General Motors CEO Mary Barra will meet President Donald Trump in the Oval Office Thursday, the White House announced in a press release.
The session will be closed to media and it’s not clear what may be on the agenda, with GM releasing a statement saying “our executive team regularly meets with policymakers; we do not disclose details of those meetings.”
GM has been the subject of Trump’s criticism, who last week slammed the automaker for its shrinking US workforce and for continuing to allocate vehicle production to Mexico. He also accused the automaker of relying too heavily on China to drive its business.
“General Motors, which was once the Giant of Detroit, is now one of the smallest auto manufacturers there,” Trump said in a tweet. “They moved major plants to China, BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE. This was done despite the saving help given them by the USA. Now they should start moving back to America again?”
While GM does operate a number of plants in China, they serve the local market only and do not produce vehicles for other countries. The only exception is the Buick Envision, which is built at a plant in the city of Yantai in China’s Shandong province before being exported to the United States.
GM has also faced backlash for allocating production of the Chevrolet Blazer to Mexico just a short time before announcing the closure of Lordstown Assembly in Ohio – which built the now discontinued Chevrolet Cruze.
Trump’s meeting with Barra comes amid the automaker’s ongoing contract negotiations with the UAW. Engaging in dialogue with Barra could help boost his image among UAW members, who are more likely to place a priority on American jobs, job security and the health of the manufacturing industry.
The president previously threatened to cut GM’s electric car tax subsidies after the automaker announced it would close down four of its US plants late last year. A statement released by the White House at the time indicated Trump felt betrayed by the automaker for closing the plants, as it was previously trying to help it by loosening fuel economy standards and making other regulatory concessions.
Feeling let down by GM is a bi-partisan matter, it seems, with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau meeting with Trump last year to express mutual disappointment over the automaker’s decision to shrink its North American manufacturing footprint.
Barra’s meeting with Trump is scheduled for 1: 45 p.m. ET.