The outlook for the U.S. auto industry, which relies heavily on Mexican auto parts, improved last week after President Donald Trump’s last-minute decision not to impose tariffs on all products from Mexico.
But the industry is still anxious about Trump administration policies on another front.
Seventeen automakers, including American giants General Motors and Ford, have jointly written a letter urging the administration to pull back from plans to scrap rules imposed by the Obama administration that require cars and trucks to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 so as to reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change. Many auto executives had hoped these rules would be moderated.
Instead, the Trump administration appears ready to dump the rules entirely. Now the industry fears such a decision could cause “an extended period of litigation and instability” — a concern that acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler reportedly shares.
Automakers also worry they may be forced to work under two sets of rules, one to meet the tough rules set by California and other states, and another to meet much more lax federal rules.
Trump prides himself on being ardently pro-business. One way to prove it — that is also good for the environment — is to compromise on fuel rules.