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Posts Tagged ‘NAFTA news’

Big Three Meet With VP Pence, Urge Keeping NAFTA Intact

Talks at an impasse on U.S.-favorable issues.

by on Nov.28, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer complained that officials from Mexico and Canada are unwilling to budge on issues important to the U.S.

With the three-way discussions about change NAFTA stalled on key issues, the auto industry – and the North American economy generally – could be in for a bone-jarring shock if the talks failed.

The concern was evident Monday when key executives from General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., came to Washington D.C, for a meeting on trade and manufacturing policy with Vice President Mike Pence, who often serves as the Trump administration’s emissary to business.

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GM, Ford and FCA have all come to rely on a North American wide production base, which developed under NAFTA, to compete with carmakers from Asia and Europe.  (more…)

Raising Mexican Wages Key to New NAFTA Deal

Canadian, U.S. teams to pressure Mexico on wage concerns.

by on Oct.31, 2017

U.S. and Canadian negotiating teams agree that wages for Mexican workers are too low.

Despite differences, Canadians and negotiators for the United States apparently agree on one thing — the wages of Mexican workers are way too low under the current North American Free Trade Agreement.

Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, who has become an informal adviser on NAFTA to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross that the U.S and Canada have agreed that addressing the core issue of low Mexican wages is a key to breaking the impasse at NAFTA re-negotiations.

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“There is a clear understanding that Canadian and American workers have both been injured by the siphoning off of manufacturing jobs to Mexico,” said Dias after the meeting “We agreed that Canada and the U.S. must work together to pressure Mexico to drive up wages significantly or face joint retaliatory measures.” (more…)

NAFTA Talks Trigger Big Lobbying Effort by Auto Companies

Group hoping to affect policy change.

by on Oct.25, 2017

A newly formed coalition of automotive companies, Driving American Jobs, is attempting to convince President Donald Trump to leave NAFTA as it is.

While President Donald Trump tries to line up support for tax reform among a restless U.S. Senate, a confrontation looms with a large swath of the business community, starting with the auto industry, about his efforts to reform the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“Cross-border trade supports over 46,000 U.S. trucking jobs, including 31,000 U.S. truck drivers, and generates $6.5 billion in revenue for our industry annually,” noted Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Association.. “As the U.S. renegotiates this agreement with Canada and Mexico, we urge them to keep the tremendous benefits to our economy and our industry in mind,” he said.

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Costello’s remarks echo the positions of other industries from agriculture to railroads and autos, which has been campaigning, publicly and privately, against the an overhaul of NAFTA. The auto industry has argued since the Trump administration took office back in January that sweeping changes to NAFTA or abandoning it altogether would jeopardize an integrated supply chain that has developed during the past quarter century. (more…)

Trump Negotiators’ New Autos Proposal May Kill NAFTA Talks

Auto industry pleads for deal to be left alone.

by on Oct.13, 2017

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is optimistic the U.S., Canada and Mexico will be able complete a renegotiation of NAFTA before the end of the year.

Trump Administration officials may have just offered up the proposal that puts the final nail in the coffin of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement as the largest potential beneficiary of the plan, the automotive industry, begs for the deal to remain unchanged.

U.S. negotiators proposed more stringent content standards on vehicles, engines and other components that would be largely favorable to U.S. companies, immediately drawing backlash from Canadian and Mexican officials. President Trump has long advocated pulling out of the deal, including earlier this week.

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The administration believes vehicles must have more regional content to qualify for NAFTA tariff-free access, according to Reuters. Reportedly, Trump officials want to increase the North American content mandate to 85% from its current level of 62.5%, and 50% of content must be produced in the U.S. (more…)

Automakers Wary of Trump’s Plans for NAFTA Talks

President's plans contradict auto industry interests.

by on Aug.14, 2017

Negotiating points outlines by the Trump Administration have U.S. automakers concerned.

Despite continued promises to bring back automotive manufacturing jobs to the U.S. through a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Trump Administration’s efforts are likely to harm to the auto industry.

The NAFTA talks are nearly set to begin and a few of the major sticking points outlined by U.S. negotiators have auto industry officials wringing their hands over the anticipated negative impact they’ll have.

