Trump meets auto executives to discuss fuel standards

ImagePresident Trump at the White House on Friday with administration officials and auto industry

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

The auto industry CEOs invited to the White House will reiterate that they support continuous improvements in fuel economy and aligning standards with market demand, said Wade Newton, a spokesman at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. State officials in California and 16 other states covering nearly 40% of the population of the US filed suit last week attempting to block the White House's efforts to weaken the requirements for fuel efficiency. Tom Carper, D-Del. Under the proposal, the fleet of new vehicles would have to average roughly 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving, and that wouldn't change through at least 2025.

It also contained a legal case for denying California the ability to set tougher standards than the national ones - something that sparked a sharp retort from Brown and other state officials.

If the administration forges ahead with freezing the targets - and trying to force California to go along - the result will likely be years of litigation between the state and federal government, and prolonged uncertainty for the firms. Together they make up about 40 percent of USA new-vehicle sales. Leaks about the Trump EPA plan already have provoked a suit from California and 16 other states.

In addition to rules on auto emissions, Trump said the meeting was focused on "how to build more cars in the United States".

In the event that you now put targets in place that, let's say, destroy the electric-vehicle from the regulatory point of view, " I presume that makes the US business less competitive in a global scale", he said.

Trump won the presidency in 2016 in part on his strength in the industrial Midwest states of MI and OH, which employ thousands of people in auto and parts manufacturing.

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.


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.

"I've never been a Nafta fan", Trump said. "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". "We'll see if we can make it reasonable".

"President Trump looks forward to a productive meeting today with major automakers to discuss the Administration's forthcoming rulemaking on Corporate Average Fuel Economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles".

When the single national standard was adopted six years ago, cars, which get better mileage than trucks and SUVs, made up just under half of US new vehicle sales.

Some environmental groups oppose any reduction in the standards, saying that the ones developed in 2012 allow for changes in consumer buying habits.

"These standards are working exactly as they were created to do - they are protecting our health and climate, driving innovation, saving Americans money at the gas pump, and reducing our reliance on oil".

Requirements now are lower for bigger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, said Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Auto executives attending the meeting include General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Jim Hackett, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and Bob Carter, executive vice-president of North America for Toyota. "The standards automatically adjust to the sales mix of vehicles", he said.

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