Stressing that the auto industry is an essentially part of a healthy American economy, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood nonetheless cautioned that the government can only work with the industry, not cover the cost of the massive transformation it’s not going through — particularly if that would require new gasoline taxes.
LaHood provided the opening remarks for the 2010 North American International Hall, held at Detroit’s Cobo Hall. Outside the center, a group of protestors gathered to express their anger at the Obama Administration’s multi-billion dollar bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, last year. But the Secretary defended that controversial decision.
“This industry would not have a bright future, said LaHood, without the government’s assistance. “It’s a good investment,” and besides, he added, the protestors should be told that, “General Motors is starting to pay back the money taxpayers loaned to them.