DETROIT -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx met with executives of the Detroit 3 and toured auto facilities in the Detroit area today.
While in Detroit, Foxx's agenda called for him to tour General Motors' Warren Transmission plant with Mike Robinson, vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs. Foxx also was scheduled to visit Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit and Ford's VIRTTEX driving simulator in Dearborn, The Detroit News reported.
A DOT spokeswoman confirmed Foxx's meetings with the automakers.
"They play a critical role in the economy of not only the city, but also the region and nation as a whole, and (Foxx) is proud of their work throughout the country," a DOT statement released earlier today said. "In particular, he is looking forward to seeing first-hand the new safety technologies they've developed and the new cars they're building that are helping fuel the auto industry's comeback."
Foxx was also slated to stop at D:hive, a business incubation program in downtown Detroit, and discuss the money that the Transportation Department has invested in the city.
The secretary joined other senior Obama administration officials who met with Detroit officials to discuss ways to support the city's economic future. The administration pledged to steer about $320 million in federal funds to assist the financially troubled city. Detroit's municipal government filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on July 18.
Foxx and his department face key auto regulatory issues. On Wednesday, Sept. 25, consumer groups filed a federal lawsuit asking a judge to order the Transportation Department to set rear visibility standards for light vehicles as required by a 2008 law. With the lawsuit, the groups hope to push the administration to make backup cameras standard on new light vehicles.
To curb the rise in pedestrian deaths, Foxx unveiled a $2 million program last month that would award funds to states that are home to the 22 cities, including Detroit, with the highest rate of pedestrian deaths.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Foxx's appointment as transportation secretary on June 27. He replaced Ray LaHood.