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Trump says auto tariffs 'being studied' after GM restructuring announcement

Key Points
  • "Because of the G.M. event, it is being studied now!" Trump said in a tweet, adding: "The President has great power on this issue."
  • GM shares fell after Trump's tweet.
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs the White House, November 9, 2018.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. government is studying tariffs on cars built overseas after General Motors announced a restructuring plan that involved closing plants in the United States.

"Because of the G.M. event, it is being studied now!" Trump said in a tweet, adding: "The President has great power on this issue."

Shares of GM fell to their lows of the day after Trump's comments, but closed 0.7 percent higher.

General Motors announced Monday that it would close several plants in the U.S. and would reduce its salaried workforce by 15 percent. That reduction comes to more than 14,000 jobs being cut.

Trump's comments come a day after he threatened to cut all of General Motors' government subsidies for the company's decision to cut jobs and shut down plants. "Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get," Trump wrote in a tweet.

In a statement, the automaker said: "GM paid its government loans in full in April of 2010. In addition to that we have invested $22 billion in U.S. operations."

Earlier this week, Trump told The Wall Street Journal: "They better damn well open a new plant [in Ohio] very quickly."

This is not the first time Trump has thought of slapping tariffs on cars made outside the U.S. Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that Trump had plans to discuss a draft report on auto tariffs. Axios has also reported Trump is focused on crushing foreign automakers with tariffs.

— CNBC's Robert Ferris contributed to this report.

WATCH: Trump's tariffs could lead to unintended consequences

VIDEO1:3101:31
Trump's tariffs could lead to unintended consequences