Trump Declares War On General Motors, Threatens End To EV Tax Credit


Published on November 28th, 2018 |
by Steve Hanley

November 28th, 2018 by Steve Hanley 

The petulant paterfamilias of Pennsylvania Avenue is in a towering rage (when is he not?) over the news that General Motors plans to shutter several US assembly plants. He is already making plans to punish The General for committing the unforgivable sin of making him look like the braying jackass he really is.

General Motors Lordstown YT

General Motors Lordstown assembly plant. Credit: YouTube

Earlier this year, he promised the residents of Ohio that all the manufacturing jobs that were lost to the hateful Barack Obama were coming back thanks to his glorious policies. Now reality has set in and his empty promises have come up short once again. As Bruce Springsteen said many years ago, “Foreman says these jobs are going, boys, and they ain’t coming back.” In retaliation for GM’s slap in the face, Trump intends to hit ’em where it hurts — in the corporate pocketbook.

You tell ’em, Donald. How dare an American company take steps to participate in the largest new car market in the history of the world? How dare China sell almost twice as many new cars as the US? Something must be done! Measures will be taken!

“There’s great disappointment that it seems like GM would rather build its electric cars in China rather than the United States,” Larry Kudlow, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, said on Tuesday, according to a report by Time. “We are going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and others and whether they should apply or not. Can’t say anything final about that, but we’re looking into it.”

Is it possible Trump is so clueless he doesn’t know the car business is a global enterprise and has been for at least the past 30 years? Regardless of where the final assembly takes place, the components that go into every car come from all over the world. There hasn’t been a 100% American made car since before Al Gore invented the internet. The Twitter president can’t be bothered informing himself on such issue. He just shoots from the lip and goes in search of other topics he can take a flamethrower to.

The federal tax credit for electric vehicles is a hot topic on the shores of the Potomac these days, as some members of Congress try to get it repealed and others are pushing to expand it, including dyed-in-the-wool über-conservative Orrin Hatch of Utah, the powerful chairman of the Senate finance committee.

It’s probably not good news for EV advocates if incentives become a political football in the scorched earth machinations that pass for governance in Washington, DC these days. Everyone at GM and in the White House seems intent on blaming everything that is happening on electric cars instead of delving deeply into the economics that drive corporations like General Motors to make the business decisions it does. So much easier to tweet than to actually invest the 4 or 5 minutes it might take to become informed about something as important as manufacturing in America.

Perhaps the best response on Twitter to The Donald’s latest broadside is this one:

Amen to that.

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Tags: Donald Trump, federal EV tax credit, General Motors, GM plant closings, Larry Kudlow, Mary Barra

About the Author

Steve Hanley Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may take him. His muse is Charles Kuralt — “I see the road ahead is turning. I wonder what’s around the bend?”

You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.

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