Thousands of General Motors employees are expected to lose their jobs in the coming year as the company copes with the impact of President Trump’s ongoing trade war.
Reuters reported Monday morning that General Motors is planning to axe roughly 15,000 of its American employees, and has offered buyouts to approximately 50,000 workers so far.25 percent of American General Motors executives will also be given a pink slip.
The cutbacks appear to be in response to tariffs on steel and aluminum — that automakers like GM typically import from overseas — that began after Trump initiated a trade war with China. The company has said it has already lost roughly $1 billion as a direct result of the tariffs.
And as the Associated Press reported, five factories may close as a result of the cutbacks.
BREAKING: GM is slashing 14,700 factory and white collar jobs in North America; may close five factories.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 26, 2018
Some of the American factories that could be closed in the near future are the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan and the Lordstown Assembly in Ohio. These factories produce some of the lowest-selling models by General Motors, like the Chevy Cruze, Impala, and Volt; the Cadillac CT6 and XTS, and the Buick LaCrosse — all of which will eventually be phased out of production, according to Reuters.
As early as June, General Motors and other American companies warned the Trump administration that pursuing a trade war would endanger American jobs. The car manufacturer said that the tariffs on Chinese imports could lead to “a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American company, and risk less – not more – US jobs” not long after motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson also condemned the trade war.
In addition to GM, Toyota also warned Trump against imposing tariffs on Chinese goods like steel and aluminum, saying they could “threaten US manufacturing, jobs, exports, and economic prosperity.”
The entire auto manufacturing sector has seen losses since the trade war began. GM’s most direct competitors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, have also cut back U.S. production, and Ford has already said it may eventually cease all American manufacturing operations.
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.