At meeting with automakers, Trump launches new attack on NAFTA

Auto executives head to the White House to avert a collision with California over fuel economy rules

Executives from Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, Together with the US minds of Daimler and Volkswagen, are set to attend a meeting together with President Donald-trump in the WhiteHouse.

Afterward, two major auto industry trade groups said in a joint statement that Trump expressed an "openness to a discussion with California on an expedited basis".

Automakers have been generally supportive of efforts so far by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ease the two related programs that regulate cars' greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency, for which the Obama administration set aggressive targets through the 2026 model year.

"We're really talking about environmental (controls), CAFE standards, and manufacturing of millions of more cars within the United States", Trump, known for his "America First" policies, said at the top of the meeting, referring to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and light trucks in the United States. "They are truly a win-win", a coalition of environmental groups wrote to the auto CEOs expected to attend the White House meeting. California and automakers agreed to the rules in 2012, setting a single national fuel economy standard.

He singled out Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne for praise due the company's plans to move production of its popular Dodge Ram truck to back to the U.S. from Mexico.

"Mexico and Canada, look, they don't like to lose the golden goose".

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Asked if the deal might adversely affect the industry, Trump said, "NAFTA has been a awful deal, we're renegotiating it now, we'll see what happens". 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. 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 USA business less competitive in a global scale", he said.

Even the autos analyst mentioned cheering aims on fuel efficacy within the USA would detach the united states from additional worldwide auto makers, putting it in a competitive disadvantage.

But they do not want the administration to freeze the standards, with no future increases. "We'll see if we can make it reasonable".

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.

"We have at this table the biggest vehicle manufacturers in the world all represented by their top people", Trump said at the start of the meeting.

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