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By Ben Popken
President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday in a tweet to cut all government subsidies to General Motors, including electric cars, as a result of the company's announcement of layoffs and the closure of factories. But he did not specify whether he had political support, or whether there was a specific protocol for executing that threat.
"Very disappointed with the decision of General Motors and its general manager, Mary Barra, closing factories in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland," tweeted the president.
"Nothing is closed in Mexico and China, the United States has saved General Motors, and we are delighted with it!" We are now considering removing all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars. did a big Chinese bet build factories there (and Mexico) – do not think this bet will be profitable, I'm here to protect American workers! "
On Monday, GM announced Monday expected layoffs following its offer of buybacks to workers a few weeks ago, announcing about 15,000 layoffs and possible plant closures.
Electric vehicles can get a $ 7,500 tax credit under federal law. Trump's tweets do not indicate how the administration could limit these credits.
"We are disappointed by the fact that GM seems to prefer to build its electric cars in China rather than in the United States," said Larry Kudlow, senior economic adviser to the White House, during a press conference .
"We are going to look at some subsidies for electric cars and others, whether they are applied or not, I can not say anything definitive about it, but we are studying the issue," said Kudlow.
According to data compiled by goodjobsfirst.org, General Motors and its subsidiaries have so far received $ 76 million in federal grants and interstate tax credits.
In a statement released Monday, the company announced that it is refocusing its resources on autonomous and electric vehicles, as well as more efficient trucks, crossovers and SUVs. It also announced the closure of two other unspecified factories outside North America by the end of 2019.
"The actions we take today continue our transformation to become extremely agile, resilient and profitable, while leaving us the opportunity to invest in the future," said Mary Barra, President and CEO. GM. "We recognize the need to keep up with changing market conditions and customer preferences in order to position our company for long-term success.
The automaker did not immediately respond to NBC News's request for comment on the president's tweets.
GM shares fell 3% on news.