Monday, September 17, 2012

Obama Admin Complains About China's Auto Bailout

It doesn't get any more absurd than this.  After pumping nearly $90 billion into the American auto industry, the Obama administration has filed a complaint today with the World Trade Organization regarding China's subsidies to its own auto industry.
“Export subsidies are prohibited under WTO rules because they are unfair and severely distort international trade,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement on Monday. The subsidies to auto parts makers were provided through “dozens of Chinese legal instruments,” including cash grants and preferential terms on loans.
At the same time, the Obama administration is denying a request from GM that the government sell off its controlling interest in the company because it is harming their reputation with consumers and their ability to recruit quality employees.
The Treasury Department is resisting General Motors' push for the government to sell off its stake in the auto maker, The Wall Street Journal reports... Following a $50 billion bailout in 2009, the U.S. taxpayers now own almost 27% of the company. But the newspaper said GM executives are now chafing at that, saying it hurts the company's reputation and its ability to attract top talent due to pay restrictions. Earlier this year, GM presented a plan to repurchase 200 million of the 500 million shares the U.S. holds with the balance being sold via a public offering. But officials at the Treasury Department were not interested ...

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