Leaders of the Detroit Three automakers will meet Tuesday with President Donald Trump, another signal his administration will swiftly carry out key campaign promises and continue to keep the industry prominently on his radar.
An agenda for the sit-down was not released, although it likely will center on creating jobs in the U.S. Trump hammered the automakers during his campaign for making manufacturing investments in Mexico and importing products built outside the U.S. At one point he threatened General Motors with a 35% tariff on imported Chevy Cruze small cars.
The flap has led Ford, GM and FCA US to recently confirm several billion-dollar investment plans for the U.S.
Trump’s camp has claimed the U.S. lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs after the recession in 2008 and promises to create 25 million new ones in the next decade. The president’s desire for tougher trade policies would underpin the job boom, according to policy statements.
However, the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, MI, thinks pulling out of the NAFTA pact as Trump has indicated would cost 31,000 jobs. Trump reportedly will meet soon the Canadian and Mexican leadership to discuss the 24-year-old agreement.
Ford President and CEO Mark Fields met with Trump team on Monday, telling journalists outside the White House it was a “very, very positive” session.
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, who sits on a key economic advisory board for Trump, will join Fields. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne also will attend.
The meeting comes on the heels of Trump signing an order for plans to withdraw from the 1-year-old Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade deal he pledged to voters he would immediately try to exit if elected.
Barra has said she looks forward to working with Trump and underscoring the investment her company has made in the U.S. in recent years.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” she said at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month, “but when we look at some of the things (Trump) has said, we have much more in common than we do different.”