More than likely Trump listened.
It hasn’t been easy for automakers to meet increasing fuel economy regulation standards set forth by the previous Obama administration as well as other foreign governments. But now that President Trump occupies the Oval Office, things might be different. Only last week did the CEOs of the three Detroit automakers meet with Trump and, according to Bloomberg, Ford CEO Mark Fields was very up front and candid with the new president.
Essentially, Fields told President Trump that if fuel economy regulations "don’t align with market reality," then 1 million US jobs could be at risk. "We think having one national standard on fuel economy is really important," Fields told a gathering of the National Automobile Dealers Association, following his Oval Office meeting. A lot of US-based jobs "could be at risk if we’re not given some level of flexibility on that – aligning it to market reality. So that really resonated." The other two Detroit CEOs, Mary Barra of GM and Sergio Marchionne of FCA, have yet to comment on their meeting with Trump, but we highly doubt they’d disagree with Fields’s statements.
What was also probably discussed at that meeting are ways the new administration can help these automakers with other regulations that, if changed, could lead to more hiring in the US, an issue Trump has made loud and clear he intends to do something about. Although Obama helped save GM and Chrysler with the bailouts eight years ago, Trump is in the fortunate position of not having to do that; he's free to pursue his own domestic auto industry agenda.