There is no doubt that Trump is a polarizing character who could bring drastic changes to the very fabric of this country.
Many industries are paying close attention to his moves and what he might do, including the auto recycling industry, but that is hard to do since his mind changes faster than an undecided college student. Still, there are some clues that might shed light on what his presidency might mean to the entire car industry, from dealerships to auto recycling centers.
How Trump Might Affect the Industry
Trump has said a lot of things, but the following has been somewhat constant and may have a strong impact on the car industry:
A lot of people lost jobs during the recession, including those in the vehicle industry. Trump has focused on this and said he was going to bring back factory jobs without alluding to the fact that the auto industry has already been attempting to add jobs without his input. In the United States, 350,000 jobs have been added since 2009.
Now, it is true that many of these returning jobs are paying a lot less than they used to. The average new factory worker is making eight percent under the median wage. It should be noted that Trump won 12 of the 14 states that have most of the auto industrial plants. Has Trump considered how well-paid these jobs will be? All this remains to be seen.
NAFTA has been vilified by Trump and many other politicians. Trump spoke out against GM who invested $5 billion in Mexico by moving its small-car manufacturing out there. Trump said he intends to impose a tariff on any car that was manufactured through a trade agreement like NAFTA. This could mean a significant price hike on many American cars, or it could mean that Americans will not buy these cars. Some Americans may opt for vehicles that are cheaper like foreign cars who are allowed to manufacture in low-wage countries. It should be noted that automakers like Ford and Chrysler have invested millions in foreign plants and may be affected by Trump and his policies.
The Environmental Protection Agency has asked automakers to meet the CAFE standard by 2025. This standard requires that cars meet 54.5 mpg, which will positively affect the environment. The new President-Elect does not believe that mankind can do anything to help the earth. He does not believe in global warming, which could mean changes in the way that the United States approaches fuel economy. The car industry has made huge advancements in this area but are hoping that the CAFE standard expectation is relaxed. At the moment, cheap gas prices are driving Americans to buy bigger cars, which makes it harder for the car industry to keep up. Trump’s new administration has already told the automakers of this country that it does intend to review fuel economy standards to make sure it does not harm the consumer nor the American worker.
Many car manufacturers are attempting to change the way people drive. Chevrolet and Tesla are attempting to introduce vehicles that are much more energy efficient than ever before. There is no doubt that these vehicles are a little pricey, but a $7,500 federal tax credit will be offered to car buyers. This gives people an incentive to invest in electric vehicles. Again, the problem is that Trump does not believe that people can alter the weather and believes there should be less government spending. This could mean that this great tax credit that is encouraging Americans to make the transition might be gone under this upcoming administration.
There is no telling what condition the car industry will be in after Trump’s presidency. A good American will be hopeful but vigilant, because there are no perfect presidents or perfect policies. The best thing to do is to support the American economy as much as possible, even if it means nitpicking what the upcoming leader of this country attempts to do.