You would have thought General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner would have learned a little about the value of PR last November. Flying to DC to beg for taxpayer money aboard a private jet almost cost him and the other little piggies their bailout cash. Evidently he didn’t learn a thing.
In an announcement at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show today, Little Piggy Wagoner announced that GM would bypass an American supplier to spend our money in Korea. The battery cells for GM’s long overdue Chevy Volt, will be purchased from LG Chem in Korea. LG Chem and Massachussetts based A123 Systems/Continental were competing for the contract. I wonder what Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) thinks of the bailout now that GM is bypassing a Massachussets company and sending his constituents’ jobs overseas.
Now, I’m a free market/free trade fan and if these were normal times I wouldn’t raise a fuss about this. However, these aren’t normal times and last month’s auto company bailout cast off any semblance of GM operating under free market/free trade principles.
Recall, we were told the bailout of GM and Chrysler was essential to save American jobs and prevent an imminent collapse of our economy if these two went under. In this video, Wagoner claims the bailout will “preserve many jobs, and support the continued operation of GM and the many suppliers, dealers and small businesses across the country that depend on our company and our industry.” The following is a Bush quote from an article in the Dallas Morning News after the bailout was announced. (emphasis added)
“By giving the auto companies a chance to restructure, we will shield the American people from a harsh economic blow at a vulnerable time,” the president said. “And we will give American workers an opportunity to show the world once again that they can meet challenges with ingenuity and determination, and emerge stronger than before.”