Ford CEO Mark Fields informed President Donald Trump that around one million jobs could be at risk if newly implemented fuel economy standards aren’t adjusted. The assessment came following a meeting between the heads of major automakers and the president on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.
Fields, along with Mary Barra of General Motors and Sergio Marchionne of Fiat Chrysler noted that they weren’t looking to eliminate fuel economy standards, but that they wanted more flexibility after the Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized new rules for the nation’s vehicles. The trio urged the president to consider “combining various sets of government regulations and ensuring they take into account consumer demand”.
During an earnings call on Thursday, Fields noted that they discussed the emissions and mileage standards that had been finalized by during the final days of the Obama administration. The new set of rules require automakers to double the average fuel efficiency of the US fleet to at least 50 miles per gallon by 2025 in line with the administration’s climate and emissions goals. US automakers had criticized the rules, noting that they could make vehicles more expensive, which would in turn impact jobs.
Fields noted that the group discussed the possibility of a national fuel standard, “instead of different numbers from two federal agencies and the state of California,” and that there needed to be a balance between environmental protection, consumer affordability and manufacturing jobs. Fields also said that their talk “resonated” with the president.