GM to invest $1 billion in U.S. plants, add or retain 1,000 jobs
NEW YORK — Under attack from President-elect Donald Trump for its investment in Mexican plants, General Motors will announce plans Tuesday to invest at least $1 billion in U.S. factories, a move it said will create or retain at least 1,000 jobs.
The announcement is due later Tuesday morning, according to a person familiar with the plans.
The person said all the investment has been in the works for some time and it is not part of any deal with Trump. But the company joins a number of major employers eager to demonstrate a commitment to U.S. jobs ahead of Friday’s inauguration.
Earlier Tuesday, Walmart said it would add 10,000 U.S. jobs this year. Last week, Amazon, a frequent target of Trump criticism, announced it add 100,000 U.S. jobs.
Ford scrapped plans for a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico two weeks ago and said it would expand a Michigan plant, adding 700 jobs there. Lockheed Martin, which, like Ford, had been criticized by Trump, announced Friday it would add 1,800 jobs to its F-35 fighter program. And Sprint said it is bringing 5,000 jobs back to the US.
Trump has threatened to impose a 35% tax on cars imported from plants in Mexico. At his first post-election press conference last week, Trump predicted GM would be making this kind of U.S. investment announcement.
“I hope that General Motors will be following, and I think they will be,” he said. “I think a lot of people will be following. I think a lot of industries are going to be coming back.”
The commitment from the company means some future products will be built at U.S. plants rather than possibly shifted to overseas plants. The company recently announced layoffs at three U.S. plants, eliminating three shifts and about 3,300 jobs, because of slowing sales.
In its 2015 labor deal with the United Auto Workers union, GM committed to $1.9 billion in additional investment in U.S. plants as a form of job protection for the union’s membership. And even with the recent layoffs, the company has significantly increased its U.S. work force since its 2009 bankruptcy and federal bailout, despite investment in Mexico and China plants.