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Trump's Ill-Advised Slams on GM

If he wants to help American autoworkers, the president should make trade peace, not war.

Trump MouthTodd KraininPresident Donald Trump has gone after General Motors for its recent announcement that it would mothball several American plants and layoff thousands of workers. But Trump's slams are ill-advised.

GM has been doing the right thing for a change: It's proactively responding to shifting market realities so that it doesn't have to come rattling its tin cup in Washington again, I note in my latest column at The Week.

If Trump really wants to help GM—and protect auto jobs in the long run—he should stop calling himself Tariff Man and make trade peace with the world, especially America's neighbors and China.

His steel and aluminum tariffs have hurt domestic carmakers, his newly renegotiated NAFTA will raise costs of cars just when demand is plummeting, and his threats to further hike tariffs on Chinese will hurt the pocketbooks of working-class Americans without boosting their job prospects.

Go here to read the whole piece.

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  • loveconstitution1789||

    We're in a trade "WAR" according to some people.

    Why not win the war then?

    Because normal people understand that the propagandists are lying. GM is not laying off employees because of tariffs. GM is laying off employees because sales are down. Trade restrictions have been taking their toll on US car manufacturers for decades, and unions are inflating wages.

    Cars should be getting cheaper with some better tech upgrades that would costs more. Instead cars are packed with government mandated and industry mandated crap that costs more and that some customers dont want.

    I dont want to pay $"x" for a mandatory backup camera. I dont need 14 airbags. All this shit costs money.

    Trump is calling GM TARP sucking executives out on their bullshit and it works with the voters.

  • Eric||

    Attacking GM for correctly responding to market forces is silly populist garbage. Nobody wants a Chevy Volt while gas is cheap as dirt. Further, GM is saddled with enormous pension liabilities and a unionized workforce while "foreign" manufacturers who've set up shop in the south aren't. I read once that it cost the Detroit automakers about $2000 more to make the average sedan than the Japanese due to a unionized workforce and pension obligations. They simply cannot compete in the sedan marketplace.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    GM has been ignoring market forces for decades.

    Its why taxpayers had to pay for TARP to bail their asses out.

    I would not take a free GM vehicle. I bet that would not even shock a GM executive. Its just another reason why GM is having money troubles.

    You have run your "national" car company into the ground when multitude of Americans wont even take a free car from your American car company.

  • Eric||

    "I would not take a free GM vehicle."

    Really? Even a Cadillac? I certainly wouldn't pay MSRP (or even Invoice) for one. But I'd happily take any of their pickups for free. The Silverado, Colorado/Canyon are nice trucks. I also like how they've restyled the Buicks.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I would not take any GM vehicle. No caddy. No trucks. No Buicks.

    Fords suck too.

  • ||

    Same old song. That's why bailing GM out without meaningful corporate reform was condemned to failure and eventually spinning of the same record.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    Wait, you're saying they're noncompetitive because their bankruptcy process didn't bother to deal with their major outstanding cost drivers like they would with a normal proceeding? Shocker.

    Sorry but large portions of their pension liabilities and unionized contracts should have been reduced and/or restructured during their bankruptcy to make them competitive after exit. They were not. Instead they were let off the hook for billions in taxes owed entirely outside normal proceedings.

    Sorry but you don't get to artificially manipulate the price of all inputs then claim they're "correctly responding to market forces" because they're not.

  • Eric||

    "you don't get to artificially manipulate the price of all inputs then claim they're "correctly responding to market forces" because they're not."

    Sure they are. Consumer demand is a MAJOR factor in market force, and consumers don't want sedans right now...especially American sedans (super-especially American electric sedans).

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Cars should be getting cheaper with some better tech upgrades that would costs more. Instead cars are packed with government mandated and industry mandated crap that costs more and that some customers dont want.

    I, as a customer, don't want my car to necessarily have to have government-mandated 75% content produced in NA countries or 40% of the content to be made by workers earning $16/hour.

    So, yeah... I see what you mean by government regulations run amok.

