US President Donald Trump has urged the heads of car companies to boost production in the US and promised to slash “out of control” regulations to attract more investment.
Trump yesterday also signed executive orders for construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, which had been thrown into doubt under his predecessor Barack Obama over environmental concerns.
Vowing to revive the US manufacturing industry, Trump backed the pipelines as long as American steel was used.
Paving the way to fast track other infrastructure projects, he signed another executive order to slash environmental reviews that he described as an “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process.”
In his meeting with the chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, Trump suggested he would overhaul regulations as part of a bid to entice the car makers to build new plants.
“We want regulations, but we want regulations that mean something,” Trump said.
Trump has previously attacked carmakers for moving plants offshore and threatened to impose a 35 per cent tariff on imported vehicles.
The three bosses – GM’s Mary Barra, Ford’s Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne – later praised Trump’s decision to abandon the 12 nation Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which they said was not tough enough on currency manipulation by Asian countries.
“We’re very encouraged by the President and the economic policies that he’s forwarding,” Fields said.
Trump’s focus on business policies came as the Nasdaq Composite ticked to a record high yesterday, closing at 5,600.96 points.