In case you missed it… On Tuesday night, Donald Trump talked for 82 minutes, delivering one of the longest State of the Union addresses in American history — but he still didn’t find time to mention how General Motors is planning to shutter its Lordstown plant or provide reassurance to the thousands of workers whose jobs are at stake.
Those workers spoke out after the speech:
“I don’t know if it’s Trump’s fault we’re losing our jobs, but I don’t think he’s done anything to stop the bleeding we’re feeling here. The GOP tax cut didn’t help. The free trade agreement hasn’t helped. There’s nothing Trump has done that has helped.” — Dave Green, president of UAW Local 1112
“I wasn’t impressed at all. I felt that there were more issues that could have been talked about, especially with the economy and locally, GM and what we’re going through, and he didn’t bring that up.” — UAW Local 1112 worker
“He came out in November and said that he expected something to go there and then in the SOTU he had the perfect opportunity and didn’t even mention us.” — UAW Local 1112 worker
“He brought up NAFTA. I was hoping he was going to… acknowledge that the tax cut he gave is actually outsourcing jobs, that he would want to fix that, but he failed to mention that.” — UAW Local 1112 worker
The Youngstown Vindicator editorial page noted that “Trump missed the chance to take on General Motors” in his address.
Trump’s State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress would have been the ideal setting for him to publicly demand that GM revisit its decision on the plant closings.
Such a statement would have reassured the Republican president’s supporters in the predominantly Democratic Mahoning Valley that he has not forgotten them.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post highlighted a New York Fed report about where new manufacturing jobs have been created — and places like eastern Ohio, including Lordstown, have lost out as other regions have seen gains.
New research out Wednesday from the New York Federal Reserve highlights how 6 million manufacturing jobs were lost in the United States between 2000 and 2010. About 1 million manufacturing jobs have returned since then, an encouraging sign, but the new jobs have come mainly in “auto alley” — parts of Michigan, Indiana and South Carolina where car and truck manufacturing is heaviest.
Many of the new jobs have been in transportation parts suppliers in auto alley or “advanced manufacturing” on the West Coast. Parts of the Rust Belt are still shedding manufacturing jobs or, at least, not adding new manufacturing jobs.
The losers include much of the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic. New York, Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, which includes Cleveland, Youngstown and Lordstown, are still getting hit hard.
Youngstown Vindicator (editorial): Trump missed the chance to take on General Motors