December 10, 2013: Welcome back, GM

Posted by mmcmullan on 12/10/2013

Good morning,

Happy Tuesday from a snowy Washington DC, where we're having the first winter storm of the year. But enough about the here and now: Let’s go back five years to 2008. The last Indiana Jones movie, terrible as it was, was making a lot of money; an Iraqi journalist went to jail for throwing his shoes at President Bush; and the economy was in free fall. In fact, General Motors and Chrysler -- two of Detroit’s Big Three -- were on the verge of collapse ... Until the Bush White House stepped in with emergency loans, and the following Obama administration upped the public’s involvement by pushing for structural changes to improve the efficiency of both companies.

Yesterday, report Bill Vlasic and Annie Lowrey for the New York Times, the government sold off all of its remaining shares in GM. The sale leaves taxpayers with a $10 billion loss. But to focus on that one number (and to their credit, Vlasic and Lowrey don’t) would miss the point: The government’s help saved millions of jobs and millions in personal income. Imagine the economic fallout we would have experienced had the domestic auto industry been allowed to collapse. Here’s what President Obama had to say:

‘When things looked darkest for our most iconic industry, we bet on what was true: the ingenuity and resilience of the proud, hardworking men and women who make this country strong. Today, that bet has paid off. The American auto industry is back.’

It’s back, and profitable. Also of note: GM’s next head honcho will be the first female CEO of a major automaker.

Elsewhere around the web:

Time’s up for the administration’s seemingly self-imposed year-end deadline to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the 12 nations involved in the talks plan to meet next month, but a new timeline has not been established for the Pacific trade deal, writes Sharon Chen for Bloomberg News. Several issues like agriculture tariffs, environmental standards, and protections for companies competing against government-backed businesses have been sticking points in the discussions.

Stories seen through smoke:

Technology, innovation, and manufacturing collide in a new software app called IntoSite. Ford and Siemens have worked together to develop a software app that will allow engineers to map the factory floor. “This will help Ford better collaborate on the floor, with workers, suppliers and the engineering community.” Alisa Priddle of the Detroit Free Press has the story.

Solid list: Want more of this year’s best innovations? Dominic Basulto of the Washington Post has everything from drones to 3-D printers.

And it’s gift-giving season, America. While you’re out there doing your holiday shopping, whether in-person or online, your pals at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) hope you keep your purchases Made in the U.S.A.

Why? AAM President Scott Paul said it thusly:

We consume too much from overseas, and we don’t produce enough here to make up the difference. That burdens us with debt and leaves us with fewer jobs. There is a solution and it may sound quaint, but it’s never been truer than it is today: Buy American.

Easier said than done? Not if we help you out! We’ve posted a list of 51 American-made gifts suggestions, one from every state (and the District of Columbia). Throughout the month of December we’ll continue providing you with ideas, tips, and tricks. So check out our Holiday page often, as we’ll update it frequently.

Have an American-made gift that you’re giving, or coveting? We want to hear about it. Tweet it to @KeepItMadeinUSA or email us: info [at] aamfg [dot] org.

Happy Tuesday, America!

-AAM

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