Harper Says Canada’s Automotive Plans Will Track U.S.A.

Harper Says Canada’s Automotive Plans Will Track U.S.A.

March 29 (Bloomberg) — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government’s plans to help General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC will track similar efforts by President Barack Obama’s administration.

“Our plans will obviously be very close in nature,” Harper said in an interview today in Washington.

Obama’s auto task force, after assessing proposals from GM and Chrysler, will announce tomorrow whether the government will give the automakers more U.S. assistance. The companies have received $17.4 billion since December and asked for an additional $21.6 billion in aid last month.

Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Industry Minister Tony Clement have scheduled a press conference tomorrow at 12 p.m. Ottawa time to discuss “restructuring” in the auto industry.

Harper said Canadian officials are in close consultation with the U.S. on the automotive industry, though he declined to comment on the specifics of the discussions or the U.S. plan.

“I’m very confident the United States government has its sights firmly on the objective of a restructuring where the tough decisions are made such that the restructuring will be successful,” he said. “They do understand that if one were to pursue a restructuring without making the stakeholders make all the tough decisions, then the restructuring could well fail.”

Chrysler, seeking $2.3 billion in aid from the Canadian government, has been unable to reach an agreement with the country’s auto union to reduce costs ahead of a March 31 deadline, Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, said on March 27 on a call with reporters.

Chrysler builds minivans in Windsor, Ontario, and the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger cars in Brampton, Ontario. The company has a metal casting plant in Toronto.

Reviving the U.S. auto industry will require a “set of sacrifices from all parties involved, management, labor, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, dealers,” Obama said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” taped March 27. “Everybody’s going to have to come to the table and say it’s important for us — to take serious restructuring steps now in order to preserve a brighter future down the road.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Theophilos Argitis in Washington at targitis@bloomberg.net; Andrew J. Barden in Washington at barden@bloomberg.net; Theophilos Argitis in Washington at targitis@bloomberg.net.

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One Response to Harper Says Canada’s Automotive Plans Will Track U.S.A.

  1. Pingback: Posts about Barack Obama as of August 6, 2009 » The Daily Parr

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