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General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota Split With Industry, Side With Trump Administration Over Emissions Fight

(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota sided with the Trump administration in a battle over emissions against the state of California.

The Trump administration proposed to lower emissions standards set during the Obama administration, according to The New York Times. California responded to the proposal by announcing the state would continue to enforce the Obama administration laws on fuel economy standards for automobiles.

Led by the Association of Global Automakers, the three companies announced Monday they are siding with the Trump administration, a move that pits them against Ford and Honda, which reached a deal to follow California’s stricter emissions standards earlier in 2019, The NYT reported.

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: The General Motors world headquarters building is shown September 17, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, and Mark Reuss, President of GM North America, held an Employee Town Hall Meeting and a question & answer session with the news media today to discuss GM's $900 million settlement with the Justice Department over GM's ignition switch recalls. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 17: The General Motors world headquarters building is shown September 17, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The automakers siding with Trump said the federal government, rather than California, has the primary authority to set fuel emission standards. (RELATED: United Auto Workers Reach Tentative Deal With General Motors After Month-Long Strike)

“We can still reach an agreement that is supported by all the parties,” the chief executive of the automakers association John Bozzella told The NYT, adding that the automobile industry “historically taken the position that fuel economy is the sole purview of the federal government though it doesn’t have to come to that.”

President Donald Trump has said removing California’s Federal Waiver on emissions will make vehicles safer and less expensive.

“The Trump Administration is revoking California’s Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER,” the president said on Twitter in September.

“This will lead to more production because of this pricing and safety … advantage, and also due to the fact that older, highly polluting cars, will be replaced by new, extremely environmentally friendly cars,” Trump added.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded by saying California would fight back against such measures.

“While the White House clings to the past, automakers and American families embrace cleaner cars,” Becerra told reporters in September, noting that clean cars are “achievable, science-based, and a boon for hardworking American families and public health.”

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