Friday, October 18, 2013
Bailed out GM ships jobs to China
This is happening despite the fact that the Treasury Department has to date recovered just $36 billion of its original $51 billion loan to GM. By most analysts’ predictions, American taxpayers will be out approximately $10 billion when the remaining stock is sold off. Which is a long way of saying that it now appears that taxpayers paid $10 billion to make it easier for GM to accelerate its foreign outsourcing and send more manufacturing jobs to China.
Here’s what happened: In exchange for the bailout in 2009, GM promised to meet certain domestic car production targets over the next four years. The obvious point of this stipulation was to ensure that GM jobs remained here at home and weren't shipped overseas. The production targets started at 1.8 million in 2010 and were supposed to rise to 2.26 million by 2014. GM repeatedly missed the targets, beginning with an 81,000-unit shortfall the first year. Production increased thereafter, but never quite enough to meet the targets. Last year, GM fell about 13,000 cars short of its 2 million target.
How did it do this year? GM refuses to say. But in February, GM announced in its annual report to shareholders that Treasury had agreed to “irrevocably waive certain of its rights” regarding the federal loan. These included “certain manufacturing volume requirements.” Guess what happened next? GM announced in June that it would stop releasing its North American production figures altogether. Its spokesman tried to justify this move with Orwellian doublespeak about how providing more information would result in “an incomplete data set to look at.” Read more >>