Portman Remarks Following Meeting With GM CEO Mary Barra
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) delivered remarks to the media following the joint meeting he hosted with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra. For video of the remarks click here, and the text follows:
“Senator Brown and I just had a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra about their decision a couple of weeks ago to put the plant in Lordstown, Ohio, on unallocated status. And she can talk more about what that means, but we’re very disappointed by that decision. We believe that the workers and the community of Lordstown have proven themselves time and time again for almost five and a half decades. Those workers have done their part.
“Just as the workforce has stood with General Motors over the years, we expect General Motors now to stand with this workforce and give them a chance. We talked a lot about the possibility of bringing another product into the plant and that’s what we’d like to see. General Motors has made an announcement that they plan to build 20 new electric vehicles in the next five years, 20 new models. We want one or more of those models to be built in Lordstown, Ohio. That’s where it belongs. We had a good, very candid discussion. We are going to continue to work at every level. The local level, working with state government, Sherrod has spoken with Governor Kasich and I spoke with Governor-elect DeWine, we’re ensuring that we’re working closely with the state. The local community, the Drive It Home campaign is UAW and the Chamber of Commerce working together to show the support we have locally. We’ve also talked at the federal level. I spoke to President Trump today on this issue. He’s very committed to helping us keep this assembly plant in Ohio. I’ve also spoken to Secretary Acosta as recently as today. He is eager, wants to be helpful. We’re trying everything we can to ensure that these workers in Lordstown get the support they deserve now and are able to build another product. We’re not asking for charity. What we’re asking for is to give the community and workforce the opportunity to once again show what they can do.
“This is the commitment that we’ve received so far: one as Senator Brown said, they are ongoing negotiations, I think there’s a September or fall deadline for the UAW contract. Both of us want to be sure that both the company and UAW expedite that as much as possible to get to a decision so there is less uncertainty. She agreed that was a potential opportunity. Also, she has said to us that she is going to keep an open mind but does not want to raise expectations.”