The much-anticipated meeting between a 10 automakers and Trump administration officials to discuss rolling back Obama-era fuel economy standards resulted in smoke, but no fire.
President Trump and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt met with the heads dozen automakers, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Hackett and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
A proposal from the U.S. Transportation Department would freeze Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE,requirements at 2020 levels through 2026, rather than allowing them to increase as previously planned. Trump’s administration is expected to formally unveil the proposal later this month or in June.
“We’re working on CAFE standards, environmental controls,” Trump told reporters at the start of the meeting.
(Panel advocates leaving CAFE standards unchanged. Click Here for the story.)
However, the meeting ended up being a wide-ranging discussion focusing more on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump described as “horrible” and getting automakers to build more cars in the United States.
That topic earned Marchionne praise from Trump, who called him “my favorite” executive for moving production of the Ram pickup from Saltillo, Mexico, to the company’s plant in Warren, Michigan.
(Click Here to see more about the auto industry backing away from CAFE cuts.)
Ultimately, the meeting ended with no announcements about possible roll backs of the current 54.5 mpg by 2025 standard.
“We thank President Trump for inviting us to the White House to discuss the automotive sector,” said Mitch Bainwol, president & CEO, Auto Alliance, and John Bozzella, president & CEO, Global Automakers, in a released statement.“He is passionate about our industry and we appreciate his interest and shared commitment to American jobs and the economy.”
(Ford supports keeping tougher CAFE standards after push by enviro groups. Click Here for the story.)
“The Administration will soon issue a range of proposals for future fuel economy and greenhouse gas regulations, and we look forward to reviewing their notice of rulemaking and providing comments along with other stakeholders. We also appreciate the President’s openness to a discussion with California on an expedited basis.”