President Donald Trump reaffirmed his promise to punish General Motors Co. for plans to close an auto factory in the electoral battleground of Ohio and said China’s plan to lower tariffs on U.S. cars to 15 percent doesn’t go far enough.
“General Motors is not going to be treated well,” Trump said in a Fox News interview Thursday. He said GM chief executive Mary Barra was “nasty” to announce the factory-closing plan shortly before the holidays.
“I don’t like what she did, I think it was nasty,” Trump said. “It doesn’t really matter because Ohio is under my leadership from a national standpoint. Ohio is going to replace those jobs in like two minutes.”
GM announced in November it planned to cut more than 14,000 jobs and close seven factories worldwide, including one in Lordstown, Ohio, that produces the Chevrolet Cruze. The announcement drew immediate criticism from Trump and he later said he would seek to block any federal subsidies the carmaker receives.
Trump also said he would seek further reductions in the tariff China charges on U.S.-made automobiles.
“It’s not acceptable, 15 is still too high,” Trump said.
A proposal to reduce tariffs on cars made in the U.S. to 15 percent from the current 40 percent — bringing the U.S. back in line with what other countries pay — has been submitted to China’s Cabinet for review, according to people familiar with the matter.