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From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.
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Automobile manufacturing in Australia is facing cuts. Japanese automaker Toyota recently decided to stop making cars in Australia. Industry experts and labor unions are worried the decision could push parts of Australia into recession. Last year both Ford Motor Company and General Motors announced plans to suspend car making in the country. Toyota says more than 2,000 of its workers will lose their jobs. But trade unions say the company’s decision to end production could leave 50,000 Australians jobless. They say the cuts could take $19 billion away from the economy. The states of Victoria and South Australia would be hurt the most. The car manufacturing industry was once very strong in Australia. In recent years, the country produced about 200,000 vehicles a year. John Spoehr is with the Australian Workplace, Innovation and Social Research Center at the University of Adelaide. He says carmakers have found it difficult to operate in Australia. He says demand for cars fell after the 2008 financial crisis. And, he says, Australian manufacturers faced competition from low-cost manufacturing in India, China and Thailand. The collapse of Australia’s automobile industry has raised concerns in parliament. The opposition has accused Prime Minster Tony Abbott of not doing enough to persuade Toyota to keep its factories open. The prime minister says he cannot be blamed for the auto industry’s problems because he has been in office for only a few months. Traditionally, the auto industry has received billions of dollars in assistance from the government.