Brown touts new incentive bill as he meets with UAW

LORDSTOWN — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, today met with local autoworkers, some of whom build the Chevrolet Cruze at the General Motors Lordstown plant.

Brown spoke about a bill he recently introduced that would incentivize consumers to purchase American-made vehicles such as the Cruze and would revoke tax cuts for auto manufacturers that produce overseas. The American Cars, American Jobs Act would give consumers a $3,500 discount at the dealership, with the dealerships then being reimbursed with funds from the revoked tax cuts, Brown said.

The Lordstown plant is now down to one shift, a move made in response to slow sales of the Cruze as consumers continue to prefer trucks and SUVs to cars.

Brown was met with enthusiasm from dozens of Local 1112 workers and retirees, who gave him a standing ovation when he stood to speak.

He was joined by Local 1112 President Dave Green, Warren Mayor Doug Franklin and Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill, all of whom expressed support for the legislation.

“What will happen over time is these companies will realize, maybe we ought to stay in Lordstown, maybe we ought to stay in Cleveland, maybe we ought to stay in Toledo,” Brown said.

“This bill isn’t just about the auto industry. It’s about every single job, every single family in this area,” Franklin said.

Brown also took numerous questions from Local 1112 members, with some asking about President Donald Trump’s proposals for a military parade and a border wall.

Mike Kudlovsly, a 1112 member who’s worked at the plant for more than 32 years, expressed frustration at GM’s promotion of its vehicles that are built overseas.

“This is the thanks we get from General Motors for being bailed out,” he said, referring to the 2009 auto industry bailout.

Brown said he does not yet have co-sponsors or Republican supporters of his bill, but plans to seek co-sponsors when Congress is next in session.

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