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Following are excerpts from a letter Barack Obama wrote to UAW members.
July 18, 2008
Dear UAW Brothers and Sisters,
When a mainstay of the American economy is forced to make a restructuring decision like the one General Motors announced this week, it is a sober reminder of the difficult economic times we’re facing and of why we need change and a new direction in Washington.
I stood with you on Tuesday and I stand with you now. I am steadfast in my commitment to the auto industry, to American jobs and to America’s working families. America cannot truly prosper unless Michigan prospers. …
We have to help the auto industry meet the challenges of a 21st century economy. To start, we should be providing immediate funding for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP), which offers low interest loans for automakers to help make immediate investments in retooling their plants. And as President, I will invest $150 billion in clean energy to help create the fuel-efficient cars and alternative sources of energy that will jumpstart a green economy and help free this nation from the tyranny of oil. By providing tax credits and loan guarantees for our automakers and by expanding consumer tax incentives for ultra-efficient vehicles, I will provide the real solutions necessary to help this industry compete and win in the global economy. We need to make sure our auto makers are ready to build these next generation vehicles right here in the United States, which is exactly what my energy plan will do. …
My heart goes out to all the workers and families in Michigan and across the country who have been affected by turbulence in the auto industry over the years – including whose who learned just this week of further job cuts. You deserve a leader in the White House who not only understands the difficulties you and your families face, but who will stand up for you every single day. That’s exactly what I’ll do as your President.