Archive for the ‘Politicians’ Category

Trump Promises Good News for Auto Workers

Presiden implies deal on NAFTA is near, but others dispute the notion.

by on May.23, 2018

President Donald Trump promised American auto workers they'd be "very happy" very soon.

President Donald Trump implied that the end of negotiations over NAFTA are near and that the end result will be good for hourly workers at automakers across the U.S.

“There will be big news coming soon for our great American Autoworkers. After many decades of losing your jobs to other countries, you have waited long enough!” Trump said in a tweet.

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One of Trump’s campaign promises was to secure a new North American Free Trade Agreement that was more favorable to the U.S. The three countries – Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – have been in talks for nearly a year now. (more…)

China Cutting Tariffs on Imported Vehicles

But revised rate is still six times higher than what U.S. levies.

by on May.22, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans to cut tariffs on cars to 15% and components to 6%.

Under mounting trade pressure from the U.S., China said Tuesday that it will reduce duties on imported passenger vehicles from 25% to 15%, while also cutting the tariff on imported automotive parts and components to 6%.

Chinese President Ji Xinping had promised to cut tariffs in comments made last month, though it is unclear if the move will go far enough to satisfy critics as diverse as Tesla CEO Elon Musk and U.S. President Donald Trump. With the exception of pickup trucks, the American tariff on imported vehicles is just 2.5%.

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In a series of tweets last month, Trump referred to the automotive imbalance asked, “Does that sound like free or fair trade? No, it sounds like STUPID TRADE – going on for years!” (more…)

China Tariffs on Hold as Trade War Talk Recedes

Two countries putting a deal together.

by on May.21, 2018

The Trump administration is backing away from proposed tariffs on a variety items imported from China.

The announcement by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin that the Trump administration will suspend any plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports lowers the risks for American and European carmakers, fearing the impact of a trade war.

Companies such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which export American-made vehicles to China, will apparently be spared, facing the substantial tariffs the Peoples Republic of China had proposed imposing on vehicles exported from the United States.

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Importers of vehicles from China, such General Motors, also will be spared American tariffs on vehicles from Chinese factories. (more…)

NAFTA Talks Encroaching on Congressional Deadline

If deal isn't reached by deadline, might have to wait until 2019.

by on May.17, 2018

Republican House leader Paul Ryan noted if NAFTA talks don't produce a new deal soon, it may not get approved until 2019.

The Trump administration’s plans to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement may have to wait until next year.

Politico, the Washington-based website for political news, noted that House Speaker Paul Ryan said the Trump administration has until May 17 to submit a final NAFTA deal if it wants lawmakers to vote on the revised agreement this year.

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Negotiators from the U.S., Mexico and Canada have nothing to show for their efforts despite meeting all week in Washington DC to coming up with a deal, knowing that time was running short to get a deal through Congress in this legislative session.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Backs Off Proposed CAFE Rollbacks

Automaker changes tone about move to stifle tougher fuel economy rules.

by on May.15, 2018

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne amended his position on the rollback of CAFE standards after meeting with President Trump.

This story has been updated with new information.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is now adding to the remarks he made after a meeting with President Donald Trump in which he appeared to endorse the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back fuel economy standard and revoke the state of California’s ability to enforce tighter standards.

“I appreciated the opportunity to talk to the President today about our shared commitment to the automotive industry,” Marchionne said in a statement after the White House meeting at which Trump reportedly described Marchionne as his favorite person in the room.

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“Consumer preferences and technological advancements in our business are constantly evolving. Therefore, revisiting and assessing EPA standards, as was originally intended, is the right thing to do. With this process just beginning, it would be a mistake to jump to conclusions and pre-judge the outcome.  (more…)

Uber Backs Down on Arbitration Accused of Silencing Sex Assault Victims

Ride-sharing service’s drivers accused of numerous rapes and assaults.

by on May.15, 2018

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi agreed to end the company's practice of using only confidential arbitration to resolve issues.

