President Trump said on Monday that he warned General Motors CEO Mary Barra to stop making cars in China and open a new factory in Ohio, one of three North American sites where the automaker is halting production at assembly plants, or risk a “big problem.”
Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Monday that he spoke with Barra on Sunday night to discuss GM’s downsizing plan.
“They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly,” Trump told the Journal. “I love Ohio,” Trump said. “I told them, ‘you’re playing around with the wrong person,'” he added, according to the newspaper.
Trump continued: “I said, ‘I heard you’re closing your plant,'” he recalled from his conversation with Barra. “‘It’s not going to be closed for long, I hope, Mary, because if it is you have a problem.'”
As part of its cost-cutting plan, GM cut the Chevrolet Cruze due to poor sales. Trump reportedly urged the company to put something else in its place.
“I said, ‘then put a car in here that is selling well, but get it opened fast,'” the president said in the Journal interview.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 26, 2018
Trump told reporters Monday that he spoke to Barra on Sunday night and “was very tough.”
“I think you’re going to see something else happen there, but I’m not happy about it,” Trump said. “I have no doubt that in a not too distant future they’ll put something else. They better put something else in.”