WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17-National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO John Engler has issued the following statement asserting that the situation with auto makers and suppliers in America has reached a crisis point that could have a crippling impact on U.S. economy if auto makers do not receive critical funding immediately:

I cannot stress enough the importance of the auto industry to our nation’s economy. As I’ve stated in the past, the automotive sector is the country’s largest manufacturing industry, and it accounts for approximately 20% of our manufacturing GDP. What’s more, the overall industry accounts for more than a million jobs, including many among industry suppliers. The automotive industry is a highly integrated industry, which means that all of the automakers in America share many of the same suppliers. Therefore, a failure of one automaker could have a crippling impact on the entire supply chain and reverberate throughout the U.S. economy.

We must not permit the automotive industry to fail. As a result, the NAM supports the allocation of $25 billion in funding from the approved $700 billion in the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) to rescue and help stabilize the auto industry.

The auto industry is in dire need of relief today, and such relief should be seen as a critical component in our overall effort to restore confidence to consumers and investors, and stabilize the economy. With that in mind, we encourage Congress to move quickly and decisively to provide this support.