| November 27, 2018 05:51 PM
The sole purpose of President Trump’s threat against General Motors (“We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars”) was to send a signal to his supporters in the states that will be affected.
When Trump targeted the car manufacturer Tuesday on Twitter, GM’s stock immediately dropped nearly 4 percent, though it crawled back up in the following hours.
GM said Monday it was cutting its salaried workforce by 15 percent and closing several plants in North America, including in Ohio and Michigan, to prepare for future market changes.
Trump, campaigning largely on a promise to reinvigorate manufacturing jobs in the U.S., won both states in the 2016 election.
CNN, citing an unnamed person “familiar with the matter,” reported that there may not even be any actual government subsides for Trump to shut off.
….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
But the threat wasn’t so much a shot at getting GM to immediately reverse course as it was a throwback to Trump’s campaign theme that American workers are getting shafted.
“Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland,” he said in his tweet. “Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!”
GM gave no indication it had changed its mind, only saying in a statement, “We appreciate the actions this administration has taken on behalf of industry to improve the overall competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.”
But the conflict reminds Trump supporters why they elected him, and that was the point.