Trump threatens GM for 2015 decision to make cars in Mexico


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President-elect Donald Trump has fixated on preventing American jobs from moving to Mexico.

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017, 12:53 PM

President-elect Donald Trump began his Tuesday morning by tweeting a threat to General Motors about its decision — from nearly two years ago — to build one of its models in Mexico.

Stranger still, the tweet targets a company run by one of his own policy advisors.

“General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!” Trump wrote in his tweet.

It was not immediately clear why Trump had GM on his mind. The car manufacturer announced in March 2015 it would build its next-generation Chevrolet Cruze compact in Coahuila, Mexico, a move that takes advantage of the country’s low labor costs. The company also still makes the model at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

GM noted this in a statement reply to Trump's threat.

"All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM's assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio," the statement said.

"GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S."

The tweet took an immediate toll on the company’s stock — it fell 16 cents per share in pre-market trading within minutes of the message.

GM CEO Mary Barra is part of Trump’s economic advisory team. She said in a December statement that she joined the group because it “offers us a seat at an important table where we can contribute to a constructive and open dialogue about key policy issues.”

Trump, who started his presidential campaign in a speech that vilified Mexican immigration and trade, has obsessed over preventing American companies from moving work there. He has repeatedly threatened to spike taxes for companies that outsource jobs.

Trump in December credited himself for preventing Carrier, an Indiana-based air conditioner manufacturer, from moving 1,100 jobs to Mexico. But the real figure of rescued jobs is closer to 800, and the company still plans to move more than 500 positions south of the border.

JAN. 12, 2009 FILE PHOTO

GM's CEO is a Trump financial advisor.

(Paul Sancya/AP)

Chuck Jones, the leader of the United Steelworkers union, accused Trump of “lying his ass off” about his role is saving Carrier jobs. Trump then personally targeted Jones on Twitter, writing that the union head had “done a terrible job representing workers.”

Just hours after Trump's GM tweet, Ford announced it would cancel plans to build a $1.6 billion plan in Mexico, and instead invest $700 million to expand its plant in Flat Rock, Mich. and hire 700 new workers there.

Ford CEO Mark Fields called the move "a vote of confidence for President-elect Trump and some of the policies he may be pursuing."

Since winning the presidency, Trump has also made a habit of direct calling out American businesses on Twitter. He tweeted last month that he had asked Boeing about manufacturing new fighter jets that would "price-out" one of its competitors, Lockheed Martin. 

Otherwise on Twitter, Trump targeted Obamacare in the morning, calling it "lousy healthcare." In an afternoon tweet, he should there should be "no further releases" of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

"These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield," he wrote.Send a Letter to the Editor

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