Photo of Donald Trump

Remarks at a Roundtable Discussion With Automobile Industry Executives and an Exchange With Reporters

May 11, 2018

The President. Okay, thank you very much. We have, at this table, the biggest car manufacturers in the world all represented by their top people. And, Mary, it's nice to see you again.

General Motors Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mary T. Barra. Good to see you as well.

The President. We had a—probably my first meeting was with you and a group. And we've made a lot of progress in the last period of a year and a half.

We're working on CAFE standards, environmental controls. We're working on how to build more cars in the United States. We have a great capacity for building. We're importing a lot of cars, and we want a lot of those cars to be made in the United States.

I think what we'll do just very quickly, because we're represented by so much media, we'll just run around the room real quickly, and you can introduce yourself and the company. We'll talk for a couple of minutes, and we're going to talk privately.

But we are going to, again, for the media, we're really talking about environmental control, CAFE standards, and manufacturing of millions of more cars within the United States: for Michigan, for Ohio, for Pennsylvania, for all of the different places, South Carolina—getting bigger and bigger—North Carolina.

So Larry Kudlow everybody knows. Go ahead, Elaine.

Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation.

Nissan North American, Inc. Senior Vice President for Administration Scott E. Becker. I'm Scott Becker with Nissan North America. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. Right. Great company.

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer Hinrich J. Woebcken. I'm Hinrich Woebcken from Volkswagen Group of America.

The President. Very good. Thank you.

Toyota Motor North America Executive Vice President for Sales Robert Carter. Bob Carter, Toyota North America.

The President. Good. Toyota.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne. Sergio Marchionne from Fiat Chrysler.

BMW North America Chief Executive Officer Bernhard Kuhnt. Bernhard Kuhnt from——

The President. And by the way, thank you. You're moving to Michigan——

Mr. Marchionne. Yes. The President. ——from Mexico.

Mr. Marchionne. Yes.

The President. That's what we like.

Mr. Marchionne. Yes.

The President. In fact, right now, he's my favorite man in the room. [Laughter] No, big announcement. And I'll tell you, the people in Michigan very much appreciate it. It's a big deal. Leaving Mexico, going to Michigan—that was very well received. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Mr. Kuhnt. Bernhard Kuhnt from BMW.

The President. Good.

Ms. Barra. Mary Barra from General Motors.

The President. Yes.

Mercedes-Benz USA President and Chief Executive Officer Dietmar Exler. Dietmar Exler, Mercedes-Benz.

The President. Good. Thank you.

United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer. I'm Bob Lighthizer, the USTR.

Honda North America, Inc., Executive Vice President Rick Schostek. Rick Schostek, Honda North America.

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Chief Executive Officer Mitch Bainwol. Mitch Bainwol with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing seven of the manufacturers.

The President. Good.

Global Automakers President and Chief Executive Officer John Bozzella. John Bozzella, with Global Automakers.

The President. Yes.

Hyundai Motor America Chief Operating Officer Brian Smith. Mr. President, Brian Smith of Hyundai Motor America. It's an honor to be here.

The President. Yes.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator E. Scott Pruitt. Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the EPA.

Ford Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett. Mr. President, thanks for having us. Jim Hackett, Ford Motor Company.

The President. That's right, Jim. We know you well.

So these are the biggest in the world, and we're going to be talking to them. And we want them to build more cars in the United States and also build them here and ship them overseas. We're doing a reverse act, and that's going to be something, I think, that's happening, and we see it happening. A lot of it has to do with the great tax cuts and tax incentives that people have been given. And we have other incentives coming. So we appreciate you all being here. And thank you very much, everybody. Appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator E. Scott Pruitt

Q. Mr. President, do you still have confidence in Administrator Pruitt, Mr. President?

The President. Yes, I do. Thank you.

Q. So he's going to stay in his job?

The President. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

North American Free Trade Agreement

Q. Are you concerned NAFTA may hurt the automakers, sir?

The President. Say it?

Q. Are you concerned that NAFTA may adversely affect these automakers?

The President. Well, we'll see what happens. We're negotiating NAFTA right now. I've never been a NAFTA fan, as you know. NAFTA has been a terrible deal for the United States and one of the worst trade deals in history. We have some bad deals in this country—between the Iran deal, NAFTA—Mary, we can look at any deal. Bad deals. But now we're going to good deals.

NAFTA has been a terrible deal. We're renegotiating it now. We'll see what happens. Mexico and Canada have—look, they don't like to lose the golden goose, but I'm representing the United States. I'm not representing Mexico, and I'm not representing Canada.

But NAFTA has been a horrible, horrible disaster for this country. And we'll see if we can make it reasonable. Thank you very much, everybody.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:51 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to National Economic Council Director Lawrence A. Kudlow.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a Roundtable Discussion With Automobile Industry Executives and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives