When the Obama administration tasked the Big Three automakers with devising a plan to cut costs (marginally tough love for a definitely tough town) they probably weren’t expecting this turn of events. General Motors (GM) has said it can reduce expenses by starting to, uh, import cars to the US from China. The plan calls for 17,335 Chinese-built cars to be shipped to the US in 2011, a number which will rise to more than 53,000 in 2013. Oh yeah, and in the process 21,000 American jobs will be eliminated. Unsurprisingly, the United Auto Workers union is crying foul, given that GM is currently surviving off of government bailouts. While China may still be a hot spot for the global auto industry, its airlines are flailing due to flagging demand. The solution? Another bailout, baby! The parent company of China Eastern Airlines has received a US$293 million government handout, topping off previous financial assistance of more than US$1 billion. Talk about throwing good money after bad. Anyone who has tasted Eastern’s in-flight “meal” will agree. But not every industry is getting a free pass from the government. Banks have been urged by regulators to scale back lending to steel mills as part of the government’s attempt to rein in overcapacity.