If you haven’t heard, General Motors recently closed five locations leaving 14,000 people without jobs. Regardless of the fact that they had recently received millions in corporate tax cuts intended to produce jobs, like most of the major corporations who received this Trump conceived perk, GM didn’t use the money to invest in its workers. Instead, they decided that they would be building their new Chevy Blazer in Mexico and layoff thousands of employees, screwing American workers twice over. Whatever happened to the millions that they got back in tax cuts remains a mystery, and GMs former employees have been left to handle the shock of learning they were unemployed through the media just weeks before the holidays. While a number of their reactions have been confusion and anger, a lot of the reactions to GM layoffs blame Trump himself.
Trump Repealed The CAFE Standard
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFE standard, which required automakers to improve vehicles so that they get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, was put into action by the Obama administration. Obviously, this meant Trump had to go out of his way to get rid of it for no reason other than the fact that he can. The result will be fewer high-efficiency, zero-pollution vehicles in production, but who cares about the planet right?
A 20-year veteran, Nanette Senters, worked at GM’s Lordstown plant in Warren, Ohio where the Chevy Cruze was produced. In an interview with VOX, she largely blamed Trump’s decision to repeal the CAFE standard for the layoffs, as this allowed GM to scrap the Chevy Cruze as well those responsible for manufacturing them.
“There’s a lot of blame to go around. I blame a lot of it on our president. I think it all started when Trump repealed the [Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard]. The CAFE standard meant that you could produce small cars that are energy-efficient and that would kind of balance out the building of big trucks and gas guzzlers. Building the Cruze meant that GM could also build many big trucks and still meet fuel efficiency standards. When Trump repealed the CAFE standard, that gave GM more of an incentive to get rid of the Chevy Cruze and do this restructuring.”
Trump Promised More Jobs For Americans
Trump made outlandish promises to Americans, vowing to create more jobs and to turn things around in towns where residents relied heavily on plants like GM for jobs. Unfortunately, many of these people fell for his crap and now find themselves unemployed.
Bryan Keeley, who worked for GM for 26 years, is still hoping Trump will be able to help.
“I thought he was going to do miracles for us, so did a lot of other autoworkers. He needs to step up to the plate and do what he said.’’
Senters, on the other hand, has lost faith in the president and doesn’t expect that he’ll be able to do a thing to bring back the jobs GM employees lost. She accuses Trump of giving people false hope by telling them not to sell their homes in a speech he made last summer, saying he would bring back something he had no control over.
“But Trump is not willing to put his money where his mouth is. And so many of my co-workers, around half of them, are still pinning all their hopes on Trump. I hope I’m wrong. I hope he does do something about the thousands of jobs companies are still sending abroad. But he hasn’t done anything about Carrier, Honeywell, or Harley-Davidson. Basically, since he’s been in office, it has been an assault on good-paying jobs. What he’s doing is not translating into anything good for middle-class America.”
Trump’s New Tariffs
Trump’s latest genius idea to impose higher tariffs on imports from China has led to retaliation tariffs, which has caused the cost of parts and purchased overseas by U.S. manufacturers to increase. When it comes to these recent GM layoffs, many have speculated that the increased tariffs on steel and aluminum may have been a factor in their decision to close several of their plants. Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin held Trump responsible for the layoffs on Fox News Sunday saying:
“I do think the way the president has gone about the trade policies, imposing tariffs — there’s a consequence, there’s a domestic consequence, and clearly General Motors’ decisions are in part based upon the tariff issue, so yes it has an impact, and it costs us jobs here in America.”
When production costs start to rise, jobs start to get outsourced to other countries to save on costs. Not only have over 14,000 GM employees lost their jobs but by outsourcing production to Mexico, new jobs won’t be created either.