Obama May Tap Auto Chief Bloom to Craft Manufacturing Policy

Bloomberg

The Obama administration may elevate Ron Bloom, head of the government’s auto task force, to a job that would set U.S. manufacturing policy more broadly, people familiar with the matter said.

Bloom, a former United Steelworkers union adviser and Lazard Ltd. investment banker, helped guide General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC through bankruptcy as part of the government’s rescue of the auto industry. The task force will continue, and it hasn’t been decided whether Bloom will remain its leader while taking on the new role, the people said.

The move may alleviate criticism from Democratic allies that the administration spent billions of dollars to prop up investment banks and did little to aid average Americans. Manufacturing employment in the U.S. has fallen to 11.8 million workers, the lowest level since 1941. The White House expects the unemployment rate overall to rise above 10 percent.

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