By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to eliminate subsidies for General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) in retaliation for the automaker cutting U.S. jobs and plants, and the automaker also took fire from Canadian political and labor leaders for cutbacks there.
“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,” Trump said on Twitter.
Trump did not explain what “subsidies” he was referring to.
GM electric vehicles are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit under federal law, but it is not clear how the administration could restrict those credits or if Trump had other subsidies in mind.
Trump’s harsh words rattled investors, who bid down GM shares by 2.6 percent on Tuesday after sending them up on Monday in response to the automaker’s cost-cutting.
Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “discussed their disappointment in the announced closures of General Motors plants in their respective countries” during a phone call on Tuesday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said.
The wrath of the leaders of the United States and Canada dramatized the challenges GM and its Detroit rivals will face as they restructure to cope with the most dramatic technology and market shifts in decades.