General Motors (NYSE:GM) chairman and CEO Dan Akerson will be in Washington on Thursday to help smooth over the political controversy over GM’s $49.5 billion dollar bailout in 2009, which resurfaced during the run-up to the presidential election last fall, reports the Detroit News.
It will be the first trip to Capitol Hill in 14 months for Akerson, whose company was the target of Mitt Romney campaign ads last year. The ads attacked GM for taking the bailout money and cutting jobs in America, while still building cars in China.
“Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China,” the ad said. “And now comes word that Chrysler is starting to build cars in, you guessed it, China. Mitt Romney — he’ll stand up for the auto industry. In Ohio, not China.”
GM issued a response to the ad that read: “We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
Akerson is looking to put the political turmoil behind the automaker, while showing the new Congress that GM has made significant strides towards financial stability. To accomplish this goal, he has enlisted the help of the new 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray “for its first appearance in Washington D.C.”
GM earned $23 billion in profits since climbing out of bankruptcy and reduced U.S. pension obligations by $28 billion. Additionally, GM invested $8.1 billion in U.S. plants and created or retained 23,000 jobs since the bailout.
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