President Obama touts auto bailout, manufacturing at United Auto Workers (UAW) convention
President Obama delivered a speech this morning to the United Auto Workers (UAW) at their 2012 convention. The president focused primarily on the success of the $80 million bailout of Chrysler and GM—a message that likely resonated with voters from the state of Michigan, who will be heading to the polls tonight to vote in the GOP primary.
Though the GOP candidates have been talking up manufacturing as a key element of our economy recovery, the president criticized them today for failing to support legislation that he believes single handedly saved a lmajor industrial sector:
“…I’ve got to admit, it’s been funny to watch some of these politicians completely rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet. These are the folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, ‘you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.’ Now they’re saying they were right all along."
The president also affirmed his belief that the auto industry and the men and women who keep it running represent more than just a crucial pillar of our industrial sector—they represent the strength and importance of American innovation:
“These [auto] jobs are worth more than just a paycheck. They’re a source of pride. They’re a ticket to a middle class life. They make it possible to own a home, to raise kids and send them to college, to retire. These companies are worth more than just the cars they build. They’re a symbol of American innovation; the source of our manufacturing might. And if that’s not worth fighting for, what is?
In addition to touting the success of the auto bailout, President Obama said there are certain steps that must be taken in order to ensure that all American industries are able to operate and thrive on a level playing field. For instance, his administration plans to launch a Trade Enforcement Unit that he believes “will bring the full resources of the federal government to bear to investigate and counter unfair trade practices around the world, including by countries like China."
And as the president put it, "American workers are the best workers on Earth, and when the playing field is level, I promise you – America will always win.”
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