Treasury To Loan Auto Suppliers Up To $5 Billion

The Obama administration is trying to rescue another vital American industry. The Treasury announced Thursday that it will lend auto suppliers up to $5 billion, hoping that will get credit flowing to them again. The industry supplies parts to U.S. automakers and employs hundreds of thousands of workers. It recently asked for $25 billion in aid because it's getting fewer orders from strapped automakers, and lenders are refusing to extend credit.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with a bailout for auto parts suppliers.

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INSKEEP: You'll recall that when two of the Big Three automakers - or at least the companies once known as the Big Three - requested federal aid, they argued that it wasn't just their own company's jobs on the line. It was also the jobs of companies that they work with - auto parts suppliers. And now those companies are getting a bailout. They're considered critical to the automakers. They supply everything from seats and axels to other car parts. They employ hundreds of thousands of people. And the industry is on brink. It recently asked the administration for $25 billion in aid. That's because they're getting fewer and fewer orders from the troubled automakers, whose business has been cut nearly in half.

Lenders are refusing to extend credit to auto part suppliers who do business with US automakers, and so today the Treasury announced it will lend auto suppliers up to $5 billion in the hopes that it will get credit flowing again to the industry.

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