Trump tests pres­i­den­tial lim­its by threat to GM

The Myanmar Times - - Business International -

PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump tested the lim­its of his pres­i­den­tial au­thor­ity and po­lit­i­cal mus­cle as he threat­ened to cut off all fed­eral sub­si­dies to Gen­eral Mo­tors be­cause of its planned mas­sive cut­backs in the US.

Trump un­loaded on Twit­ter on Tues­day, a day af­ter GM an­nounced it would shut­ter five plants and slash 14,000 jobs in North Amer­ica. Many of the job cuts would af­fect the Mid­west, the po­lit­i­cally cru­cial re­gion where the pres­i­dent promised a man­u­fac­tur­ing re­birth. It was the lat­est ex­am­ple of the pres­i­dent’s will­ing­ness to at­tempt to med­dle in the af­fairs of pri­vate com­pa­nies and to threaten the use of gov­ern­ment power to try to force their busi­ness de­ci­sions.

“Very dis­ap­pointed with Gen­eral Mo­tors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for clos­ing plants in Ohio, Michi­gan and Mary­land. Noth­ing be­ing closed in Mex­ico & China,” Trump tweeted. “The US saved Gen­eral Mo­tors, and this is the THANKS we get!”

He added that his ad­min­is­tra­tion was “look­ing at cut­ting all GM sub­si­dies, in­clud­ing for elec­tric cars.”

Trump’s tweets came shortly af­ter Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil Di­rec­tor Larry Kud­low said the White House’s re­ac­tion to the au­tomaker’s an­nounce­ment was “a tremen­dous amount of dis­ap­point­ment, maybe even spilling over into anger.” Kud­low, who met with Barra on Mon­day, said Trump felt be­trayed by GM.

“Look, we made this deal, we’ve worked with you along the way, we’ve done other things with mileage stan­dards, for ex­am­ple, and other re­lated reg­u­la­tions,” Kud­low said, ref­er­enc­ing the re­cently ne­go­ti­ated US-Mex­ico-Canada trade agree­ment. “We’ve done this to help you and I think his dis­ap­point­ment is it seems like they kind of turned their back on him.”

The White House re­buke ap­pears to fly in the face of long-held Repub­li­can op­po­si­tion to pick­ing win­ners and losers in the mar­ket­place. A day ear­lier, Trump is­sued a vague threat to GM to pre­serve a key plant in the pres­i­den­tial bell­wether state of Ohio, where the com­pany has marked its Lord­stown plant for clo­sure. “That’s Ohio, and you bet­ter get back in there soon,” he said.

It’s not clear pre­cisely what ac­tion against GM might be taken, or when, and there are ques­tions about whether the pres­i­dent has the au­thor­ity to act without con­gres­sional ap­proval.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.