WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to cut U.S. subsidies to General Motors, describing its plans to close plants and cut workers as ingratitude to taxpayers.
"Nothing being closed in Mexico & China," Trump tweeted. "The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!"
The automaker received a federal bailout in 2009 under President Barack Obama's administration as it headed to Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Trump said his team is "now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars."
Trump tweeted shortly after his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the administration felt "disappointment maybe even spilling over into anger" over General Motors' cutback plans.
Kudlow said he relayed the president's frustration in a meeting with General Motors CEO and Chairman Mary Barra on Monday after the company announced a $6 billion cost-savings plan that includes cutting 15 percent of its salaried workforce.
Trump made a similar argument on Monday, telling reporters that the administration has "a lot of pressure on" General Motors.
Kudlow indicated that the disappointment is largely based on the idea that the Trump administration sought and secured the auto industry's support for the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico that includes additional protections for U.S. carmakers. The agreement is expected to be signed this week at the G-20 summit in Argentina.
The Trump administration also pushed forward with a plan to roll back fuel economy standards set by the Obama administration that the auto industry had sought.
"We made this deal, we worked with you along the way," Kudlow said of the auto industry. "We’ve done this to help you."
Trump has frequently touted the strength of the U.S. auto industry on the campaign trail, suggesting it is indicative of the nation's overall economic strength.