The Obama administration on Monday escalated its running regulatory battle with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV by announcing a public hearing to scrutinize how the automaker has handled 20 recalls affecting more than 10 million vehicles. As part of a broader effort to get automakers to speed up the repair of recalled cars and trucks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said FCA could face up to $700 million in fines and be required to buy back or replace vehicles if regulators find evidence that it failed in its legal recall obligations. The proceedings would be the broadest public hearing the agency had held to date and follows what NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind described as frustrated attempts by the agency to get Fiat Chrysler's U.S. unit, FCA US LLC, to move more aggressively to correct defects tied to fires, loss of control, unintended air bag deployments and fuel leaks.
By Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canada and Mexico are readying trade sanctions against the United States after they won a meat labeling dispute on Monday, increasing pressure on the U.S. Congress to scrap the laws. The World Trade Organization upheld a complaint by Canada and Mexico about U.S. laws requiring retailers to label meat with the country where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered, saying they discriminated against imported livestock. Republicans, who have a majority in Congress, have signaled they may act to repeal the laws as early as this week, but consumer groups and many Democrats say they provide essential information for shoppers. "Our governments will be seeking authorization from the WTO to take retaliatory measures against U.S. exports," the Mexican and Canadian ministers for trade and agriculture said in a joint statement.