On his social platform, Truth Social, Trump wrote that UAW President Shawn Fain is "selling the Automobile Industry right into the big, powerful, hands of China," warning that electric vehicles would require fewer workers and destroy the U.S. auto industry.
"Shawn Fain is a Weapon of Mass Destruction on Auto Workers and the Automobile Manufacturing Industry in the United States!" Trump continued. "Is he under contract to China, because they will be getting almost all of our ‘Car making’ Business within a very short period of time. All Autoworkers should VOTE FOR TRUMP. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
However, Fain told CBS’s Face The Nation over the weekend that Biden has helped save manufacturing jobs and that there was no way Trump would have had a chance.
"Joe Biden has a history of serving others, and serving the working class, and fighting for the working class, standing with the working class," Fain said. "Donald Trump has a history of serving himself, and standing for the billionaire class and that’s contrary to everything that working class people stand for."
The UAW's endorsement of Biden is an important boost to his re-election bid as he pushes to sway blue-collar workers his way in critical auto-making swing states such as Michigan and Wisconsin.
"It does raise the question about ‘what is the role of electrical vehicles?’ because Trump was quick to respond to Shawn Fain’s endorsement," said Wayne State University business professor Marick Masters.
Masters said aside from Trump being at odds with labor and the automakers on EVs, Fain had a mission to secure certain wins for workers in order to give Biden UAW support.
"I would imagine that in the back of his mind and certainly in the forefront of his voice… he wants some assurances, as they move towards electric vehicles, that there will be protection for workers," Master said. "He wants union representation in as much of the industry as possible. I think he would like help from the National Labor Relations Board. Obviously, Biden can’t deliver that help."
What Biden can do is appoint members to the board and influence the union’s ability to organize workers.
Experts say while the UAW's endorsement of Biden seemed obvious given shared political leanings, time is a crucial factor in high-level negotiations.
"It would have been an early endorsement if he had come out in May," Master said. "Instead, he came out with a memo to his members in which he indicated that he was expecting more from the Biden administration in terms of the transition to electrical vehicles."
AP News contributed to this report.