Ohio congressmen to meet today with GM CEO about Lordstown


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

Members of Congress who represent the Mahoning Valley will meet this afternoon with General Motors CEO Mary Barra to urge the company to save jobs at its Lords-town complex.

GM announced Nov. 26 it was ceasing production at five facilities across North America, laying off more than 14,000 employees, including about 1,600 from Lords-town.

“I look forward to having a productive conversation with” Barra, said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th. “I’ve heard firsthand from many people in Northeast Ohio how detrimental GM’s announcement has been to them. It’s not just impacting jobs, but the entire community. It’s my hope that Mary Barra and I can find a path forward, bring a new product to the Lordstown plant, and keep these jobs in the Mahoning Valley.”

VIDEO - BROWN, PORTMAN MEET WITH GM CEO MARY BARRA

Ryan had a telephone conversation with Barra about GM’s decision on its Lords-town facility last Thursday.

Ryan and U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, are part of the U.S. House delegation from Ohio talking to Barra when she comes to Washington, D.C., today.

Separate from that, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, and Rob Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, will meet today with Barra at Portman’s office to urge GM to save the Lordstown jobs.

“If you love this country, you fight for the people who make it work – people like the workers at Lordstown,” Brown said. “Sen. Portman and I are committed to saving these jobs and call on GM to work with us to find solutions. Ohio has stood by GM. Now GM needs to stand by Ohio, and the workers who make their company successful.”

“We have the best workers in the world in Ohio, and I’m proud of the workers at Lordstown,” Portman said. “They have proven themselves time and again, and Sen. Brown and I will continue to fight on their behalf. I look forward to continuing our engagement with GM. I hope the company sees the incredible potential in this plant, by keeping it open and bringing other production back to the Valley.”

Meanwhile, Ryan again urged President Donald Trump on Tuesday to save the GM Lordstown complex and asked him to reconsider his threat to end federal subsidies for electric cars.

In a letter, Ryan expressed his concern that eliminating the electric vehicle subsidy as a punitive action against GM could backfire and make it harder to place a new product at the Lords-town plant.

“The Mahoning Valley is depending on you to keep your promises to bring economic growth and development to Northeast Ohio,” Ryan wrote. “I am committed to working with you and my colleagues in Congress to craft and implement a cohesive national manufacturing policy, one that makes our economy actually work for American workers – especially the workers of my congressional district.”

GM stocks rose by nearly 6 percent the day the company announced the plant closures, and despite suffering a 5 percent loss Tuesday – part of a broader 3.1 percent drop in the Dow, which analysts attributed to uncertainty over the Trump administration’s ongoing tariff spats with China, stocks still remain at their highest point since mid-August.

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