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Trump says General Motors should ‘start moving back to America again’

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump returns after travelling to the AMVETS convention in Kentucky, at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S. August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Tasos KatopodisReuters

  • President Donald Trump took aim at General Motors once again early Friday, urging the American automaker to shift its production from China. 
  • The broadside came days before planned escalations between the US and China, who have been mired in a trade dispute for more than a year.
  • The president ordered private US companies to immediately find alternative markets to China in a flurry of tweets last week, but the command carried no legislative weight. 
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President Donald Trump took aim at General Motors once again early Friday, urging the American automaker to shift its production from China. 

“General Motors, which was once the Giant of Detroit, is now one of the smallest auto manufacturers there,” the president wrote on Twitter. “They moved major plants to China, BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE. This was done despite the saving help given them by the USA. Now they should start moving back to America again?”

General Motors did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. 

The broadside came days before planned escalations between the US and China, which have been mired in a trade dispute for more than a year. The two sides raised tariffs on each other’s products last Friday and have announced plans to extend them further on September 1 and December 15. 

The Detroit-based automaker has long been criticized by Trump, whose “America First” initiative was based on promises to bring jobs back to the US. The president ordered private US companies to immediately find alternative markets to China in a flurry of tweets last week, but the command carried no legislative weight. 

General Motors was at one time the largest private employer in the country, but increasingly began to move production to Mexico and China following the financial crisis. Trump has renewed criticism of the automaker following closure announcements in states important to his re-election bid in 2020.

General Motors announced in November it would idle a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in a move that was expected to cost 14,000 jobs. Other restructuring plans announced this year were expected to affect plants throughout Michigan, which narrowly tipped for Trump in 2016 on the back of pledges to support the auto industry.

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