Trump to curtail unnecessary environmental regulations to boost US auto industry

President Trump told leaders of the country's largest automakers on Tuesday that he planned to curtail ''unnecessary'' environmental regulations and make it easier to build plants in the US, changes that he expected would boost the manufacturing jobs he repeatedly promised to voters on the campaign trail.

Trump met with the chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler only days into his term and pressured the companies to build more vehicles in the US and hire more Americans into manufacturing jobs.

''We have a very big push on to have auto plants and other plants, many other plants, you're not being singled out to have a lot of plants from a lot of different items built in the United States,'' Trump told executives Tuesday. ''It's happening. It's happening, bigly.''

However, Trump's plans to boost US auto manufacturing might require more than just changes to environmental regulations or permits, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the industry, labor and economics group at the Center for Automotive Research.

Economics still favoured building plants and hiring workers in Mexico, where labour was less expensive and there were fewer trade barriers. What was more,  Dziczek said the big automakers made investments knowing they would outlive any single president, regardless of what policies or regulations were put in place.

Trump's meeting came against a backdrop of threats of ''border taxes'' for automakers who built cars in Mexico.

According to commentators, the meeting which took place within days of the new administration had put automakers in a tight spot as they were expected to satisfy a president who made campaign promises of bringing production home and also meet the financial demands of stockholders.

According to some economists Trump's promise to renegotiate North American Free Trade Agreement could end up making Detroit automakers less competitive.