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What really happened with GM Lordstown

DEAR EDITOR:

What really was responsible for closing of the very important GM-Lordstown plant?

I’m an outsider. I never worked at General Motors, so I’m going to attempt to answer based on what I’ve seen in our nation the last several years.

I believe the company and local union worked well together to keep making vehicles here. The loss of jobs is the fault of neither.

I also believe U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Sen. Sherrod Brown and Democrats are wrong to blame this on President Donald Trump. They say he lied when he told people at a 2017 Youngstown rally not to sell their houses, promising that manufacturing jobs would return.

Did he deliver on that promise? I think he did by giving America the best economy in over 50 years. The only way he could have helped GM more would have been to pass a law requiring Americans to buy the Chevy Cruze, and I don’t think a sitting president can do that.

So what caused people to slow their purchases of the highly rated car being produced here? I believe it’s much lower gasoline prices mostly due to fracking. Americans saw this happening, dumped their small, fuel-efficient vehicles, and bought SUVs and pickup trucks.

It could not have been Trump’s fault unless you blame him for cheap energy prices that benefit all Americans, business and kickstarted an economic boom unseen for generations.

I don’t blame Mary Barra and GM upper management for this plant closing because they could not predict the public would quickly move back to gas-guzzlers unless they knew who would win the presidential election in 2016. Hillary Clinton was predicted to win, which would have stopped the glut of oil coming from fracking technology because Democrats weren’t going to allow that method of drilling.

Once this happened, GM took inventory of its plants to assess the most efficient way to make more SUVs and pickup trucks to meet demand. Unfortunately, re-tooling the Lordstown plant was not the best solution. Idling our plant and others was a better business decision.

Before we condemn GM as “heartless,” please remember our federal government already bailed them out once, and many Americans were unhappy with that. We should not denigrate them for crucial business decisions, even though it caused job loss. If GM management does not act judiciously, there could be total GM job loss, and that would be a true American catastrophe.

KEITH McCOMBS

Mineral Ridge

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