During a meeting about trade with lawmakers at the White House on Tuesday, President Trump took personal credit for General Motors’ decision relocate a plant from South Korea back to the United States.
“GM Korea company announced today that it will cease production and close its Gunsan plant in May 2018 and they’re gonna move back to Detroit,” Trump said. “You don’t hear these things except for the fact that Trump became president, believe me, you wouldn’t be hearing that… and you have many others companies, they all want to be where the action is.”
There’s just one problem — Trump’s relocation announcement was fake news. The president appears to have just made it up.
It’s true that GM is closing a plant in South Korea. On Monday, General Motors released a statement announcing that it is closing its plant in Gunsan as a “necessary but difficult first step in our efforts to restructure our operations in South Korea.”
But the statement doesn’t mention any corresponding plan to relocate operations to the United States. ThinkProgress reached out to General Motors for comment, and a company official said they have no knowledge of any plan to relocate production from South Korea to Michigan.
While fabricating a plant relocation is especially egregious, Trump’s “announcement” was far from the first time he’s tried to take credit for new jobs he actually had little or nothing to do with. At various points during his first year in office, Trump bragged about new jobs created by Toyota, Intel, Exxon, Charter Communications, Ford, SoftBank, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Lockheed Martin, and Walmart that all were in the works before he was elected president.
Trump gives himself undue credit on the macro level as well. Earlier this month, he bragged that “since the election, we have created 2.4 million jobs — that’s unthinkable.” But in fact, 2017 was the most anemic year for job creation since 2011.