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Using Strength as Leverage

September 08, 1985

American big business interests have tremendous power, and apparently one of these giant corporations is using its strength as leverage to get what it wants.

Ford Motor has threatened to reduce the domestic manufacture of large cars or shift production outside the United States and may also increase the imported components in large cars to a level exceeding 25% of the value of the vehicle, if the government doesn't drop the fuel economy standards to 26 miles per gallon from 27.5 per gallon for 1987-89.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington honored Ford's and General Motors' request to reduce the fuel requirements for 1986, but will not act upon the latest request until mid-October.

As a result of this outrageous threat, the auto company has placed the federal agency in a difficult position.

Even if the governmental unit finds reason to act favorably upon the Ford request, it may not be able to do so because it would appear to the American people that it is succumbing to pressure from a giant corporation. It would not only reflect the current Administration as being weak and unable to reach independent decisions but also strengthen the belief that the Republican Party obediently obeys the wishes of giant enterprise.

In addition, any such action by the government would be a clear message to other corporations that such threats will work.

By giving in, the government will have opened a Pandora's box that can only mean lots of future trouble.


Van Nuys

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