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>> American and foreign automakers came to the White House on Friday looking to ease regulations. But President Trump used the occasion mainly to rail against the North American Free Trade Agreement.>> NAFTA has been a terrible deal, we're renegotiating it now. We'll see what happens.>> Trump wants to change the trade deal with Canada and Mexico, so automakers like GM CEO, Mary Barra and Fiats, Sergio Marcionne build more vehicles in the United States to increase jobs.
But the major automakers have benefited from NAFTA and don't want Trump to upset the apple cart. The White House is offering to relax fuel efficiency standards as a way to bring the automakers on board. The administration is pushing to freeze corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE requirements at 2020 levels until 2026.
David Shepherdson is reporting the story.>> The administration really sees this as sort of a carrot stick approach. Yes, we're gonna make the NAFTA rules more difficult to comply with. We're gonna add economic incentives to get you to move more production back in the US. But at the same time, we're gonna roll back, or at least freeze standards of 2020 levels.
That's gonna save the auto companies a lot of money. We think add more auto sales. And so they really see it as a package deal. We reduce regulations and you add jobs in the US.>> Automakers are receptive to Trump's plan, but they're worried about a looming court battle.
California and 16 other states have taken the Trump administration to court to block the proposed changes to fuel efficiency and emission standards. And automakers are hoping for a compromise.>> You know the big concern here from the auto companies standpoint is that we will see a prolonged period of litigation.
Automakers typically have product plans set for three to four years ahead of time. Because it's very expensive, and it's a lot of planning to determine what vehicles you're gonna build. So they can be left really not knowing what vehicles they're gonna have to build to comply, going forward.
>> The administration's plans for autos has created a furious backlash from critics, who see a risk to health and the environment.