President Donald Trump escalated his budding feud with General Motors by suggesting he might end all federal subsidies to the U.S. automaker a day after it cuts jobs at factories in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland.
Trump tweeted that he is “Very disappointed” with GM for ceasing work at facilities in those states but “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China.”
Despite GM executives signaling to the president and some of his top aides they are willing to consider moving work on other automobile models to the affected plants, Trump threatened the company that he might use the powers of his office to punish it.
“The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including........for electric cars,” he wrote in two afternoon tweets.
Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2018
....for electric cars. General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) - don’t think that bet is going to pay off. I am here to protect America’s Workers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2018
Trump believes GM will reap benefits from the new Mexico-United States-Canada trade deal, but “turned their back” on him despite his pushing for the pro-auto industry provisions, Lawrence Kudlow, chief White House economic adviser, said Tuesday.
Lawmakers from states with a heavy auto industry presence likely would move to try to block any White House effort to cut off federal subsidies, possibly setting up a showdown between Trump and Rust Belt Republican members.
Ohio and Michigan were keys to the president’s 2016 win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.