Mainstream Media Echoes Pro-Trump Fringe, Credit Trump For New GM Jobs That Were “Planned For Months”
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General Motors (GM) announced a $1 billion investment in US jobs and factories that it stressed at the time was “part of the normal process” and had “been planned for months.” Nonetheless, several major media outlets gave credit to Trump in either their headlines or first few paragraphs, downplaying that the decision was previously planned. Many pro-Trump outlets earlier did the same or framed the decision entirely as a Trump-influenced effort, some by referencing a tweet Trump wrote in early January in which he threatened a “big border tax” if GM sells Mexican-made cars in the United States.
Donald Trump Attacked General Motors On Twitter In Early January
Trump: “General Motors Is Sending Mexican Made Model Of Chevy Cruze To U.S. Car Dealers-Tax Free Across Border. Make In U.S.A. Or Pay Big Border Tax!”
General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
General Motors Announces Long-Planned Jobs Investment
CBS News: General Motors Announces Jobs Investment That Was “Planned For Months.” A CBS News report said that “a $1 billion investment in [General Motors] factories … will create or keep around 1,500 jobs.” CBS further reported that “the investment is part of the normal process of equipping factories to build new models, and it’s been planned for months”:
General Motors (GM) on Tuesday morning announced a $1 billion investment in its factories that will create or keep around 1,500 jobs.
The story was first reported by The Associated Press, citing a person briefed on the matter. The investment is part of the normal process of equipping factories to build new models, and it’s been planned for months, the person told the AP. The person didn’t want to be identified because the announcement hasn’t been made yet.
Multiple factories will get part of the money, but GM doesn’t plan to state where the new jobs will go, according to the person. The company plans to use the announcement to tout both blue-collar and white-collar U.S. jobs it has created in recent years, the person said. [CBS News, 1/17/17]
Mainstream Media Credit Trump For Previously Planned Business Decision
Bloomberg: “GM Plans $1 Billion U.S. Investment In Nod To Trump.” Bloomberg’s report on the announcement featured a headline explicitly calling the months-old decision a “nod to Trump.” The article also said the move came after GM was “facing pressure from President-elect Donald Trump to boost hiring,” and that GM was “just the latest automaker to announce US factor investments in response to Trump”:
General Motors Co., facing pressure from President-elect Donald Trump to boost hiring, plans to announce on Tuesday it will invest $1 billion in U.S. plants over several years, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The largest U.S. automaker expects to add or retain 1,000 jobs at several existing facilities, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The investment announcement, which is being accelerated amid pressure from the president-elect, is related to building products that were in the works and approved before Trump won the election in November, the person said.
GM becomes just the latest automaker to announce U.S. factory investments in response to Trump. [Bloomberg, 1/16/17]
USA Today: “GM To Invest $1 Billion in U.S. After Pressure From Trump.” USA Today reprinted an article from a sister paper, the Detroit Free Press, with the misleading headline, “GM to invest $1 billion in U.S. after pressure from Trump.” However, the article did note that GM denied “it was in response to pressure from Trump”:
General Motors said today it will invest an additional $1 billion at several plants in the U.S., a move that comes just a week after President-elect Donald Trump's latest tweet critical of the automaker's Mexican car production.
The automaker also said it plans to bring thousands of information technology jobs back to the U.S. from overseas, creating a total of 7,000 new jobs in the U.S. when the IT jobs and new manufacturing jobs are combined.
The company simultaneously said the investments had been in the planning stages for some time -- denying it was in response to pressure from Trump -- while also saying "this was good timing" to make the announcement.
The automaker said the $1 billion investment, along with the 1,500 new jobs that will be created or retained in the U.S., are in addition to $2.9 billion announced in 2016 and more than $21 billion GM has invested in its U.S. operations since 2009. [USA Today, 1/17/17]
WSJ: GM’s Announcement Comes “In The Wake Of President-Elect Donald Trump's Criticism.” The Wall Street Journal’s report on the jobs announcement noted that the announcement and decision to bring jobs back was “a move aimed at underlining its commitment to US manufacturing jobs in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the auto maker’s imports from Mexico.” [The Wall Street Journal, 1/17/17]
CNNMoney: “Under Attack From President-Elect Donald Trump,” GM Will “Invest At Least $1 Billion” In U.S. Factories And Jobs. CNNMoney reported on January 17 that General Motors “will move 450 jobs from GM supplier plants in Mexico back to the U.S., and will keep another 1,500 factory jobs in the U.S.,” after coming “under attack from President-elect Donald Trump for its investment in Mexican plants.” CNNMoney did acknowledge in the fourth paragraph that the company denied the decision was made as part of a deal with Trump:
Under attack from President-elect Donald Trump for its investment in Mexican plants, General Motors announced plans Tuesday to invest at least $1 billion in U.S. factories and committed to creating or retaining about 7,000 U.S. jobs in the coming years.
The company will move 450 jobs from GM supplier plants in Mexico back to the U.S., and will keep another 1,500 factory jobs in the U.S. that were at risk of moving to Mexico. In addition, GM is adding 5,000 jobs to its finance and technology operations.
