survey of northeast Ohio manufacturers, “66% of respondents said that recent tariffs imposed by the U.S. have negatively affected their companies.” And “when asked what specific government regulations concern them the most, tariffs was the most frequently cited response.” [The Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, 2019]
- “GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra cited the tariffs in November when she announced the 14,000 job cuts that included the Lordstown plant’s shuttering. [Politico, 3/19/19]
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GM LORDSTOWN PLANT:
A Timeline of GM through the years [Tribune Chronicle, 11/27/18]
- August 2008: “GM will replace Cobalt with Cruze, investing $350 million in plant. Ohio provides an $82 million tax credit and $2 million in grants.”
- April 2016: “50th anniversary of production of the first automobile at the Lordstown plant.”
- November 2016: “1,200 workers face layoff.”
- June 2018: “Second shift cut; 1,500 laid off.”
- November 2018: “GM announces plans to ‘unallocate’ five plants corporate-wide, including the Lordstown complex, home of the Chevrolet Cruze, eliminating about 15,000 jobs locally.”
As GM’s Lordstown plant idles, an iconic American job nears extinction [CNN, 3/6/19]
- “During the Lordstown plant’s heyday in the 1970s, GM was one of the biggest private sector employers in the United States, with more than 618,000 employees. That number is now down to about 103,000.”
- “Since 1990, wages for US auto workers have declined 18%, adjusted for inflation. Retirement benefits have declined as well. As of 2017, only 8% of factories offered pensions.”
- “Those trends are especially pronounced in the Youngstown, Ohio region…Since the beginning of the Great Recession, real hourly earnings have dropped by 8% in the area, while rising 11% in the rest of the country.”
In May 2019, President Trump tweeted that Workhorse, an Ohio-based company that lost tens of millions of dollars in 2018, would be buying the GM Lordstown plant.
- @RealDonaldTrump, “…GM will be selling their beautiful Lordstown Plant to Workhorse…” [Twitter, 5/8/19]
- “Last year… the [Workhorse] also lost $36.5 million.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/9/19]
The announcement was met with a great deal of skepticism from Lordstown workers, union leaders, industry experts, and elected officials, including Republican Governor Mike DeWine.
- “In the days following President Donald Trump’s tweet and GM’s announcement, Workhorse’s ‘viability’ is a shared concern for some Lordstown workers, union leaders and industry experts, who cite its shaky financial condition.” [The Detroit News, 5/13/19]
- “The only thing missing from the potential deal is the money to pay for the sprawling 6.2 million-square-foot complex…The company is burning through investors’ cash and would need way more to finance a deal to acquire the Lordstown facility, which was part of a massive $1.8 billion write-off of five plants and related pension charges.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/9/19]
- “Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday voiced caution over news that General Motors’ recently closed Lordstown plant might be sold to an electric-truck manufacturer, saying a deal is ‘still a long ways away.’…’As far as Lordstown, this is probably not the day to celebrate,’ DeWine said.” [Cleveland.com, 5/9/19]
- Analysis: Trump’s ‘GREAT NEWS’ lands with a thud on GM Lordstown plant floor [Bloomberg, 5/8/19]