President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with automotive executives in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Friday, May 11, 2018, in Washington. From left, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, Ford CEO James Hackett, Trump, and White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Latest: Trump open to gas mileage talks with California

May 11, 2018 - 4:20 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's meeting with automakers (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has instructed his administration to explore negotiating with California to achieve a single fuel economy standard for the nation.

The president met Friday with 10 auto industry executives to discuss the standards, and agreed to have Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt handle the talks with California officials, according to two people briefed on the meeting. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.

The auto industry wants to relax the standards, but not so much that they provoke a legal fight with California, which can impose its own stricter tailpipe pollution limits.

Two auto industry trade groups confirmed in a statement that Trump is willing to talk with California, but gave no specifics.


12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is telling automakers he wants more cars built in the U.S. He's talking with CEOs about environmental controls, fuel economy standards and manufacturing.

The president says they'll discuss the "manufacturing of millions of more cars within the United States, for Michigan, for Ohio, for Pennsylvania" and states like South Carolina and North Carolina.

Trump says he's working to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement but "has never been a NAFTA fan." He adds, "We'll see if we can make it reasonable."

Trump jokes to Sergio Marchionne (SEHR'-jee-oh mar-kee-OH'-nay) of Fiat Chrysler that "right now he's my favorite man in the room" because he's moving a plant from Mexico to Michigan.


10:25 a.m.

Executives from 10 auto companies will meet with President Donald Trump and Cabinet officials on Friday to discuss the administration's plan to reduce gas mileage and pollution requirements enacted during the Obama administration.

The auto industry wants to relax the standards, but not so much that they provoke a legal fight with California, which has power to impose its own stricter tailpipe pollution limits. Such a fight could bring two mileage standards in the U.S., forcing automakers to engineer and produce two versions of each of their vehicle models, driving up costs.

"The president will hear from the automaker CEOs about the impact of the rulemaking on the auto industry and their efforts to negotiate a 'National Program' with the state of California," Lindsay Walters, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement.

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