Trump seeks to force GM to start making ventilators after tweeting about ‘stupidly abandoned’ Lordstown plant

Coronavirus

Last year, GM sold the plant to Lordstown Motors Corp., which plans to make electric trucks

United States President, Donald Trump

Credit: AP Patrick Semansky

DETROIT (WKBN)— President Donald Trump issued an order Friday that seeks to force General Motors to produce ventilators for coronavirus patients under the Defense Production Act.

Trump said negotiations with General Motors had been productive, “but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course.”

Trump said “GM was wasting time” and said his actions will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.

It comes after Trump tweeted that he was unhappy that GM overpromised the number of ventilators he would make, calling on GM to make them in their “stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant.”

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“General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS FAST!” he tweeted.

The Defense Production Act of 1950 confers upon the president a broad set of authorities to influence domestic industries in the interest of national defense. The authorities can be used across the federal government to shape the domestic industrial base so that it is capable of providing essential materials and goods needed for national defense.

Trump’s Friday tweets drew some criticism from Valley Congressman Tim Ryan, who said Trump needs to “pay attention” because GM doesn’t own the Lordstown plant.

Last year, GM sold the plant to Lordstown Motors Corp., which plans to make electric trucks there. The company has already begun retooling the plant for its work there.

General Motors released the following statement Friday:

Ventec, GM and our supply base have been working around the clock for over a week to meet this urgent need.  Our commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator, VOCSN, has never wavered. 

The partnership between Ventec and GM combines global expertise in manufacturing quality and a joint commitment to safety to give medical professionals and patients access to life-saving technology as rapidly as possible. The entire GM team is proud to support this initiative.

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