Automakers and President Meet to Discuss Trade and Emissions Standards

May 18, 2018

President Trump recently met with top automaker executives to discuss trade and environmental regulations. In addition, the President proposed imposing a tariff on vehicles brought into the U.S. as well as subjecting imported vehicles to stricter emissions standards than vehicles made in the U.S. in an effort to encourage more American vehicle production. The meeting took place as the current administration is considering rolling back fuel efficiency and pollutions standards implemented under the previous administration.

This is a decision that has proven to be quite contentious as automakers and states, notably California, disagree on what is feasible and what makes the most sense. “We are not asking the administration for a rollback,” Ford Chairman Bill Ford explained, “We want California at the table and we want one national standard.”

In addition, the EPA recently ruled that current regulations are too strict, as previously reported in the April 6 edition of Capitol Update. This decision was initially lauded by automakers. But as Bloomberg reported, the administration’s new draft that proposed freezing the standards in 2020 indicated that what the administration wants is more aggressive than what the automakers do. The administration’s draft also proposed limiting California’s ability to set standards that differ from the federal ones, which drew swift rebuke from California Governor Jerry Brown and other state officials and placed automakers in a tough spot.

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