  • Shirley Knott||

    But the USMCA is better than NAFTA. Elsie assures us of this and when has Elsie ever been wrong? Aside from on days that end in 'y' of course.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Still no comparing or contrasting what your sock puppet said, huh?

  • sarcasmic||

    The fun thing about switching the burden of proof is that you get to ignore all proof. No matter what kind of links anyone provides, they won't be good enough because you can set the burden impossibly high. Then you get to sit up on your high horse and call people names while knowing the whole time that you're a shameless, dishonest piece of troll shit.

    Amiright or amiright?

  • TuIpa||

    So by your logic sarc you're " a shameless, dishonest piece of troll shit."

    I find it impossible to disagree.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't demand proof and then say "Not good enough, try again," over and over and over, just to be a dick and toy with people. Sorry, but that ain't by bag, man.

    If you think that's the case then please provide the proof. After all, you are the one making the assertion.

  • TuIpa||

    Actually, I was just following your logic.

    "you get to sit up on your high horse and call people names"

    That's you in a nutshell. You are literally doing that in the quoted post.

  • Juice||

    What names were called?

  • sarcasmic||

    You are literally doing that in the quoted post.

    Context matters, dipshit. I said that while calling someone out for intentionally engaging in intellectually dishonest arguments. I think that lc deserves every insult he gets, and more.

  • TuIpa||

    "Context matters"

    Oh come the fuck off it you fucking clown.

    Stop making excuses, you got caught and now you're making shitbag loser excuses.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't think someone who switches the burden of proof and then sets an impossible bar, with the intention of being a dick and toying with people, is not shameless and dishonest?

    You're intentionally taking things out of context to be a dick. Then again, that's your shtick, isn't it?

  • TuIpa||

    Learn to read.

  • TuIpa||

    "Juice|12.6.18 @ 5:28PM|#

    What names were called?"

    I called you an illiterate retard.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    More excuses as to why the troll Sarcasmic wont back up his position.

    They keep saying NAFTA is this and USCMA is that without going through all the hundreds of pages themselves.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Hardly.
    I, at least, keep seeing you make claims about the USMCA vis-a-vis NAFTA, and you have offered to post both so people can compare.
    Yet you never do. You never support your position. You merely assert it.
    It's not the goalpost shifting that gets me, it's your blatant dishonesty. Your malicious bad-faith interactions. Your pretensions.

  • Peter Duncan||

    You've never gone "through all the hundreds of pages" you lying cunt!

    Prove you have, now!

  • TuIpa||

    Fuck off Hihn.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Oh poor trolls, wont post anything comparing and contrasting NAFTA and USCMA but continue to say NAFTA is great.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Owning the libs and "winning" are for more important than intellectual consistency. Surely (Shirley) you know this, right?

    If NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever, then a minor rewrite by another name must be the best trade deal ever. Prove that it's not.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You made the claim you did.

    Not backing it up just shows how much of a piece of shit you are.

    Keep trying to passively aggressively support your troll buds. Its working wonders.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Are you denying that increasing the NA content from 62.5% and 75% is more regulation (as I claimed)?

    Are you denying that mandating 30% (and up to 40% in the future) of content be produced by workers earning $16/hour is more regulation (as I claimed)?

    How do you square your apparent support for USCMA and these regulations with your statement in this thread, "Instead cars are packed with government mandated and industry mandated crap that costs more and that some customers dont want."

    Clarify your position or I am done debating this with you. You've been reasonable in the past with me. Don't go full on Shrike with the ad homs now.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Keep going Leo, at this rate you might compare and contrast NAFTA and USCMA someday.

  • Peter Duncan||

    He called your bullshit and you can't refute it, lazy lying progressive, statist piece of shit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The trolls are tripping over themselves to keep their sock puppets from talking to themselves.

  • TuIpa||

    "Owning the libs and "winning" are for more important than intellectual consistency"

    Not taking any sides but do you think libs care about intellectual consistency any more than cons? And what do you have to show for your own intellectual consistency when the people running things discard theirs and line you up on a fucking wall?

