Reality examine: Trump falsely says he ‘saved’ the auto business

By Jon Greenberg, PolitiFact reporter

In case you’re going to speak in regards to the automotive business in Michigan, it helps to get the info proper. President Donald Trump didn’t.

At a rally in Freeland, Mich., Trump described nice success in reviving automotive jobs.

“After the final administration practically killed the U.S. auto business, I saved the U.S. auto business,” he stated Sept. 10. “We introduced you a number of automotive crops.”

And he went on to say that he wrangled a promise in a gathering with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for Japanese firms to increase within the U.S.

“The following day they introduced 5 automotive firms are coming to Michigan,” Trump instructed the group.

There’s nothing totally appropriate in any of that. Japan didn’t announce 5 firms coming to Michigan. Trump didn’t save the auto business. And he didn’t deliver a number of automotive crops to the state — probably the most he can declare is one.

That one is a Fiat Chryler manufacturing facility that can construct Jeep SUVs in Detroit, on the positioning of an idled engine plant. It’s on account of open in 2021. That’s a part of a package deal of investments in 5 different Fiat Chrysler crops within the state.

“Trump can rely it as a brand new plant as a result of it closed again in 2013 earlier than he turned president,” stated vehicle business researcher James Rubenstein at Ohio’s Miami College.

However when Trump stated that he saved the auto business, he disregarded that complete auto business employment in Michigan dropped by about 3,000 in 2019. That was after a gradual rise since 2010, when the key U.S. automakers started to get better from the recession and their restructurings. The coronavirus-induced financial stoop this yr introduced extra job losses, however the declines came about earlier than the virus arrived.

As for the earlier administration practically killing the business, the proof factors to the other. In 2008 and 2009, intervention by the Bush and Obama administrations pulled the auto and auto components makers again from the brink of collapse. Underneath the Obama administration, Basic Motors and Chrysler went by means of fast, taxpayer-financed chapter reorganizations orchestrated by a federal job power and the U.S. Treasury, and each emerged from the Nice Recession so as to add jobs and manufacturing capability.

Trump’s remark about slicing a cope with Japan additionally fell large of the mark.

The Japanese automaker Toyota did announce in March 2019 that it could funnel about $750 million into its American operations. However that cash wasn’t for brand spanking new crops, as Trump stated, and Michigan wasn’t on the checklist. Different Japanese automakers have added U.S. capability, however not in Michigan. Japanese automakers and components firms have had U.S. factories and analysis operations within the U.S. for many years.

The timing of the promise Trump stated he wrested from Japan is unclear. The 2 leaders met in Washington in April 2019, however that came about after the Toyota announcement.

There have been some specialised automotive manufacturing initiatives in Michigan, together with one to construct self-driving vehicles that may add 400 jobs, however these wouldn’t change the general image.

We reached out to the Trump marketing campaign and didn’t hear again.

PolitiFact ruling

Trump made a number of claims in regards to the auto business, saying he saved it from close to destruction, and had introduced many new crops to Michigan, together with the arrival of 5 new Japanese automotive firms.

He didn’t save the auto business. The most important U.S. automakers recovered strongly through the Obama administration. After rising for 10 years, Michigan auto business employment fell on Trump’s watch, even earlier than the coronavirus hit.

He didn’t deliver many new crops. One firm, the Italian-American Fiat Chrysler, introduced a brand new meeting plant in Detroit, on the positioning of an idled engine manufacturing facility, as a part of a package deal of investments in Michigan.

As for the Japanese investments coming to Michigan, one firm — Toyota — unveiled plans to increase its American operations. And others have added U.S. capability, too. However none of that was in Michigan.

We price this declare False.

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