Clinton Tries On the Big 3 Auto Makers
Hillary Clinton addressed the AFL-CIO in Detroit yesterday, and displayed a more conciliatory and consultative approach than Barack Obama did recently in his remarks to the Detroit Economic Club.
By all accounts, Ms. Clinton’s comments were well-received by the audience, particularly when she stated that there needs to be a “win-win” solution to the problems vexing Detroit’s car companies and that those same companies deserve the support of Congress. Although she said that fuel economy needs to increase, she said those increases should come with federal assistance on the domestic auto makers’ heath costs. Detroit’s car companies pony up around $12 billion USD every year in health costs and that number will go up to $22 billion every year by 2015 under the current schedules of payments.
Ms. Clinton, the Democratic front-runner for the presidency, also commented after her speech on several other issues important to Detroit; funding for alternative energy research, trade pacts that effectively shut the Big 3 out of markets like Japan and South Korea and claims of currency manipulation long alleged by Detroit. She stated that these issues would be a priority if she were elected President. Ms. Clinton did not elaborate on the current efforts in the Senate to increase CAFE requirements, other than to say that CAFE “presents a very tough question”.