YPSILANTI, Mich. (WWJ) – President Donald Trump is headed to Michigan this week to discuss federal policy concerning the U.S. auto industry.
“On Wednesday the president will visit Detroit for a trip focusing on job creation in automobile manufacturing,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. “He will meet with auto executives and workers and manufacturing suppliers, highlighting the need to eliminate burdensome regulations that needlessly hinder meaningful job growth.”
WWJ’s Jeff Gilbert reports Trump will be joined by representatives from both the big three domestic car companies as well as import automakers for a Wednesday afternoon speech at the American Center for Mobility, an automated vehicle test facility in Ypsilanti, around 35 miles west of Detroit.
The discussion, according to reports, will focus on the reopening of the mid-cycle review of vehicle fuel economy standards.
Gilbert says carmakers have complained that mid-cycle review of the standards (which would raise the fleet average fuel efficiency to more than 50 mpg by 2025 from 27.5 mpg in 2010) was cut off by the Obama Administration before they had a chance to give their input.
Center for Auto Research founder Dave Cole says automakers want to talk about how difficult it is to get people to buy small cars in an era of low gas prices.
“This disconnect between the consumer and the product is something the industry is extremely concerned about,” Cole said.
Trump’s relationship with auto industry leaders has been varied. Back in January, he invited auto executives and other business leaders to the White House for a meeting that Ford CEO Mark Fields framed as “very positive. In the past, however, Trump criticized Ford and other U.S. automakers for importing cars from Mexico and threatened tariffs of 35 percent.
Trump was last in Michigan in early December when he stopped for a Grand Rapids rally as part of his “thank you tour” of states that helped him with the election.