For someone who has pushed hard to free U.S. companies from federal interference, President Trump is unusually willing to tell U.S. companies how to run their businesses.
The latest example is General Motors, which announced plans Monday to cut thousands of jobs and potentially shutter a handful of factories in the face of softening car sales. Traditional Republicans might consider this sort of development a painful but necessary part of the business cycle. To Trump, though, it was a needless blow to an important constituency — autoworkers — in Ohio and Michigan, two blue-collar-heavy Midwestern states that were important parts of his winning coalition in 2016. (The company’s updated plans also envision plant shutdowns in Maryland and Canada, plus two unspecified plants outside of North America.)
So Trump hectored and threatened GM’s leadership, both directly and through the media. He raised the stakes Tuesday on Twitter:
....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!