General Motors Withdraws From Trump Suit Against California Emission Regulations, Embraces Biden


In perhaps the clearest sign yet that companies are moving on from the Trump era, General Motors announced Monday it would no longer support a Trump administration lawsuit seeking to revoke California’s power to regulate fuel economy standards. 

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra speaks at the opening the 2019 GM-UAW contract talks on … [+] July 16, 2019, in Detroit. With its increasing investment in electric vehicles, GM is faced with the challenge of transitioning its employees to work with new technologies.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Key Facts

In a letter to environmental groups on Monday announcing the move, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, embraced President-elect Joe Biden: “President-elect Biden recently said, ‘I believe that we can own the 21st-century car market again by moving to electric vehicles.’ We at General Motors couldn’t agree more.”

General Motors joined Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and ten other automakers in supporting the Trump administration lawsuit last year against California, dividing the auto industry, with Honda and Ford backing California.

The Trump administration sued to end an exception by which California has set its own emissions regulations stricter than the federal government’s.

In July 2019, Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen signed a deal with California to follow fuel-efficiency standards that hovered between Obama-era regulations and Trump administration plans, a compromise that the automakers said they would abide by nationwide.

In her letter, Barra urged Fiat Chrysler and Toyota to pull out of the lawsuit as well, though she did not endorse California’s emissions standards.

Key Background

According to the New York Times, General Motors was the first company to push President Trump to dismantle Obama-era tailpipe regulations when he took office in 2017.

What To Watch For

How other companies respond to a Biden presidency. Though Trump has yet to acknowledge Biden as president-elect, a large group of business leaders have congratulated the Democrat on his victory.

Chief Critic

The Trump Administration has yet to issue an official statement. After hearing the news about General Motors, James Hewitt, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, told the New York Times on Monday: “It’s always interesting to see the changing positions of U.S. corporations.”

Further Reading

Goldman Sachs Expects A $700 Billion Stimulus Package Because Of Delays In Congress (Forbes)

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