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Auto import boost would stir backlash

Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009, 2:02 pm in Employee News

Key senators warned Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Wednesday of a political firestorm if General Motors Corp. was allowed to boost imports from foreign countries while receiving billions of dollars in government aid, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Geithner, speaking to the Senate Banking Committee, said the Obama administration was “trying very carefully” not to get involved in decisions by GM and Chrysler LLC to close plants or cut dealerships as part of their government-funded turnarounds, the story said.

The UAW has attacked GM’s plans to boost imports from China, Mexico and South Korea through 2014 while closing 16 plants in the United States and shedding 21,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs, the paper said.

“If it was a firestorm in this country when we give billions to banks and they pay huge bonuses, you haven’t seen anything yet for what’s going to happen if we put billions in auto companies and they open plants in China,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. (Detroit Free Press)
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