Chair Calls for Action in Auto Bailout
PPG Industries chairperson and chief executive officer Charles
Bunch penned a letter late yesterday to all of the U.S. senators
urging them to take action in assisting the Big Three auto manufacturers.
In the letter, sent officially from the National Association of
Manufacturers, of which Bunch is chairperson, he writes, "Like
many other domestic manufacturers in the auto industry supply chain,
PPG Industries would face severe economic consequences if this matter
is not addressed immediately."
He notes that in 2008 the auto industry provided PPG more than
$500 million in sales and more than 1,260 manufacturing and research
and development jobs to PPG employees.
"Allowing the auto industry to collapse would put these and
the more than 600,000 other jobs in the auto parts supply chain
in jeopardy," Bunch writes.
Bunch calls the auto industry relief a "critical component
in [the] overall effort to restore confidence to consumers and investors,
and stabilize the economy."
"A stable auto industry is critical to our nation's economic
recovery," he continues.
The vote to assist the Big Three auto manufacturers with a $14
million bailout failed yesterday. However, White House press secretary
Dana Perino issued a statement today noting that the legislation
under consideration "provided an opportunity to use funds already
appropriated for automakers, and presented the best chance to avoid
a disorderly bankruptcy while ensuring taxpayer funds go only to
firms whose stakeholders were prepared to make the difficult decisions
to become viable, competitive firms in the future."
"However, given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy,
we will consider other options if necessary," she says, "Including
the use of the [Troubled Asset Relief Program], to prevent a collapse
of troubled automakers. A precipitous collapse of this industry
would have a severe impact on our economy, and it would be irresponsible
to further weaken and destabilize our economy at this time."
The Troubled Asset Relief Program was created by the Emergency
Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
Many industry representatives have concerns about what impact the
automotive industry could have on this sector.
"Solutia is in favor of federal relief for the U.S. automakers,"
says Paul J. Berra, vice president of government affairs and communications
for Solutia Inc., which indirectly relies on U.S.-based OEMs for
a small percent of its total revenue. "The U.S. OEMs employ
hundreds of thousands of people, and permeate the broader U.S. economy
through their supplier and dealer networks. During more normal economic
conditions, the U.S. bankruptcy process provides the means for successful
restructuring without the use of national policy-as evidenced by
Solutia's own recent emergence from Chapter 11 reorganization. Unfortunately,
during today's uncertain economic times, the bankruptcy of large
companies such as the U.S. OEMs would further accentuate our country's
economic decline. Therefore, we believe the use of national policy
HERE for the full text of Bunch's letter.
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