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Obama Says U.S. Will Continue to Support Automotive Jobs

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On: Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 9:19AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Obama Says U.S. Will Continue to Support  Automotive Jobs

President Barack Obama, after visiting with the Big Three Detroit automakers, told workers at a Chicago-based Ford Motor Co. plant that they are a crucial part of today’s economy. “I refuse to walk away from this industry and American jobs,” Obama said after touring a factory where Ford, the only Big 3 U.S. automaker that didn’t take bailout money, will begin assembling the new 2011 Explorer later this year. “I have put my money on the American worker. I have put my money on the American worker.”

As many people know, last year’s bailout money that GM and Chrysler Group received helped the automakers to avoid eliminating literally hundreds of thousands of jobs, which according to Barack Obama would have resulted in “severe consequences for the U.S. economy.” Obama announced that Ford Motor Co. would qualify for a $250 million guarantee loan from the Export-Import Bank to finance the shipment of over 200,000 U.S.-made Ford vehicles including, of course, the new redesigned Ford Explorer to Canada and Mexico.

The president said in an interview with CNBC after the Ford plant tour; “Ford should be congratulated” for making decisions that allowed it to keep going without government help.

In retrospect, if the other two of the Big Three Detroit automakers had been eliminated, it would have caused a “crisis for the entire industry, including Ford, because all those suppliers would have been lost and the brand of the American auto industry would have really been greatly diminished,” Obama told CNBC.

Obama also discussed the incentives that will be available to help automakers finance the redesign of cars and trucks in order to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, although voters continue to show skepticism regarding government financial aid to U.S. automakers.

According to a recent Bloomberg National Poll, conducted July 9-12th: “The federal assistance package to automobile companies is becoming less popular: 48 percent say they became less supportive of it in recent months, while 17 percent say they have become more supportive.

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