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In attempt to increase the number of auto jobs, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer wants to strengthen the rules of origin to block more parts from Asia as well as set a U.S.-specific content requirement for vehicles coming into the U.S. from Mexico. (more…)

Big Changes to NAFTA Could Put Big Hurt on US Consumers

Study shows automakers could see a big increase in costs.

by on Jul.19, 2017

The Big Three automakers would like NAFTA to remain status quo; however, the Trump administration is renegotiating the deal next month.

The proposed border adjustment tax and withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement are unlikely to achieve President Donald Trump’s goals of keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and could actually hurt manufacturing in the process.

Those moves by Trump, if enacted, wouldn’t reverse the trend of moving manufacturing jobs to low-cost countries and could potentially harm the U.S. motor vehicle industry by driving up the cost of new vehicles by hundreds of dollars and leading to the elimination of thousands of jobs in the U.S., a new study found.

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The study, commissioned by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and conducted independently by the Boston Consulting Group examined the real-world implications of a border tax and changes to NAFTA on the motor vehicle sector, which now depends on an integrated supply chain the depends on plants in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. (more…)

No Change to NAFTA Rule of Origin, Mexico Auto Exec Says

Trump readying for trade deal negotiations.

by on May.23, 2017

The Big Three automakers would like NAFTA to remain status quo; however, the Trump Administration is renegotiating the deal this summer.

Trump Administration officials recently began the official process to open talks about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and they’re going to find the auto industries officially agree on at least one point.

The auto industries in the U.S., Mexico and Canada all believe there shouldn’t be any changes to the rules of origin, Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican automakers industry group AMIA, told Reuters.

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“Our position is that the trade agreement has been a success, and we shouldn’t be touching something as important as the rules of origin,” Solis told Reuters. (more…)

Trump Administration Begins Process of Renegotiating NAFTA

Talks will begin in August.

by on May.19, 2017

The Big Three automakers would like NAFTA to remain status quo; however, the Trump Administration is renegotiating the deal this summer.

The Trump Administration has begun the formal process required to open the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement this coming summer.

President Trump notified Congress this week of his intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The talks with Canada and Mexico will begin “no earlier than August 16, 2017,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a letter to Congress.

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During the 90-day countdown, USTR will consult with “Congress and American stakeholders to create an agreement that advances the interests of America’s workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses,” he said. (more…)

Trump Backs Off Assault on NAFTA

Under pressure from auto industry, Trump no longer plans to kill trade agreement.

by on Apr.27, 2017

President Donald Trump is discovering that getting a new version of NAFTA negotiated will be more difficult than simply signing an executive order.

Despite tangling with both Canada and Mexico in recent weeks, President Donald Trump appears to again be shifting direction over the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House late Wednesday indicating it will no longer seek to eliminate NAFTA but rather find ways to make it more favorable to the U.S.

That shift may not play well with Trump loyalists who have roundly opposed free trade agreements and, in particular, sought a wall and tariffs to seal off Mexico. But it is receiving a warmer welcome in the business world, especially the auto industry, where North American borders have become completely porous in recent decades, raising the specter of major problems for manufacturers who routinely move parts and vehicles back-and-forth between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

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“As the biggest export sector, U.S. auto companies need trade policies that open markets, while ensuring a level playing field in the markets to which we export. The integrated North American market is important to our global competitiveness,” American Automotive Policy Council said in a statement. (more…)

Mexico Trade Chief Says NAFTA Redo Must Benefit All

Ildefonso Guajardo spoke to the Detroit Economic Club.

by on Mar.06, 2017

Mexico's top trade official Ildefonso Guajardo told the Detroit Economic Club that any renegotiation of NAFTA must benefit all the parties.

The North American Free Trade Agreement should be revised, but only if all three signatories to the treaty benefit, Mexico’s top trade negotiator said in a speech in Detroit.

Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, told the Detroit Economic Club that NAFTA is 23 years old and said revisions could benefit Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S. However, he rejected the notion that the revisions should only help the U.S. as President Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested in comments on NAFTA.

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“It is not very wise to sit down with the skewed view there has been only one winner. We were all winners,” he said.  (more…)