DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is preparing an ad campaign that urges consumers to buy U.S.-made cars and trucks as it tries to tap into President Donald Trump's efforts to rebuild the country's manufacturing sector.
President Dennis Williams said the ads could be similar to 1970s garment workers campaign with a catchy jingle that told people to look for a union label on clothing.
Williams told reporters Thursday that the union wants to take advantage of what it sees as a movement in the U.S. to bring back manufacturing jobs lost to cheaper-labor countries such as Mexico. "If it's not built in the United States then don't buy it," Williams said Thursday at the UAW's headquarters in Detroit.
He urged consumers to buy union-made vehicles first, then those made at non-union factories in the U.S. In essence, he's telling people to buy a U.S.-made Toyota Camry over a Mexican-made Ford Fusion, which may put him at odds with Detroit automakers.
Trump used the slogan "Make America Great Again" in his campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton. He also campaigned on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he blamed for the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico.
The UAW is likely facing an uphill battle. The success that foreign-made cars have had in the United States, as well as the popularity of other imported goods, suggests consumers are more focused on price and quality rather than simply whether something is made in the U.S.