Posts Tagged ‘NAFTA negotiations’

NAFTA Talks Fail to Make Headway as New Year Looms

Mexico and Canada not giving U.S. what it wants.

by on Nov.22, 2017

President Donald Trump has reiterated he has no problem replacing NAFTA with unilateral treaties.

With chances the of failure rising, delegates from the United States, Mexico and Canada have wrapped up another round of talks centered on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement without making any progress on a range of key issues such as automobiles and agriculture.

The negotiations held in Mexico City were aimed at reforming the NAFTA pact enough to head off U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to scrap it.

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The latest round focused on trade remedies, rules of origin, which are critical to the auto industry, and matters related to agriculture, which represents a key element of any kind of agreement, Mexico’s chief technical negotiator, Kenneth Smith, told reporters.  (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…)

Commerce Secretary Ross Optimistic about NAFTA Talks

President Trump still pushing to kill deal.

by on Oct.12, 2017

President Donald Trump continues to threaten to walk away from NAFTA, but officials are positive the revised deal can be completed.

While President Donald Trump continues to talk about walking away from the North American Free Trade Agreement if necessary, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he still expects to reach a deal with Mexico and Canada on revising the existing agreement.

“From time to time (the President) has expressed a total willingness to depart from NAFTA should that become necessary,” Ross, whose personal investment portfolio includes controlling interest a major automotive supplier with factories in Mexico told a panel in Washington D.C., according to TheHill.com.

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“We don’t hope it will, we don’t desire that it will, we don’t believe that it will, but it is at least a conceptual possibility as we go forward.” (more…)

End of Economic Councils Pose Trouble for Auto Industry

by on Aug.18, 2017

GM CEO Barra enjoyed a laugh with Trump during an automotive summit earlier this year.

Members of another White House advisory council resigned Friday, two days after President Donald Trump tweeted that he was “ending” a pair of economic advisory boards formed after his inauguration. In fact, the CEOs on those boards had voted to disband hours earlier in response to  the controversy over the president’s comments about the rioting in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend.

“General Motors is about unity and inclusion and so am I,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said, in a statement. “Recent events, particularly those in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its aftermath, require that we come together as a country and reinforce values and ideals that unite us – tolerance, inclusion and diversity – and speak against those which divide us – racism, bigotry and any politics based on ethnicity.”

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GM declined to comment when asked whether Barra would have joined the fast-growing list of executives who were quitting in response to the Trump’s comments on Charlottesville, but several company sources said the industry’s first female CEO was caught in a difficult position: needing to publicly express GM’s position on racism and the desire to maintain the close ear of the president. That’s especially significant considering the White House is addressing a wide range of issues that will have serious impact on the auto industry, including federal fuel economy standards and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

(more…)

US Trade Leader Says NAFTA has Failed Americans

Lighthizer pushing for changes Mexico, Canada don't want.

by on Aug.17, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, talks with Canada's Chrystia Freelander and Mexico's Ildefonso Guajardo, both right.

The United States is not looking to make a few tweaks to the North American Free Trade Agreement, but instead wholesale changes, said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in his speech kicking off the negotiations.

While his counterparts from Canada and Mexico offered more conciliatory messages in their opening remarks, Lighthizer doubled down on his contention that the agreement hasn’t brought the same level of economic prosperity to the U.S. as it has Mexico and Canada.

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“(F)or countless Americans, this agreement has failed,” he said during the remarks that were part of the first of what will be several sets of negotiations through the rest of the year to remake the 23-year-old trade pact. (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…)

Trump Administration Outlines Priorities for NAFTA Talks

Automakers nervous about potential steel tariffs.

by on Jul.18, 2017

The Trump administration outlined its list of priorities for the upcoming negotiations with Canada and Mexico over NAFTA.

The Trump administration fired its first salvo in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement by informing U.S. lawmakers it plans to shrink the trade imbalance between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico.

The 17-page document is the first look at the “agenda” for the talks, which are expected to get underway next month. The early look has some items that may seem like they’re going to make automakers happy.

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One of the first items pushes the idea that none of the countries should manipulate their currently to gain an advantage on the exchange rate. Japan and China have been accused of this tactic in the past, however, this is not currently an issue with either Canada or Mexico. That said, the administration did receive some support for this measure. (more…)

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