It took almost no time at all for bottom-feeding blogs to use the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election to use Donald Trump as a fulcrum for not just disinformation, but plagiarism.
Like other sites that fluorished on social media during Trump’s presidency, “Viral Liberty” and its post crediting him for Ford Motor Company moving its truck manufacturing operations out of Mexico and into Ohio have been deleted.
In reality, Ford had made the shift in its truck-building process in August 2015 — more than a year before Trump won the election despite losing the popular vote. But “Viral Liberty” claimed otherwise by plagiarizing reporting on that fact by CNN, going so far as to copy the “(F)” notation the network placed in its copy to show readers the automaker’s stock performance:
Ford’s heavy duty pickup trucks which used to be built in Mexico started rolling off an assembly line in Ohio this week.
That’s good news for the 1,000 Ford workers in Ohio, who might have otherwise been out of work.
It’s also good publicity for Ford (F), which has been under fire for investing so much in Mexico. In April, the automaker said it would invest $2.5 billion in transmission plants in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Guanajuato, creating about 3,800 jobs there.
In fact, Trump’s election did not force Ford completely out of Mexico; Mark Fields, the company’s chief executive officer at the time, specifically moved more auto production efforts into the country despite Trump’s threat to impose a 35 percent tariff on car imports into the U.S.
“A tariff like that would be imposed on the entire auto sector that could have a major impact on the US economy,” Fields said at the time. “I continue to think that the right policies will prevail because we continue to share the same objective which is a healthy and vibrant US economy.”
Like the vast majority of Trump’s threats, the auto import tariff did not materialize. (He did, however, impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.)
In September 2023 Trump — running for the presidency yet again after losing the office in 2020 to Democrat Joe Biden — attempted to cast himself as an ally to the United Auto Workers (UAW), only to be rebuffed by the group’s leaders. As Associated Press reported:
“Just look who Trump put in the courts,” said Dave Green, the UAW regional director for Ohio and Indiana. “Look at his record with the labor relations board. He did nothing to support organized labor except lip service.”
The National Labor Relations Board, which enforces the country’s labor laws and oversees union elections, came under Republican control during the Trump administration for the first time since 2007. The board reversed several key Obama-era rulings that made it easier for small unions to organize, strengthened the bargaining rights of franchise workers and provided protection against anti-union measures for employees.
Underscoring Trump’s duplicity further, that same month he gave a speech at a non-union plant while claiming he wanted the UAW’s endorsement, a day after Biden joined UAW workers on the picket line in Michigan — the first U.S. president to do so during his term.
The UAW announced on October 6 2023 that it would not expand its ongoing strikes after General Motors agreed to allow workers at its electric battery-making plants be covered under the union’s contract.
Update 10/8/2023, 6:50 p.m. PST: This article has been revamped and updated. You can review the original here. — ag