Update: McCain refuses to support bailout scheme for Detroit 3
While the proposals have been varied and abounding from different camps, McCain is consistent with his thoughts on bailing out domestic auto manufacturers. His stance thus far is that it’s not the role of the government to be a crutch to these businesses, a view also shared by current president George W. Bush.
McCain's Democratic rival, Barack Obama, has previously vocalized his support for loan programs for domestic manufacturers, including "loans and tax credits to retool the nation's auto plants and build the next generation of American cars". Obama has also previously spoken about his desire to see the American auto industry at the forefront of technology for next-generation cars, rather than lagging behind as it is now, reports The Detroit News.
General Motors spokesman Greg Martin was apprehensive of McCain's cavalier attitude towards maintaining the auto industry. While McCain had previously stated that guaranteeing loans was like prematurely "predicting failure" in regards to the Detroit 3's efforts, Martin countered that the loans were necessary as domestic manufacturers were doing "nothing short of really reinventing the automobile".
Original: The troubles facing the United States' automobile industry at home and abroad are no secret, with layoffs and plant closures announced almost weekly in recent months.
Senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain said today that he would not support any government aid for the weakened industry if elected, instead speaking in favor of free trade.
McCain's statement came during a town-hall meeting held at a General Motors plant in Warren, Ohio. That state has felt a significant portion of the impact of the auto industry's recent downsizing, losing nearly manufacturing 250,000 jobs since 2000, reports Automotive News.
Putting government funds into research and development of next-generation technologies could be possible under a McCain administration, but outright subsidization of the industry was ruled out.
How McCain expects free trade to improve the situation in the industry is unclear. He said he supports free trade, but noted that not all trade agreements are fair, and advocated methods to make dealing with violations of such agreements quicker and easier. "I would do everything in my power to make sure that trade practices are fair and equitable," McCain said.