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Upcoming Meeting Between President Trump, Chief Auto Execs

May 3, 2018 0 Comments

The White House is planning a meeting with major U.S. and foreign automakers to discuss fuel efficiency rule changes, according to automakers and administration officials. The meeting, planned for May 11, comes as the Trump administration has drafted a proposal that would free fuel requirements at 2020 levels through 2026.

California and 16 other states filed suit on Tuesday to block the administration’s efforts to weaken the fuel requirements.

At least a dozen automakers are expected to attend the meeting, including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., and Toyota Motor Corp.

A White House spokesman and the companies declined to comment.

According to the automakers, the meeting was sought by the White House. And, officials said, automakers could use the meeting to raise their own proposed controversial changes to the NAFTA agreement.

In the wake of the administration’s proposal, Democrats and environmental activists have vowed to “aggressively challenge” its plans to weaken the vehicle rules, which were adopted during the Obama administration.

In March 2017, President Donald Trump suggested softening the Obama-era mandates, saying that the “assault on the American auto industry [was] over”.

Spokeswoman for Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Gloria Bergquist said the companies are happy to meet with the White House.

“When the White House wants to meet with us about our sector and policy, we welcome the opportunity,” she said. “Details are still being confirmed and I cannot comment further.”

Automakers want changes to the rules to address lower gas prices and the shift in consumer preference for SUVs, pickups, and crossovers, all larger and less fuel-efficient vehicles. They also want the administration and California, a strong proponent of fuel-efficiency standards, to reach an agreement on national fuel standards.

According to Reuters, the Trump administration will argue that weaker rules lead to cheaper vehicles, which in turn could increase sales and employment, and improve safety by “prodding faster turnover of older vehicles.”

The rules established in 2012 by the Obama administration “sought to double average fleet-wide vehicle fuel efficiency to about 50 miles (80 km) per gallon by 2025,” but included an evaluation due April 2018 to determine the appropriateness and feasibility of the rules.

About the Author:

Dave Martinson is a broadcast journalist for DrivingSalesNews. He has a background as a TV News Reporter, Anchor and Producer. He has also worked in Digital Marketing and Human Resources. He received his bachelor’s degree in Communication from Brigham Young University – Idaho. He’s married and originally from the state of Washington. He’s a huge football fan and enjoys the outdoors.