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Pressure mounts to help US car industry

A meeting last week between America’s top three carmakers and Democratic leaders has reinforced the need to help the country’s struggling car manufacturers.

Representatives from General Motors, Chrysler and Ford met with house speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid on Thursday.

According to the Financial Times Pelosi and Reid have now sent a letter to treasury secretary Hank Paulson saying they were convinced the industry and tens of thousands of jobs were at risk.

This puts pressure on the US Treasury to consider helping American carmakers via a $700 billion rescue plan.

However the Bush administration has so far resisted allowing this to happen.

If Paulson does not offer financial help through the rescue package Democrats hope the administration will approve new loans for the carmakers during negotiations later this month.

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