President Donald Trump will visit Willow Run Wednesday, a former WWII bomber plant in Ypsilanti Township, to address automotive jobs with Detroit auto executives, union officials and workers, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Willow Run, which was once used as a General Motors Corp. plant, now operates as a facility to test self-driving vehicles for the American Center for Mobility. Along with GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler executives and workers are expected to attend the event. The automakers who wrote to Trump in February asking him to review auto standards, specifically fuel economy regulations, were invited as well.
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Trump administration officials say the president will meet separately with automotive executives, and it is expected that the discussion will address possible changes to the fuel economy and emissions standards.
The automotive industry has been working to roll back the 2011 standards of emissions due to unpredictable consumer habits and unexpectedly low gas and fuel prices. The standards, enacted by former President Barack Obama’s administration, tightened standards for heavy-duty vehicles specifically, with the goal of saving consumers money at the pump and cutting carbon pollution.
College Democrats Communications Director Lauren Schandevel, LSA sophomore and a columnist at the Daily, recognized automakers want to appeal to consumers, but also expressed concerns about the possibility that the Trump administration will follow through with relaxing the standards and induce environmental damage.
“This decision, while it appeals to the automakers who demand more flexibility to meet consumer preferences, would only further increase carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and pave the way for more attacks on environmental policy,” she said.
A representative from the University College Republicans did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.
The Obama administration’s standards promised to save motorists $1.7 trillion, but have cost the auto industry $200 billion over 13 years.