The White House announced today that President Trump will host the CEOs of Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles Tuesday morning for breakfast. Tomorrow’s meeting follows a meeting today in which Trump met with the CEOs of several industries, including Mark Fields of Ford.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed tomorrow’s breakfast meeting between the President and Mary Barra, Sergio Marchionne and Mark Fields earlier in his daily briefing to the press pool. Spicer stated that President Trump, “looks forward to hearing their ideas about how we can work together to bring more jobs back to this industry.”
The meeting comes as little surprise given Trump’s engagement with the automotive industry prior to his inauguration and his bold campaign promise of increasing U.S. employment, particularly in manufacturing.
Since his election Trump has attacked all three Detroit OEMs on Twitter for moving production or producing vehicles across the border to Mexico. He has since praised all three for subsequently making U.S. investment announcements since Election Day.
In particular, Ford scrapped plans to build a new assembly plant in Mexico, favoring an expansion of an existing Michigan assembly plant. Fiat-Chrysler has also announced previously announced plans to produce new Jeep products in Michigan. General Motors most recently announced a $1 billion investment into its U.S. operations.
It is important to note that there is no evidence that suggests any of the Detroit OEMs’ investments are related to the outcome of November’s presidential election. Manufacturing investments are often long-range in terms of planning and cannot be shifted in weeks. Nonetheless, the new Administration is welcoming the announcements.
President Trump continues to warn CEOs that they could face a “substantial border tax” for moving jobs from the U.S. to foreign countries. It isn’t clear at this time how President Trump intends to implement a border tax or what the criteria would be for it to be imposed on a specific company.