In the wake of news that General Motors would close four plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Maryland, President Donald Trump tweeted misleading claims about the American economy on Thursday that inflated the corporate investment currently underway.
NBC News checked Trump's recent statement with experts in the auto and manufacturing industries. Here's what they said.
Claim: Auto companies are "pouring into the U.S."
"Nope," said Kristin Dziczek, the vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. "We track automaker investment in North America and we saw it really drop off considerably after the fourth quarter of 2015."
Dziczek said automakers aren't investing at their typical rate right now: “Other than a little bit here and there — and the Toyota Mazda plant, a $1.6 billion investment in Alabama, there’s been very little.”
She continued, "The U.S. market peaked in 2016 and it's softening."
Ford said they were planning layoffs to grapple with the billion-dollar cost of Trump’s tariffs on their business last month. GM joined them a month later, announcing that they were closing four U.S. plants and one Canada plant, cutting nearly 15,000 jobs in North America. Automotive industry analysts told NBC News this week that more cuts are likely, too.
The BMW plant Trump boasted about in his tweet? Not a done deal.
The company told reporters this week that they were considering a new plant; they did not announce one.
Claim: New steel plants are sprouting up nationwide
“Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country," Trump claimed Thursday.
Not so, according to Ned Hill, a professor at Ohio State University and the Ohio Manufacturing Institute, which tracks the industry.
“That is a politically motivated fantasy,” Hill said.
While there are a handful of new investments — including a Steel Dynamics mill that Trump tweeted about on Wednesday — they aren't part of a larger, widespread trend. Production and prices are up as well, but that isn't creating new plants or more jobs.
“They’re working their existing plants harder, and my guess is they’re working people harder with overtime, improving their incomes," he said. “The bottom line after steel tariffs is production is up a bit, prices are up substantially, and employment is about flat."