While the Republican presidential candidates face off in the Michigan primary today, President Obama is expected to tout his auto-industry bailout when he speaks at the United Auto Workers conference today.
The president will likely highlight his $85 billion bailout as he seeks to draw contrast with his Republican rivals, who opposed government intervention to save the auto industry from collapse in 2009.
Although the timing of today’s address is convenient, the White House claims it was purely a coincidence and that the administration had no input into when the UAW decided to hold its annual conference.
“That decision to speak to the UAW is … related to the president’s interest in talking to the United Auto Workers about the success of the president’s policies and the hard work of the men and women of the American auto industry have made in turning around that industry that for the first time in many, many years we’re seeing increasing profit share — I’m sorry, increasing profits, increasing market share and even jobs being created in the auto sector, 200,000 jobs created in the auto sector in just the last couple of years,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday.
The president will also sign an executive order creating the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center. “The executive order will institute a more aggressive ‘whole-of-government’ approach to getting tough on trade enforcement by monitoring and enforcing U.S. rights under international and domestic trade rules and countering unfair subsidies that tilt the global market against U.S. firms,” according to a White House official.