It seems that the much publicized breakfast meeting between the new President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, and the chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler was a success, given the optimistic attitudes of the carmakers’ top honchos after the discussions.
Also present in the meeting – which GM CEO Mary Barra called as “very constructive” – Matt Blunt, a former Republican governor of Missouri who now serves as head of a US automaker trade association, Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and other senior administration officials.
Basically, the meeting centered on bringing more jobs back to the US, which is one of the primary promises that Trump made during the presidential campaign. Discussions also included the possible policies that Trump intends to implement in the auto industry and how he plans to make it more enticing for carmakers to build more assembly plants in the US to create more jobs, thereby keeping jobs in the country.
The new US President has been vocally critical of the current setup of American carmakers, saying that these production operations of these companies outside of the US – specifically in Mexico – could be blamed for the lack of American jobs. He had promised to revitalize US manufacturing and to penalize American companies that operates in other countries for the sake of keeping operational costs as low as possible.
Tuesday’s discussions also included plans by the Trump administration to tackle trade, regulatory and tax issues. According to new White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Trump has told the CEOs about plans to make production more viable in the US by relaxing certain regulations.
In particular, Trump mentioned regulations covering the auto and oil industries. He remarked to the CEOs that these regulations – regarding the environment in particular – are out of control and are needed to be pared down. These regulations could pertain to the stiff fuel efficiency mandates or to the approvals needed before a company could build a new plant or expand and existing ones. Trump is looking to trim down regulatory hurdles by 75 percent, which would be a very enticing proposition for companies – including carmakers – to invest more into production in the US instead of going abroad.
All of the CEOs from GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler looked set to welcome Trump’s propositions, with Fields telling reporters that the top honchos were encouraged by the new US president and by the economic policies that he is forwarding. Barra has said in a statement that GM is eager to work with Trump to reinvigorate US manufacturing. Marchionne, meanwhile, said that the he appreciates President Trump's focus on making the US a great place to do business.