Ride-sharing giant Uber responding to critics who feel it has tried to silence victims of sexual assault says it will stop using the forced arbitration contained in its terms of service.

The move comes after reports surfaced revealing at least 100 Uber drivers in the U.S. had been accused of sexually assaulting passengers in recent years, including one recent case in which a driver followed a female passenger after reaching her home and tried to force himself into her apartment. Critics have also accused the service of lax background checks that have allowed some convicted of sex crimes to go to work for the company.

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Anyone using the Uber smartphone app to hail a ride was required to enter into confidential arbitration, even in the event of serious crimes, such as rape, committed by a driver. Going forward, Uber says it will now let victims, including passengers as well as drivers and employees, choose the venue in which to pursue their grievance, including the courts. (more…)

California, 16 Other States File Suit Against the EPA

Attorneys General claim EPA is violating the law by not enforcing it.

by on May.01, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 16 other Attorneys General sued the EPA over CAFE mandates.

Less than 24 hours. That’s how long it took for California and 16 other states to respond to the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to roll back fuel economy standards and revoke California’s ability to set its own mileage and emissions mandates.

The 17 states filed suit in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The move was led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the suit alleges that that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to roll back the stringent gas mileage rules that were adopted by former President Barack Obama’s administration is “unlawful.”

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California was joined by Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. (more…)

New US Content Proposal for NAFTA Gets Tepid Response

Mexico balks at new demands from negotiators.

by on May.01, 2018

Trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. continue negotiating a revised NAFTA agreement.

The latest proposals from the U.S. in the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement talks have been met with tepid curiosity and outright defiance from Mexico’s delegation.

The U.S. proposal, according to Reuters, increases NAFTA’s regional automotive content and would carry a four-year phase-in to meet a higher, 75% regional value threshold. The current level is 62.5% while new labor content rules requiring substantial work at wages of $16 an hour or higher.

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The new deal would require the $16 wage on work comprising 40% of the value of light-duty passenger vehicles and 45% for pickup trucks. Mexico, where salaries average less than $6 per hour at automakers, wasn’t keen on the new idea. (more…)

EPA Reportedly Wants 25% Cut in Fuel Economy

Revised Trump plan would freeze CAFE at 2020 level.

by on Apr.30, 2018

The EPA's mileage rollback is coming just as gas prices start to surge. Critics warn automakers of a backlash if the numbers reach previous highs.

The EPA and NHTSA are expected to propose cutting the current federal fuel economy mandate by nearly 25% while also revoking the State of California’s ability to set its own tougher standards.

Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has repeatedly signaled a desire to roll back the rules set under the Obama Administration that current target a fuel economy average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Reports based on sources at the environmental agency indicate that would drop to 41.7 mpg, the figure that the phase-in of the Obama rules would have reached by 2020. There would be no further increase, under the proposal, until 2026.

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That has triggered an outcry from consumer and environmental groups, but an even more controversial piece of the EPA draft memo would forbid California from taking steps on its own to effectively neuter the rollback. Under current law the state can set tougher tailpipe rules than the EPA and other states can adopt California’s guideline, something that could effectively require automakers to stick with the current CAFE rules.

(more…)

Court Orders Reinstatement of Fuel-Economy Fines

Automakers will need to keep to Obama administration numbers.

by on Apr.25, 2018

President Donald Trump's rollback of Obama administration CAFE standards was halted by an appellate court.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals this week blocked the Trump administration’s efforts delay indefinitely higher penalties for automakers that don’t meet certain fuel efficiency standards.

The rule calling for higher penalties on gas guzzlers was first imposed by the Obama administration and the court’s decision was hailed by environmental groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council and officials from five states led by California and New York that challenged Trump administration in court.

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New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, one of five attorneys general, who brought the suit at the behest of the environmental groups also lauded the court’s decision, which makes it far less likely the Trump administration can block the added fines. (more…)

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