Trump Claims EV Shift Will Kill Jobs, So UAW Talks Don’t Matter
Written by Simon Alvarez, Teslarati
Published Sept. 28, 2023
On Sept. 27, former President Donald Trump expressed his thoughts on the ongoing UAW strike during a visit to Drake Enterprises in Clinton Township, MI, a nonunionized auto parts supplier.
Trump said it didn’t matter if the union could strike a favorable deal with the Detroit Big Three, since the shift to electric vehicles will make them obsolete anyway.
Carmakers and the Biden administration have adopted an optimistic stance regarding the emerging EV sector. Trump, however, predicted the U.S. auto industry will see large losses in a few years.
“It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what you get because in two years, you’re all going to be out of business,” Trump said.
Trump pledged to end the U.S. government’s push towards EVs if he gets elected president once more.
“I don’t care what you get in the next two weeks or three weeks or five weeks. They’re going to be closing up, and they’re going to be building those cars in China and other places. It’s a hit job in Michigan and in Detroit,” he said.
The Biden campaign issued a response to Trump’s comments, dubbing the former president a “billionaire charlatan.” The Biden campaign also argued Trump did not care about the working class during his time in office.
“Donald Trump is lying about President Biden’s agenda to distract from his failed track record of trickle-down tax cuts, closed factories and jobs outsourced to China,” the Biden campaign said.
As noted in a Reuters report, the UAW has not expressed its support for any presidential candidate as of date, unlike other unions in the country. The UAW’s leadership has generally welcomed support from the Biden administration, however, and they have also shared some criticism of the Trump presidency.
While the UAW’s ongoing strike is motivated by the union’s desire to secure more pay and benefits for its members, the specter of the electric vehicle transition is evident in the group’s protest. EVs are much less complicated machines than combustion-powered cars and thus require less labor.
Mark Barrott, an automotive analyst at the Michigan-based consultancy Plante Moran, explained the quiet rationale of the UAW strike in a previous comment. “This strike is about electrification,” he said.