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Letter: Obama auto bailout served president's union friends

Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 1:00 a.m. MDT

Jeff Roberson, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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I wish to add to Frank Overfelt's great letter ("President Obama only saved his union friends," Readers' Forum, July 10).

There were no "welfare payments" made to Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Isuzu, Subaru, B.M.W., Volkswagon and Mercedes.

Quoting Kim Custer, spokesman for the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, "We make [automobiles] here and they're built by American citizens and increasingly we're designing them here. In fact, 55 percent of the vehicles our companies sell here are built here … and we consider ourselves part of the American auto industry. We have about 95,000 employees around the country."

Only the "Big Three" were considered for a "welfare payment." Two took the bait — Ford denied it and is still making a profit. Yes, it is evident that President Obama was only thinking of his union friends. Many or most of the foreign auto manufacturers operate "non-union" plants. These foreign automobile manufacturers have pushed their American competition to improve their products.

In the spring of 1953, I was sent to Tokyo on temporary duty from my Army detachment in Korea. I had the experience of riding in a post-war Japanese-manufactured taxi. This vehicle was so poorly constructed I thought the doors were going to fall off. What a change they have made. Today we own a Toyota Avalon with over 130,000 miles on it and it runs like a fine watch. It replaced our Cadillac.

J. Rulon Teerlink

Salt Lake City

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