Detroit natives have eyes on Dems Debate, looking for solution to declining industries

World Today

Just outside of Detroit is the city of Warren. The area is dominated by huge factories. The top employer here is General Motors. But GM’s footprint in the region is about to get a little bit smaller.

CGTN’s Dan Williams reports.

The General Motors Warren Transmission plant which opened in 1941 is about to close. Situated over 2.7 million square feet, the plant will close its doors on Friday. The news is devastating for the city.

Some workers have been moved to other plants. Others have been less fortunate.

Workers at the plant face the media to talk about the plant closure.

Ghana Goodwin-Dye has worked at the plant since the 1980s.

“Friday is the last day we’ll be walking through those doors across the street. Some of my membership their last day was last Friday. It was very sobering and heartbreaking. People who I have worked with for over 30 years.”

The auto industry remains key for Michigan. It continues to produce more cars and trucks than any other U.S. state. But the industry as a whole faces significant challenges.

Demonstrators line up outside the Democratic Conference to get the voices heard.

Auto manufacturers are preparing for a shift towards electrified and autonomous vehicles and the emergence of new competitors.

But the industry also faces other pressures, not least the tariffs that have been imposed during the trade dispute between the United States and China. “The auto industry is reeling honestly from tariffs and the uncertainty around trade,” says Michael Martinez of Automotive News. “There’s certainly a possibility that jobs could be affected as the automakers will have to adjust somehow.”

The issue of tariffs appears to be a key concern for Michigan voters.

General Motors Warren Transmission plant which opened in 1941, closes on Friday.

That point was underlined by a recent poll, carried out by the Detroit Regional Chamber. Brad Williams is Vice President of Government Relations. “There was a plurality of Michiganders who said that tariffs were hurting the automotive industry, that were hurting the agriculture industry which is also vitally important in this state but even more importantly there was a plurality of Michiganders who said that tariffs are hurting them.”

The second Democratic debate took place in Detroit this week. The various candidates would not need to travel far to find out how Michigan voters are feeling.