Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

President Trump Urging Automakers to Make Cars in US

President Trump Urging Automakers to Make Cars in US

Negotiators are working to rewrite the 24-year-old trade pact in which the auto industry features prominently, but the US, Canada and Mexico have not yet bridged their differences on criteria for duty-free vehicle imports.

Executives from 10 companies, including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Mercedes-Benz, are expected to join leaders from the Auto Alliance, Global Automakers and key Trump administration officials with the president, the White House said.

US President Donald Trump on Friday convened the world's most important auto executives at the White House to press for increased domestic production, while again heaping criticism on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

He adds, "We'll see if we can make it reasonable".

Two auto industry trade groups confirmed in a statement that Mr. Trump was willing to talk with California, but they provided no specifics.

"I don't think anybody in industry, when asked for reopening of standards, asked to level out to zero", a lobbyist for a major auto manufacturer said in an interview.

"We are not asking the administration for a rollback", Ford Chairman Bill Ford said Thursday during the automaker's annual meeting.

More news: Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' Tops Billboard 100

Mitch Bainwol, who heads the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, told a congressional committee on Tuesday the industry supports "standards that increase year over year that also are consistent with marketplace realities".

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt and White House aide Chris Liddell are among the administration officials who attended the meeting.

CEO from Ford Motor, General Motors, as well as Fiat Chrysler, and senior executive in the USA from Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Nissan, Honda, BMW and Daimler met with the president, as did two heads from a pair of trade groups.

The meeting comes against a background of occasionally bumpy relations between Trump and an industry that he championed on the campaign trail. Three days before Trump's inauguration, Ford announced that it would abandon the plant - even though construction was underway.

FCA announced in January its plan to invest $1 billion in a MI assembly plant and create 2,500 jobs.

Automakers, parts suppliers and dealers have been wary about the administration's renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, warning that higher local content requirements could be unworkable and raise vehicle prices. "Those 10 CEOs might represent the better part of 1 million jobs in the United States and indirectly supporting many, many millions more, particularly in states that supported the administration, such as MI".

Mr. Trump has vowed to end the shipping aboard of USA manufacturing jobs.

More news: Watch an iPhone explode and burst into flames on video

The Trump administration plans to argue the weaker rules will lead to cheaper vehicles, boost sales and employment and improve safety by prodding faster turnover of older vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne told Reuters before the meeting his company is "fully supportive" of Trump's efforts to revise the rules and hoped for "an agreed way forward".

The executives plan to emphasize their support for easing the Obama-era standards, but not so much that it triggers a conflict with California and results in a split market of environmental regulations set by Washington and Sacramento.

Major automakers reiterated this week they do not support freezing fuel efficiency requirements but said they want new flexibility and rule changes to address lower gasoline prices and the shift in USA consumer preferences to bigger, less fuel-efficient vehicles.

The EPA completed that review last month and found that fuel-efficiency regulations for cars and light trucks are too stringent and must be revised.

The EPA under Mr. Trump has proposed freezing the standards at 2020 levels for the next five years, according to a draft of the proposal obtained by Sen.

But California has a stricter standard than other states, and carmakers prefer a single national standard.

More news: CBS sues National Amusements over Viacom remerger fight

Any big change by Mr. Trump certainly would bring lawsuits from environmental groups as well as California.

Like this: