Donald Trump has positioned himself as the jobs president — a national leader that will help bring jobs back to American shores, put a stop to globalism, and encourage corporate profits in favor of the everyday worker. However, while there have been gains in unemployment rates, major companies that once signaled American prowess are having a hard time staying afloat.
Autoworkers who once voted for Trump are feeling betrayed after General Motors announced that it is closing five of its factories, including one in an Ohio county that once backed the president. On Monday, General Motors announced that it would be laying off 15,000 workers, including workers in Lordstown. This is a county were Trump won by six points back in 2016 — a county that was counting on Trump to bring jobs back.
Adjacent counties like Trumbull County once backed Obama by 23 points back in 2012 but were swayed in 2016 by Trump’s message on jobs. David Greene, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112 put it succinctly:
He came to our community and said: ‘Don’t sell your house. These jobs are coming back.’ We’ve seen nothing but job losses around here.”
About 40 percent of the local union voted for Trump, but Green said they had little to show for it.
Capri Cafaro, a former Democratic leader in the Ohio Senate who currently resides in Trumbull County, said that General Motor’s closure was disappointing, but not surprising.
It doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise, given the trend line that has been happening. We lost 1,500 jobs in the last year.”
Trump’s tariffs have had an unsettling effect on our factories. In August, a South Carolina plant that assembles televisions made plans to shut down and lay off nearly all of its employees because of new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. Element Electronics, which describes itself as one of the only assemblers of televisions in the United States, plans to lay off 126 of its 134 full-time employees.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr