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.
The interview, Welker’s first as moderator of “Meet the Press,” will air Sunday on NBC affiliates across the country. NBC News has also extended an invitation to President Joe Biden to sit down with Welker for an interview.
Tune into “Meet the Press with Kristen Welker” this Sunday for more from Welker’s exclusive interview with former President Donald Trump. Check local listings.
“The auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership, and their leadership should endorse Trump,” the Republican presidential front-runner 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 is the first time the United Auto Workers union targeted the three automaker titans simultaneously.
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.
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.