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Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes and Michigan Radio are partners in weekly essays examining what's hot in Michigan business and politics – and what it all means. This week, Howes says Detroit’s top two automakers – facing a potential circus surrounding national contract talks with the United Auto Workers – are jostling for position with the public and President Donald Trump. Ford’s claim? To be “America’s auto company,” a label freighted with meaning and subtle digs at rivals rescued a decade ago by American taxpayers.

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