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Trump targets automakers, bizarrely calling them “politically correct”



President Donald Trump criticized automotive companies on Wednesday, while apparently slamming efforts to address rules that govern vehicle emissions.

“My proposal to the politically correct Automobile Companies would lower the average price of a car to consumers by more than $3000, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer,” Trump said on Twitter. “Engines would run smoother. Very little impact on the environment! Foolish executives!”

Trump’s tweet appears to reference the rising average price of passenger vehicles, which was $37,169 in July, according to Kelley Blue Book, compared to $32,556 in July 2014. The increase has been driven by the rising popularity of pickup trucks and SUVs, which tend to command higher prices than sedans.

Contrary to the president’s assertions on Twitter, there is no evidence that relaxing vehicle-emissions standards would make engines “run smoother,” or make cars “substantially safer.”

Read more: The 14 best cars and SUVs for teens

Trump’s tweet came about a month after four automakers reached a deal with California on vehicle-emissions standards, bypassing a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Since the 1960s, the state has been allowed to set vehicle-emissions standards that are more stringent than those determined by the federal government, but the Trump administration has challenged California’s exemption as the EPA has proposed rolling back federal vehicle-emissions standards enacted by former President Barack Obama’s administration.

Automakers expressed concern about the possibility of having to develop two kinds of vehicles, one optimized for a looser federal emissions standard, and another that would comply with the stricter standard set by California and followed by twelve other states, as well as the District of Columbia.

Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda reached a compromise with California in July that would increase emissions standards at a slower rate than that dictated by the Obama administration but faster than the Trump administration’s proposal would require.

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