Finance: GM warned Trump that his China tariffs would hurt jobs. He now complains that it's happening. (GM)

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Trump railed against GM's decision to close plants and axe jobs, despite the role his trade war played in triggering the events in the first place.

  • Trump is railing against GM's decision to close plants and axe up to 14,000 jobs, despite the role his trade war played in triggering the events in the first place.
  • GM has warned about tariffs hurting jobs and wages earlier this year. But cited demand and other factors when announcing the job cuts.
  • Trump criticized GM's decision to abandon its plant in Ohio, a state that voted for Trump in 2016.

US President Donald Trump is railing against GM's decision to close plants and axe up to 14,000 jobs, despite the role his trade war played in triggering the events in the first place.

When listing reasons behind the job cuts on Monday, General Motors tiptoed around trade policy and blamed a host of other factors instead. But the company has been much more direct in its criticism of Trump's trade war in the past.

Earlier this year GM lowered its profit forecasts for 2018, citing higher steel and aluminium prices caused by new US tariffs. And in June, GM warned that trade tariffs could lead to job losses and lower wages, telling the Commerce Department that higher steel tariffs would impact competitiveness.

The automaker, which employs approximately 110,000 workers, said on Monday that it plans to shut plants in Ohio, a state that voted for Trump in 2016.

Tariffs were not specifically mentioned by the company — GM cited "changing market conditions and customer preferences" among the reasons.

Trump lashed out at CEO Mary Barra: "I was very tough. I spoke with her when I heard they were closing and I said, you know, this country has done a lot for General Motors," he said, per CNN. "The United States saved General Motors, and for her to take that company out of Ohio is not good."

Trump said he told the CEO that she had "better" reopen plants in the US soon.

Trump's trade war shows no signs of abating. He told the Wall Street Journal Monday that he is likely to go ahead with a hike on tariffs currently imposed on Chinese goods, increasing from 10% to 25%. The tariffs have so far hammered global shipping, US farmers and, perhaps, even iPhone users.

GM said its Lordstown Assembly plant in Warren, Ohio, would be "unallocated" by the end of 2019. The automaker said it would shut down its Oshawa Assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Detroit, its propulsion-component plants in Maryland and Michigan, and idle two additional, unnamed assembly plants outside the US.

The stock soared 4.8% on the cost cuts on Monday. But on Tuesday, GM shares were down 1.5% in premarket trading as of 11.00 a.m in London (6.00 a.m EST).

Source: BUSINESS INSIDER

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