Trump decries lost auto jobs — but hires industry axman

Josh Kosman

New York Post

9th August 2016

Donald Trump in Detroit, blaming NAFTA for the area’s lost auto jobs, while he chose Steve Feinberg — who had laid off thousands of autoworkers in 2008 — to be part of his economic team. The Republican presidential candidate Monday said, “Before NAFTA went into effect, there were 285, 000 autoworkers in Michigan. Today, that number is only 160, 000.

” President Bill Clinton enacted NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement — on Dec. 8, 1993. Last week, Trump named Cerberus Capital Management and Chief Executive Feinberg to his economic advisory council.

Hedge fund Cerberus in August 2007 bought Chrysler, one of the Big Three automakers, from Daimler AG in a $7. 4 billion deal. Cerberus quickly cut jobs, focusing on cost management and saving $5 billion.

Chrysler in 2007 announced 22, 500 cuts, and another 9, 200 the next year, for a total of more than 30 percent of the workforce. Chrysler also reduced the number of car models. Chrysler, after receiving a $5.

5 billion loan from Uncle Sam, filed for bankruptcy in April 2009. Between 2006 and 2010, Chrysler reduced its employment in southeastern Michigan by 47 percent, from 34, 403 to 18, 255, according to Crain’s Detroit Business. Fiat has since bought Chrysler and brought most of those jobs back.

“It is a little strange that Trump’s going that route [choosing Feinberg] given some of the history and some of his policies,” Jason Bank, who heads the bankruptcy practice at Detroit law firm Kerr Russell, told The Post. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne in 2009 said, “We were surprised by how little [Cerberus] had done in the past 24 months. ” Cerberus still made money on Chrysler, sources said.

The hedge fund split off Chrysler Financial and then ran off the loans, a source said. Uncle Sam took control of another Cerberus company, GMAC, by 2010. Trump and Cerberus declined comment.



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