WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump has asked federal agencies to look for ways to cut subsidies to General Motors Co. following the automaker’s announcement that it plans to close factories and lay off thousands of workers, according to a source familiar with his instructions.
Trump said in a tweet Tuesday that his administration is “looking at cutting all @GM subsidies,” including tax breaks for the purchase of electric cars. But a change in the tax break would require action by Congress.
Trump has given direction toward a broader examination of ways for the federal government to block funds to GM, the person said Wednesday. Fox Business reported earlier Wednesday that the Energy Department was examining funds provided to GM. Other agencies have received similar instructions, the person said.
GM has received about $333.5 million in federal spending in the past 12 months, according to a U.S. government website that tracks federal expenditures. More than 93 percent of that came through federal vehicle purchases for use by government departments.
It’s also a frequent recipient of major research and defense contracts. Among the largest are a Department of Defense project that began in 2000 and earned the company $167.9 million, as well as two Department of Energy grants of more than $100 million related to electric vehicles and batteries awarded during the Obama administration. U.S. taxpayers lost more than $10 billion in the rescue of the company during the financial crisis a decade ago.
The Detroit-based automaker is on track to generate an estimated $144.2 billion in revenue this year.