Trump brags about creating auto factories in Michigan that don't exist

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He falsely told Michigan voters he'd brought their state 'so many damn car plants.'

Donald Trump told Michigan voters on Thursday that they'd "better vote for him" because of all the new automobile manufacturing facilities he has brought the state. In reality, that number is quite small.

"I got you so many damn car plants," Trump told a rally in Freeland. "I got you a lot of plants! Is that right? Have you seen what we're doing here? All the plants that have been built, are being built, and what about the plants that are being expanded? They don't want to give you credit for that. They're just expanding."

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But according to the Detroit Free Press, just one new major assembly factory has been announced in Michigan since Trump took office. Over that time, the paper noted, General Motors has announced several plants will become idle.

On Thursday, the Washington Post fact-checked previous recent claims by Trump that he has created "many plants" in Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, and other places and they have expanded "at a level that we've never seen before." The claim received a "Four Pinocchios" rating, based on a de minimis number of new plants in those states and a decline in automobile manufacturing investment, compared to the later Obama-Biden years.

"In total, there were over $64.2 billion in automaker manufacturing investment announcements in the United States between 2013-2016 (previous three-year period) vs. $40.0B between 2017-2020," Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research, told the paper.

Trump also claimed in the same speech on Thursday that "after the last administration nearly killed the U.S. auto industry," he had "saved" it. The Obama-Biden administration famously helped save Michigan's auto industry with a bailout of the sector. Trump's 2012 endorsed candidate, Mitt Romney, opposed the bailout, instead proposing to "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

In recent months, Trump has frequently claimed to have restored "our nation's manufacturing," falsely suggesting a massive renaissance. But according to CNN, the growth has mostly been confined to a few industries like — Silicon Valley's technology sector — while factory jobs in states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were on the decline, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, Trump created fewer jobs in each of his first three years than the Obama-Biden administration crated in any of their final three years. Forbes noted in February that Obama added more than 3 million new jobs in 2014, 2.72 million in 2015, and more than 2.34 million in 2016, for a net eight-year total of about 11.6 million jobs gained. Trump's best year — 2018 — saw only about 2.31 million jobs created.

With massive layoffs from the pandemic, Trump has actually lost a net 4.7 million jobs since taking office.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.