President Donald Trump put the brakes on Obama-era auto emissions and fuel regulations in his visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan, this afternoon.
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Trump used his meeting with auto executives and workers to announce a restart of the review of vehicle fuel efficiency rules, or CAFE standards, that the auto industry has called for. The rules put forward by the Obama administration sought to raise the fleet average fuel efficiency to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 from 27.5 miles per gallon in 2010.
In his speech, the president described the auto industry as a "wonderful business" that has been "hurt." Behind him was a sign that read "Buy American – Hire American."
"We're going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again," Trump said. "We're gonna help the companies and they're gonna help you."
He added, "There is no more beautiful sight than an American-made car."
With Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Asia on his first overseas trip, Trump took a swipe at China, saying since it "entered the World Trade Organization," the U.S. has lost 60,000 factories.
“We don't need friends abroad,” Trump said. “You hear where they say it's good for us because people like us abroad. They don't like us. They think we're stupid people.”
He added: "But no friendship is strengthened through economic abuse. Because we have been abused. And no country can long lead the free world if it does not protect its industries."
Trump also repeated his warning to punish American companies that threaten to move their companies abroad.
“We've gone through it for many years, decades. Not going to happen anymore,” Trump said. “And if it is, there's consequences to pay for the companies that desert us and fire our employees. There are consequences.”
Trump also teased a "big announcement" related to the auto industry that will come out next week, but he did not reveal any details.