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Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Friday, December 19, 2008

202-482-4883

Secretary Gutierrez Statement on the Auto Industry

WASHINGTON—U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez made the following statement following the announcement by President Bush that the administration would provide American auto manufacturers an initial $13.4 billion in short-term financing from the Troubled Asset Relief Program:

“Our economy is fragile and facing continued challenges, and the auto industry is teetering on the edge. Today’s announcement delivers an important lifeline for the American auto industry and the millions of jobs it contributes to our economy. The bridge financing provided will give the industry breathing room to become viable and competitive. When Congress failed to act, the administration had no choice but to put the health of the entire economy first, and help the industry build a bridge to the future.

“American automakers and their stakeholders must now make the hard decisions necessary to restructure their companies, and the terms of this agreement are tough and clear: create a viable plan, or pay back the money and restructure through bankruptcy. These loans protect the taxpayer and will provide the American people a return on their investment, and the industry now has the opportunity and responsibility to restructure, stabilize and once again contribute to our nation’s economy.”