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Trump presses GM, UAW to start talks now over closed Ohio plant

The Hill logo The Hill 3/18/2019 Brett Samuels

President Trump on Monday ratcheted up pressure on General Motors to engage in talks to reopen a shuttered plant in Ohio, one day after he separately blamed the company CEO and a local union leader for the closure.

Trump urged GM and United Automobile Workers (UAW) leaders to start negotiations "now" rather than waiting until the fall.

"I want jobs to stay in the U.S.A. and want Lordstown (Ohio), in one of the best economies in our history, opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!" he tweeted. "Car companies are all coming back to the U.S. So is everyone else."

"Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!" he added.

General Motors announced plans last November to cut 15,000 jobs and close manufacturing sites in Lordstown as well as Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich., and Oshawa, Ontario. It also announced at the time that it planned to close auto parts factories in Warren, Mich., and White Marsh, Md.

The president has pressured the company via Twitter in recent days over the Lordstown plant, which closed earlier this month.

On Sunday, he appeared to blame a local union leader for the company's decision, and later tweeted that he spoke to GM CEO Mary Barra to express his displeasure.

The Youngstown Vindicator reported that the current contract between GM and the UAW expires in September, and the two sides will engage in negotiations in the coming months.

GM told The Hill that the "ultimate future of the unallocated plants will be resolved between GM and the UAW."

Trump campaigned on a pledge to save manufacturing jobs, and he has regularly touted new investments in U.S. factories and the overall strength of the economy. His decision to go after a local union boss comes as Democratic candidates running to unseat him in 2020 are pushing their message to workers in the Midwest.

Related video: President Trump goes head-to-head with General Motors (provided by WKYC)

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