Still No Mention Of Auto-Industry's Issues As Campaign Draws To A Close

Nov 08, 2016 07:57 AM EST | Matthew Cruz

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In what has been touted by Americans across the board as a long, exhaustive campaign, it seems there are still some stones left unturned by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: including issues facing the auto industry in the United States.

This is particularly peculiar considering both candidates made multiple stops in Michigan, the thriving center of the US automobile industry, over the final days of the campaign, pointed out Detroit News

Carmakers are still anticipating some clarification from both candidates about what they can expect the state of the automobile industry to come to under either presidency, said John Bozzella, the CEO and president of the Association of Global Automakers.

Candidates have indirectly touched on auto issues through their stances on trade. Trump often denounces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and has pledged to either bargain for a better deal or do away with the past entirely. In addition, Trump has promised to invoke tariffs between 10 to 35 percent on cars and parts made in neighboring Mexico that is imported into the U.S.

Clinton has also denounced NAFTA, albeit not as heavily as Trump. Neither candidate supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership that involves trade with several nations in Asia. 

Trump lambasted the deal, calling it a "disaster" for carmakers. Clinton hit at the partnership's subpar standards for "automotive rules of origin." A look into both candidates' past, however, helps to shed light on some of their views on the auto-industry.

When Clinton ran for president in 2007, she promised U.S.-based carmakers $20 billion in government loans, at low interest rates, to assist in rebuilding factories. After the 2009-09 economic crisis, she backed federal funding to bail out the auto industry.

Trump has changed his views on the bailout over the last eight years. He once backed it, but also made comments at a rally in August 2015 that Chrysler and General Motors, benefactors of the bailout, could have survived even if the government had let them go bankrupt. 

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