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Ford, Chrysler and GM Chiefs to Meet with Trump

Jan. 23, 2017
This follows a Monday meeting with prominent American manufacturers including Elon Musk, at which Trump said he would dramatically cut regulations and corporate taxes. 

President Donald Trump will meet Tuesday with the heads of the big three U.S. automakers as he looks to persuade car manufacturers to retain operations within the country.

The heads of Ford, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors will meet Trump at the White House, press secretary Sean Spicer said. Spicer didn’t further identify the auto executives who will meet with Trump.

Trump met Monday with prominent American manufacturers, including Elon Musk, the head of Tesla Motors Inc., and said he would dramatically cut regulations and corporate taxes. But Trump said manufacturers would face tough penalties if they move production outside the country. Ford Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields also attended that meeting.

"We think we can cut regulations by 75%. Maybe more," Trump said. "When you want to expand your plant, or when Mark wants to come in and build a big massive plant, or when Dell wants to come in and do something monstrous and special--you’re going to have your approvals really fast."

After the meeting, Fields said he was confident Trump was "very serious on making sure the United States economy is going to be strong and have policies--on tax, regulatory or trade--to drive that."

Trump has openly agitated U.S. automakers to keep jobs in the United States and cancel plans to build plants abroad.

"Car companies and others, if they want to do business in our country, have to start making things here again. WIN!" Trump tweeted on Sunday.

All three automakers have given Trump fodder for promoting his efforts to boost U.S. hiring. Ford canceled a $1.6 billion car assembly plant in Mexico and has said it will spend $700 million to expand a Michigan factory instead. GM and Fiat Chrysler have each pledged $1 billion in investment toward domestic assemblies, though both companies have said their plans were made prior to Trump winning the election.

All three also continue to produce vehicles in Mexico. Ford will assemble Focus compacts at an existing factory in Hermosillo already building Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans.

GM hasn’t announced any step back from plans announced in late 2014 that it would spend $5 billion on new plants in the country by 2018, creating 5,600 jobs. Fiat Chrysler has seven facilities south of the border building parts as well as Ram trucks and vans, Fiat 500 small cars and Dodge Journey sport utility vehicles.

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Licensed content from Bloomberg, copyright 2016.

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