    This isn't a thought exercise we are talking about. It's real life, and no one cares about intellectual consistency anymore. You can't get anything done using rules no one plays by.

    You're not a better person because you cling to intellectual consistency. You're a fucking sucker who is destined to lose.

    And no, before you whine, I hate it. But it is what it is.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Not taking any sides but do you think libs care about intellectual consistency any more than cons?

    No I don't. I thought conservatives did at one point, but not now. Either they changed or I did.

    This isn't a thought exercise we are talking about. It's real life, and no one cares about intellectual consistency anymore. You can't get anything done using rules no one plays by.

    But that's the struggle. Without intellectual consistency you get conservatives for tariffs and protectionist regulations, and liberals for speech restrictions.

  • TuIpa||

    "But that's the struggle"

    Maybe it used to be. It isn't anymore.

    I prefer winning and implementing my policies. I don't really care how any longer, and that is a reflection of the preferences of basically everyone involved.

  • Nardz||

    Well said, Tulpa.

  • ||

    A useless stat for me is the emissions rules. It's not a selling point that will get me to buy.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Agreed 100%.

    Not to mention safety. Why not allow for independent ratings on safety and let consumers decide if they're willing to pay the extra money for thousands of air bags? You can't buy a car without a backup camera now.

    Or fuel economy. If you can make me a car that gets worse fuel economy, but at a significantly lower cost, I can run the math myself to determine the total cost of ownership. I don't need government to mandate that to me.

  • ||

    A friend of mine was driving his BMW one day and he got a message from them (because of the GPS system) telling him to bring the car in for a brake change.

    When the lease was up he gave the keys back.

    A bit too much for his taste.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If only someone who is making claims would compare and contrast NAFTA and its requirements along with USCMA.

    But YOU wont.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You have a lot more NAFTA rules to share and contrast with USCMA.

  • Juice||

    We're in a trade "WAR" according to some people.

    We?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You?

    I?

  • Agammamon||

    So, if sales are down, why are we making it harder on GM?

  • Sevo||

    "Trump's War on Trade: New at Reason"
    Reason Staff | 12.06.18 7:00 am
    ---------------------------------------------
    "Study: Trump's Tariffs Are a $42 Million Regressive Tax Increase"
    Eric Boehm | 12.06.18 9:55 am
    ---------------------------------------------
    "Trump's Ill-Advised Slams on GM"
    Shikha Dalmia | 12.06.18 10:55 am

    Why would anyone ever imagine the Reason editors and staff suffer from advanced TDS?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    As opposed to just preferring free markets?

  • Sevo||

    Leo Kovalensky II|12.6.18 @ 11:40AM|#
    "As opposed to just preferring free markets?"

    I got some hints for you:
    There are many impediments to free exchange, and in the overall scheme of things, Trump represents a very small distortion.
    What's more, a libertarian view covers subjects other that than, and yet of 4 articles posted, three are about Trump and his economic illiteracy.
    Gee, imagine my suprise!

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I can't tell if you're arguing that Trump isn't an economic illiterate, or just that Reason shouldn't report on it.

    By the way, the DOW keeps falling and all signs are that we're heading towards a slow-down (at best). It is ALWAYS about the economy in times like these.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Im sure Leo will advocate how great Trump is doing when the DOW Jones starts going back up.

    Of course, because the stock market is the single best indicator of how the economy is doing.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    TDS is the Reason goal since Jan 20, 2017

    Its funny that they got less money this year.

  • Ben_||

    I can't believe people get paid to complain about stuff Trump says. It's right up there with complaining about cold in winter or darkness at night.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Instead, how about GM asking Trump to design a car--a car real Americans want to buy. Kinda like Homer Simpson did for Powell Motors.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would Trump agree to that? He is not an engineer.

    GM has hundreds or thousands of engineers and they still cannot produce a single vehicle that I would take FOR FREE.

