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GM Responds to President Trump’s New Auto Rules, Adds 900 Jobs

By Charles Omedo , Mar 16, 2017 07:22 AM EDT
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General Motors promised to retain 900 jobs or add new ones in Michigan on Wednesday, even as President Donald Trump stressed the need for US automakers to produce locally and hire Americans. GM said its decision to hire 900 auto workers or retain existing employees is not in direct response to President Trump's meeting with automotive executives in the state. The job additions will be carried at GM's Romulus Powertrain plant, Flint assembly plant and at Lansing Delta Township.

President Trump has gone tough on the automotive industry since his election, and he has stressed the need to put the American people and economy first in all things. To this extent, he has ordered that several automakers relocate their assembly or production plants back to the US or face stiffer penalties. The president reiterated this again during Wednesday meeting with automakers and auto employees at the Willow Run plant in Michigan.

'Buy American, Hire American,' According To Trump

President Trump emphasized that his campaign for American companies to put the economy and the people first is not just a promise, but a pledge. According to him, "Buy American and hire American...is not just a motto, it's a pledge," USA TODAY reported, meaning more jobs and more car production for automakers. He added that gone was the era when American companies took their jobs outside of the country, but now is the era when those outsourced jobs must return to the country because "the era of economic surrender for the United States is over."

The president took credit that he forced Ford Motors, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler, and GM among other automakers to close down foreign plants and relocate foreign jobs back to the US. This, however, is not what many automakers would readily agree to. For instance, GM emphasized that its decision to hire or retain 900 workers in Michigan has nothing to do with the president's visit to Detroit, but the result of long-term strategies and the need to support economic growth.

GM also clarified that it had in 2015 signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Auto Workers union to create 3,300 jobs within a four-year period. The new 900 jobs to be added are exclusive of the existing 3,300 to be created. GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and spokesman Pat Morrissey credit Trump's vision for the auto industry, but would not agree he has directly influenced the company's decisions in any significant way, the Washington Post wrote.

GM Michigan's Three Auto Plants For New Or Retained Jobs

According to the management at GM, its Romulus Powertrain plant will have 220 jobs created, and the Flint assembly plant will have 180 existing jobs retained. The Lansing Delta Township will also have 500 auto jobs retained, while other plants in other states might undergo similar changes soon. It is also apparent that the auto industry is gearing up for the president's scheduled policies on fuel economy.

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