"As the U.S. manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "The U.S. is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value."
All of these plans have been in the works for some time, according to a company executive, and aren't part of any deal with Trump. Tuesday's press release made no mention of the president-elect. But the company joins a number of major employers eager to demonstrate a commitment to U.S. jobs ahead of Friday's inauguration. [CNNMoney, 1/17/17]
Fortune: “A Fortnight After” Trump “Lashed Out At General Motors,” GM Announced New Jobs. A January 16 Fortune report on the GM announcement claimed that it came “a fortnight after President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at General Motors for importing Mexican-made cars to the U.S.” Fortune noted that Trump “increased the pressure on the country's largest automaker” and it quoted him saying, “I hope that General Motors will be following. And I think they will be.” The article cited GM’s claim that the move had nothing to do with Trump in the fifth paragraph:
A fortnight after President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at General Motors for importing Mexican-made cars to the U.S., the company is set to announce plans to invest more than $1 billion across several U.S. factories.
It's a move that affirms GM's commitment to U.S. manufacturing at a time when both domestic and foreign automakers have been grilled for sending production south of the border.
At his press conference last week, Trump praised the recently announced U.S. investment plans of GM competitors Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles which combined, are expected to create some 2,700 jobs. Then he increased the pressure on the country's largest automaker, the Wall Street Journal reports
“I hope that General Motors will be following. And I think they will be,” Trump said.
As early as Tuesday, GM is expected to announce that more than 1,000 jobs will be created on the back of it's investment. But according to Craig Glidden, the company's general counsel, any investment and job creation initiatives the company might make public would have been in the works for a long while. They are not in response to Trump's spotlighting, he stressed. [Fortune, 1/17/17]
Mainstream Media Reports Came After Pro-Trump Media Outlets Lauded Trump For Creating GM Jobs
Zero Hedge: Another “Unexpected Round Of Concessions When It Comes To Trump's Ambitions” To Keep Manufacturing In The U.S. Pro-Trump outlet Zero Hedge reported that GM’s jobs announcement was “an unexpected … concession” to Trump’s “ambitions” to preserve American manufacturing. The outlet noted that GM’s announcement came “days after Mr. Trump publicly ratcheted up pressure” for GM to keep American jobs. The outlet did acknowledge GM’s insistence that the move was unrelated to Trump, but it dismissed the comment as “in keeping with the narrative” put forth by other car makers:
Not a week seems to pass without some an automaker, foreign or domestic, making an unexpected round of concessions when it comes to Trump's ambitions to "Make it in the US."
And so, days after first Ford, then Fiat Chrysler announced major expansion plans in the US (to the partial detriment of Mexico) the latest automaker to respond to Trump's Twitter criticism is General Motors, which according to the WSJ, will announce this week plans to invest at least $1 billion across several U.S. factories "a move aimed at underlining its commitment to U.S. manufacturing jobs in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the auto maker’s imports from Mexico."
The move comes days after Mr. Trump publicly ratcheted up pressure on the nation’s largest auto maker. During his press conference last week, the president-elect thanked Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for recently announced U.S. investment plans that are expected to create a combined 2,700 jobs.
He then turned up the heat on GM to follow suit. “I hope that General Motors will be following. And I think they will be,” Mr. Trump said.
In keeping with the narrative proferred (sic) by other carmakers, in an interview with the WSJ, GM general counsel Craig Glidden declined to confirm specifics of the announcement but said any investment the company might disclose has been long planned and isn’t a response to pressure from Mr. Trump.
“This is something we’ve been undertaking for some period of time,” he said. “It’s really getting our story told in a way that is I think complete and fulsome.” [Zero Hedge, 1/16/17]
Newsmax Asks If GM Jobs Are “The Trump Effect.” Newsmax linked to an article noting that Trump “called out GM on Twitter for making its Chevy Cruze in Mexico” on its homepage as an example of Trump touting “success on jobs”:
Townhall: “Trump Can Now Add Another 1,000 Jobs To His Tally.” Townhall’s Cortney O’Brien framed GM’s jobs announcement as another example of Trump “being credited with bringing jobs back to America before he even takes office.” O’Brien added that the GM move means that Trump “can now add another 1,000 to his tally”:
President-elect Donald Trump is being credited with bringing jobs back to America before he even takes office. Carrier announced it is bringing close to 1,000 jobs back, while Lockheed Martin is adding about 2,000 positions. Let's also not forget when Trump shook hands with the CEO of a huge Japanese company and secured thousands more jobs.
Trump can now add another 1,000 to his tally. Last week, Trump tussled with GM on Twitter, shaming the company for choosing to build its Chevy Cruze model in Mexico. They have responded by announcing a new initiative here in the States. [Townhall, 1/16/17]
Gateway Pundit: “GM Is The Latest Trump Win.” In a post declaring “WINNING! GM Will Invest Over $1 Billion In New US Factories,” the Gateway Pundit’s Ryan Saavedra wrote that “Trump has had economic wins with Ford, Chrysler-Fiat, IBM, Amazon, Carrier, Lockheed Martin, and Alibaba,” and that “GM is the latest Trump win.” [Gateway Pundit, 1/16/17]