    If someone tried to give me a FREE GM vehicle, I would not accept it. Accepting it would mean that I had to pay taxes, repair a shitty vehicle, and various regulatory costs like licensing.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Reason is now defending corporate subsidies all in the name of attacking Trump? Even for Dalmia, this is low.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Dalmia has been riding the propaganda train for some time.

    Its cars now that Trump won the border battle.

  • ||

    Fun times ain't it?

  • Fancylad||

    The moment I saw the photoshopped pic of Trump's mouth when scrolling down, I knew it was pinned to a Shikha article.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Trump is ramping up pressure on the Chinese ahead of negotiations. The arrest of the Haiwei CFO in Canada is making big waves in the market today as a signal of how well the negotiations are likely to go with China. When China dropped tariffs on cars imported from China earlier this week, the markets reacted well. It's been a typical tactic of Trump to meet China's concessions with escalations of hostility in the trade war. He might be looking to negotiate from a position of strength, or he might be playing China for a fool.

    I haven't seen any persuasive indication that Trump wants free trade or a free trade agreement with China. The deadline for China to make a deal with the Trump administration is 90 days. Both sides agree on that. So, we'll know whether Trump has any real desire for free trade with China come March. Looking at Trump's behavior in the past, however, he's probably not negotiating in good faith. China has so much to lose that they're willing to subject themselves to more than they probably should, but I wouldn't expect much.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Ken, you're correct. If Trump were negotiating in good faith, he would signal to the rest of the world that he is easing tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum. That appears to not be the case, even after getting a win on the NAFTA re-write. Why would China want to ease their restrictionist policies when Trump can't even show goodwill towards cooperative "friendly" nations?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump already offered free trade to our trading partners. They rejected the offer.

    Trump is playing hard ball as he knows that they want access to the best market in the World- USA.

    Plus, one negotiation tactic is to push hard for something nobody wants to get some middle ground that works for all parties.

    Trump has a lot of leverage and all the trading partners know this. They just hoped that the propagandists in media would have gotten a better result for them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Americans are not only buying fewer cars but switching from smaller to larger ones. So it makes sense that all the plants GM intends to mothball manufacture sedans such as the Buick LaCrosse, whose sales have dropped 45 percent over the last couple of years, and the Chevy Cruz, which has seen a 27 percent decline. At the same time, large vehicles have grown from 67 percent of its sales portfolio in 2015 to 80 percent now."

    Kudos to Dalmia for being honest about this. GM would be mothballing these plants even without the tariffs. I might have added that larger cars and SUVs require more aluminum and steel than smaller cars, which means that GM is switching to a different lineup not because of the tariffs but in spite of them.

    The other thing GM is pouring investment into is autonomous cars. That change would be happening with or without the tariffs, as well. The television industry is being subjected to the forces of creative destruction by way of streaming services like nothing else at the moment, but if I had to guess which industry is likely to suffer from creative destruction the most over the next ten years, surely the leading candidate would have to be the auto industry.

    Waymo launched the first autonomous cab service yesterday.

    http://arstechnica.com/cars/20.....explained/

    That will probably make the disruptions caused by Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs seem negligible by way of comparison.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Nice vagina dentata pic, Shikha.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Some day we'll get Reason to post Hillary's dick.

    She does wear underwear with dick holes in it, after all.

  • ||

    One word:

    CANYANERO.

    Do it.

  • Dillinger||

    deer smackin' squirrel crushin' drivin' machine!

  • Dillinger||

    so they not Government Motors anymore?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chrysler opens new SUV plant

    Hmm.... wonder if Reason will cover this little development.

    Trump gets blamed for GM closing plants, Reason blames Trump for Chrysler opening new plant.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chrysler opens new SUV plant

    Hmm.... wonder if Reason will cover this little development.

    Trump gets blamed for GM closing plants, Reason blames Trump for Chrysler opening new plant.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chrysler opens new SUV plant

    Hmm.... wonder if Reason will cover this little development.

    Trump gets blamed for GM closing plants, Reason blames Trump for Chrysler opening new plant.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is why Reason wont get any money from me.

    Shitty IT department.

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