Friend or foe?

From the manufacturing floor to the dealer showroom, the automotive industry has nervously pondered that question since the surprise election last fall of President Donald Trump.

Trump’s campaign was run on a pro-business platform, pledging to rewrite overly onerous regulations and complex corporate-tax codes, as well as tear apart international trade agreements considered unfair to national interests and, perhaps most controversially, penalize manufacturers choosing to build products overseas cheaply and sell them back home for bigger profit.

The reforms would spur 25 million new jobs over the next decade and return the country to 4.0% annual economic growth, he promised. But more recently Trump appears to be fighting for his own job rather than those of his constituents. The uncertainty over his future appears to have thrown a wet blanket on actions across the administration and left the auto industry, which falls into the crosshairs of the president’s economic plan, in a strategic lurch.