Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trump’s Repeated Falsehood on Auto Plants


In launching his reelection campaign, President Donald Trump repeated a claim about new auto plants that he made a year-and-a-half ago. It’s still not true, and it fits a pattern of Trump falsely boasting of unexpected or unusual gains in the auto industry.
Trump said of the U.S. auto industry in his June 18 rally in Orlando: “Many, many plants are now under construction in Michigan and Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida. They hadn’t built one in decades and now they’re all over the place.” It’s not true that the auto industry hasn’t built a new plant “in decades.” As for the “many, many plants … now under construction,” Bernard Swiecki, director of the Automotive Communities Partnership at the Center for Automotive Research, told us he knew of only two new assembly plants under construction or newly announced —  a Toyota/Mazda joint venture plant in Alabama (announced in January 2018) and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) plant in Michigan (announced in February).
Swiecki sent us a list of the 12 assembly plants that have been announced in North America since 2009. Four of those were in the U.S., while eight went to Mexico and none to Canada.

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