It’s time for the president to keep his promises to Ohio autoworkers.
As GM began laying off workers in Lordstown last week, we also heard the company is planning to close its West Chester processing center this spring, laying off another 100 workers.
This news has been devastating for workers, their families, local businesses, and the entire community.
But it didn’t have to be this way.
I met with GM CEO Mary Barra and she said the Cruze wasn’t selling, and they want to invest in electric vehicles instead — but they’re building GM’s new Chevy Blazer in Mexico. GM could retool the Lordstown plant and make those cars in Ohio, but they won’t.
We need to overhaul our trade and tax policy, and end this corporate business model where companies like GM close American plants, collect a tax break to move overseas, only to sell those cars back into the U.S.
It’s why I’m reintroducing the American Cars, American Jobs Act. It will help us level the playing field with foreign competition by making it more affordable for Americans to buy American-made cars and trucks, and revoke the tax cut in the President’s tax law that rewards companies sending jobs overseas.
It has two simple parts.
First, customers who buy cars that are made in the U.S. get a $3,500 discount. And if that American car is electric or a plug-in hybrid, they get an even bigger $4,500 discount — those are the cars GM said it was going to start making instead of the Cruze.
Second, companies that cut the number of American jobs they had on the day the president’s tax bill passed, and add those jobs overseas, lose their tax break.
The president’s tax bill allowed companies to pay just 10.5 percent in taxes on some of their overseas profits, instead of the full 21 percent corporate rate. It’s like handing out 50-percent-off coupons to companies that send jobs overseas.
Our bill says that if you move American jobs abroad, you lose your 50-percent-off coupon and pay the full 21 percent. On the other hand, if you keep jobs in the U.S., you keep your discounted rate.
President Trump promised American autoworkers he would fight for them — he told the people of the Mahoning Valley, “Don’t move, don’t sell your house. We’re going to fill up those factories or rip them down and build new ones.”
Workers in Lordstown are still waiting.
I’m calling on the president to keep his promises and help us pass the American Cars, American Jobs Act.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.