President Donald Trump’s administration is set to create an independent body to regulate the engine installation of all cars, a move that could set the nation’s auto industry back decades.
The new administration will soon launch the Automotive Engine Installers, Installers and Technicians (AEGIS) program to oversee the installation of new engines on vehicles, which are designed to run on diesel fuel and not on gasoline.
The plan comes as Trump prepares to nominate a nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and as Trump pushes to make the auto industry a major infrastructure project.
“This is going to be the biggest and most important change since the Cold War,” said James O’Donnell, senior vice president at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
“It’s going to make sure that we have a really strong industry, it’s going a long way in terms of keeping jobs and putting Americans back to work.”
While the Trump administration has yet to decide how to implement the program, a proposal to create the agency was unveiled during the confirmation hearing for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has been pushing for greater involvement in auto engine installation.
“It is an enormous change in the auto engine industry, which has been a major focus of the administration,” O’Brien said.
“The automotive industry has not been in such an upheaval since the 1930s,” he added.
“They’ve had tremendous job growth, and they’ve done a phenomenal job in terms that they’ve been able to get people back to their jobs.”
O’Brien believes the auto manufacturers are in the best position to make up for the decline in auto employment, noting that they have a large number of highly skilled workers, many of whom are in low-skilled industries.
“As long as we’ve got the skills, we can still have good growth, but if we have the workforce, we have to do more than just keep manufacturing jobs, we’ve gotta do the whole manufacturing thing,” he said.
In the first three quarters of 2017, the auto sector added 1.4 million jobs, and the number of auto assembly jobs in the U.S. rose to more than 40 million, according to the U,S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The auto industry has had to fight a losing battle to remain competitive.
In 2015, Ford reported a loss of more than $1.4 billion for the year.
In 2016, Ford announced a $1 billion investment in its Michigan assembly plant.
Ford also reported record-low production in its Detroit plant, which lost 2.1 million jobs.
“Automakers are doing a great job,” O-Donnell said.
“They’re creating jobs.
And it’s a big job creator for the U of S.”
The auto industry is also making strides in creating a new generation of engine-integrated systems that could reduce pollution, and that could make the industry more efficient, according O’Halloran.
“If the auto companies get on board with it, it will make the entire industry safer, and there will be a lot of people out there who will be looking for jobs in this industry,” he told CNBC.
The American Automobile Association has long opposed any new regulations on engine-based cars, citing concerns about safety, the environmental costs of engine replacement and potential damage to the economy as the reasons why automakers have not invested in new engine replacement programs.
O’Connor said the association believes that there are “many reasons why this is important.”
The Automotive Industry Association, the American Automotive Council, the National Automobile Dealers Association and other industry groups, have all signed onto a letter urging the Trump Administration to act.
“There are a lot more reasons why we need to look at this in a different way,” said O’Connell.
“We are not going to allow this to be a policy decision.
We are going to stand up and fight.”
The automotive manufacturers will also fight the proposed rule change, arguing that it would harm jobs and the industry’s ability to compete with new technologies.
“We are going through a tremendous period of change,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields, adding that the auto-parts industry is in the midst of a “very rapid” transformation.
“I think we’ve made huge strides in recent years.
We’re going to continue to move forward.”
The automakers are also working to protect the environment, which is why they are not willing to make any new investments in the sector.
They are working with local governments to develop a comprehensive, safe and environmentally friendly strategy to ensure the best use of their resources and to support the growth of new technologies, O’Leary said.
O’Hallords point is also that automakers are already investing heavily in infrastructure projects to reduce pollution.
The industry’s most significant investments have come in the form of major highway upgrades and new transit projects in the region, which have helped keep the economy humming.
“Everywhere we go in the