Big Three Want Trade, Health Care to Top Agenda

Nov. 14, 2006: CNN Money—Democrats May Put Big Three in Driver’s Seat

Summary: "The Big Three automakers finally get their day with President Bush Tuesday – and their meeting couldn’t be more well timed. The CEOs of GM and Ford Motor Co. and the head of DaimlerChrysler’s Chrysler Group head to Washington with more leverage now that Democrats won control of Congress in last week’s mid-term elections, industry experts and officials said.

The executives have a long list of issues where they want government help, but they won’t be asking for bailouts or loan guarantees, even as they struggle with huge losses that have led GM and Ford to slash 55,000 hourly workers in North America.

Instead the meeting, which was postponed by the White House twice over the last 14 months, is to deal with issues ranging from health care and international trade, to alternative fuel cars and light trucks."

So government-sponsored health care is good for business? Who knew. If the idea got out, we might end up with a modern, single-payer system. Like they have in those other countries whose automakers are now whupping Big Three axle.

Trade is of course on the table—no doubt the domestic automakers will want to lift tariffs on steel and raise them on Asian-badged cars. That might be tricky, considering that many "foreign" cars are now made (assembled, anyway) in the USA.

But watch as the Big Three try to push ethanol instead of hybrid technology as their energy-policy golden ticket. And don’t touch those CAFE standards! If a Michigan Democrat chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, real change in efficiency isn’t likely to be mandated any time soon.

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  • iamsancho69

    yes the conservatives dont give a damn about 40 million Americans without healt insurance, but when these powerful corporations put pressure on maybe something will change

  • Matt

    And what shall the US do when Asian manufacturers begin to flood the market with cheap electric vehicles?

    Electric cars are definitely the end game… so why not push the American manufacturers there now. Heck… give them US money to do the research & build the factories. Just make sure that the US is the one that builds these cars… or at least has a prayer of competing against the Asian made cars.

  • hamilton

    There are no inherent technical barriers to vehicles that are BOTH hybrid electric AND flex-fuel (i.e. use gasoline OR ethanol from corn, sugarcane, switchgrass, whatever), or Both hybrid AND bio-diesel.

    This is not an “either/or” debate, as implied at the end of the article. For the time being, to have efficient and clean vehicles, we need BOTH hybrid AND biofuel technologies.