In a pair of Twitter posts Wednesday, Trump pointed to a longstanding U.S. tariff on imported pickup trucks that has helped US-based automakers dominate that market.
He also claims to have admonished Barra in person, and said he told the CEO that she had "better" reopen plants in the United States soon. Both expressed their frustration regarding GM's decision that will impact the lives of more than 14,000 of workers in North America.
When news emerged late Sunday that the company was planning to shut down its flagship Canadian plant in Oshawa, Ont., putting more than 2,500 people out of work, social media set its sights on Trump's "America First" strategy for bringing manufacturing jobs back to USA soil.
He added that his administration was "looking at cutting all GM subsidies, including for electric cars".
"This week, people's lives are being upended in the Mahoning Valley". They see workers as a cost to be minimized.
In January, Toyota and Mazda said they would join forces to build a $1.6 billion plant in Alabama that will eventually employ up to 4,000 workers.
Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday that Trump had to look at how to increase tariffs on Chinese auto imports from 27.5% to 40%, to bring them in line with the tariffs China levies on U.S. vehicle imports-China imposes lower tariffs of 15% on imports from other countries.
The United States imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported light trucks in the 1960s after France and West Germany imposed tariffs on US chicken, so it was also called the "chicken tax", and was referred to by Trump in his tweet.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the White House was studying whether it should impose import penalties on all foreign automobiles in response to GM's announcement that it was shuttering multiple US plants.
"I spoke with her when I heard they were closing and I said, 'You know, this country has done a lot for General Motors. The President has great power on this issue - Because of the GM event, it is being studied now!" Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada recently filed a bill that would lift the automaker's 200,000-unit cap, but it also phases out the credit industrywide in 2022.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment on Trump and Brown's call.
"We have talked for the past few years about an engine plant to support our North American production and sales and we are now again investigating this option", BMW said in a statement.
The company is placing a substantial bet on a future dominated by three high-tech trends that have been upending the world of the internal-combustion engine: electric vehicles, mobility services like ride-hailing apps, and cars and trucks that are capable of driving themselves. President Trump should not give up on getting GM to invest in Ohio. "We've done this to help you and I think his disappointment is, it seems like that they kind of turned his back on him".
Barra said plants in Lordstown, Ohio, Hamtramck, Mich., Baltimore, Md., and the Canadian city of Oshawa, Ont. would cease production in 2019 with the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Cruze sedan, Chevy Impala and other models. "That's what it's going to take for us to stop pressuring them". If he slaps a new tariff on autos to compensate for the tariff on metals, what will he do when the damage from that tariff manifests itself elsewhere in the economy? Workers also will be added at an SUV factory in Arlington, Texas.
"The GM site in Lordstown, should it be sold by General Motors, is a ready-made facility in an excellent location outside of Youngstown on the Ohio Turnpike". To sign the petition, visit OhioDems.org. Trump at the time of that announcement said the automaker was moving its plant from Mexico to MI, which wasn't quite the case. It's not fair and its un-American.