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Ohio Senator: Trump said he 'wants to help' amid closing of GM plants

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said President Donald Trump vowed his help in the wake of ...

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 2:29 PM
Updated: Nov 29, 2018 2:29 PM

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said President Donald Trump vowed his help in the wake of General Motors' announcement it would shutter production at five facilities and cut 15% of its salaried workers.

"I reached him last night, and he said he wanted to help," Brown said in an interview Thursday with CNN's John Berman on New Day.

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One of the plants GM announced it is closing is in Ohio -- Brown's home state.

Brown claimed the President was unaware of a key tax break when they spoke over the phone Wednesday night.

"I said the first thing you can do is you can take away that provision in his tax bill that gives a company a 50% off coupon in their taxes. If you're producing in Lordstown, you pay a 21% tax rate. If you move to Mexico, you pay a 10 and a half percent tax rate. And I asked the President to get rid of that tax break that encourages jobs to move overseas. He wasn't really aware of that, but he said he would help," Brown said.

Brown told CNN that the President said he would sign on to his legislation, the American Jobs, American Cars Act, which would provide a $3,500 discount when consumers purchase certain cars made in the US and revoke the tax break for auto manufacturers moving their jobs overseas.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment about the conversation between Brown and Trump.

Brown also said Trump put him in touch with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and they are now working together.

"We're going to work on this. I'm going to take the President at his word. He doesn't always do what he says, but he promised this. And we're going to move forward and hope we can get this through Congress," Brown said.

In a Monday interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump blamed Brown for the GM's planned closure of its plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

"Well, it's one plant in Ohio. But I love Ohio. And I told them: You're playing around with the wrong person. And Ohio wasn't properly represented by their Democrat senator, Senator Brown, because he didn't get the point across," Trump told the newspaper.

Brown brushed off the President's attacks against him.

"I don't care about that. I want to fix this," Brown said Thursday on "New Day," adding later, "I think he blamed me because he can't blame himself, and he needed to blame a Democrat."

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