Trump criticizes UAW leadership amid strike, warns auto workers’ jobs are moving to China

Trump criticizes UAW leadership amid strike, warns auto workers’ jobs are moving to China

Donald Trump and Kristen Welker

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WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump warned that U.S. auto workers’ jobs will move to China and accused the United Auto Workers’ leadership of failing its members, thousands of whom went on strike Friday against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis.

“The auto workers will not have any jobs, Kristen, because all of these cars are going to be made in China. The electric cars, automatically, are going to be made in China,” Trump told NBC News’ Kristen Welker in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview set to air Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

Employees wearing masks work on a car assembly line at the SAIC General Motors Co. The SAIC General Motors Wuhan Branch has resumed production following epidemic prevention and control rules.

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“The auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership, and their leadership should endorse Trump,” the Republican presidential frontrunner added.

Approximately 13,000 U.S. auto workers stopped making vehicles and went on strike following failed negotiations on a slew of issues, including higher pay.

The strike marked the first time the United Auto Workers union targeted the three automaker titans simultaneously.

Read more: Why the United Auto Workers want big raises

Trump specifically criticized UAW president Shawn Fain. “I think he’s not doing a good job in representing his union, because he’s not going to have a union in three years from now. Those jobs are all going to be gone, because all of those electric cars are going to be made in China. That’s what’s happening,” Trump said.

Fain has previously said that a second Trump presidency would be a “disaster.” But he has also withheld his endorsement of President Joe Biden.

UAW (US Auto Workers) president Shawn Fain speaks with members of the media and members of the UAW outside of the UAW Local 900 headquarters across the street from the Ford Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan on September 15, 2023. 

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The crumbling relationship between Washington and Beijing has intensified following an attempt by the world’s two largest economies to mend trade relations.

Trump has sought to seize the mantle of the most fervent China hawk in the U.S. presidential election. He also tried to make Biden’s electric vehicle push a key part of his case against the president.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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