Demand for American-made autos is higher than ever, but we need to make sure auto parts companies can keep up
A recent boom in sales for U.S. autos is pushing factories to their limits, reports the Associated Press. Three years after the American auto industry nearly collapsed, the "Big Three" auto companies are now reporting record sales.
Yesterday, during a United Auto Workers (UAW) convention, President Obama praised the auto bailout that saved Chrysler and GM from bankruptcy, citing the recent boom in sales of American-made cars as a clear indicator of the legislation's success:
“Today, GM is back on top as the number one automaker in the world, with the highest profits in its 100-year history. Chrysler is growing faster in America than any other car company. Ford is investing billions in American plants and factories, and plans to bring thousands of jobs back home. All told, the entire industry has added more than 200,000 new jobs over the past two and a half years. 200,000 new jobs. "
But according to AP, this isn’t all good news: “The newfound success is straining the factory network of the Detroit automakers, as well as the companies that make the thousands of parts that go into each vehicle. This could lead to shortages that drive up prices."
And in addition to the strain that auto parts manufacturers are facing from an increase in demand, they are also facing another major challenge: China’s illegal and predatory trade practices. According to three recent reports, China's blatant use of illegal government subsidies and a web of predatory trade practices are undercutting companies in the American auto supply chain, and costing the U.S. jobs.
With the recent surge in sales of American cars, now is the time for Congress and the administration to crack down on illegal trade policies employed by China that undercut the U.S. auto supply chain. If they fail to act soon, this important, job-creating sector and the larger auto industry it supports may be lost.
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