Why Mess With the U.S. Auto Industry’s Success?

10/16/2017 RealClearWorld

By Duncan Wood

Since the economic crisis of 2008-2009, the U.S. auto industry has been on a tear. Despite the claims of the Trump administration, there are 1 million more cars per year built in the United States now than in 1993. The United States has never before seen such extraordinary automotive production, and the industry has not been this competitive against foreign imports since the 1960s. Between 2009 and 2016, more than 276,000 automotive jobs have been added in the United States (a jump of 41.6% percent), jobs with generous salaries and benefits. Auto-parts producers have also benefited as service providers, as vehicle sales have risen to record levels.

What made this transformation possible? In part it was due to changes demanded by the government in exchange for bailing out the industry, and in part to the opportunity seized by the industry to modernize practices that had held back its competitiveness. But a major factor in the automotive renaissance in America has been the role played by the integrated production system incorporating suppliers and plants in Mexico and Canada, and across the world.

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Why We Need a NAFTA for the Digital Age

09/29/2017 Americas Quarterly 

nafta_logoWhen the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was originally negotiated in 1994, four out of five of the largest U.S. companies built automobiles. Google, Facebook and Amazon hadn’t been born. E-commerce, as such, didn’t exist.

That’s part of why NAFTA renegotiations are more than just a political football: they are imperative for the region to continue its leadership in technology and commerce in the 21st century.

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U.S. Demands Risk Scuttling NAFTA Talks

09/28/2017 Bloomberg

Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg

U.S. officials in Nafta negotiations are making proposals on battleground issues that Canada and Mexico would never agree to, intensifying doubts of reaching compromise on their tight timeline, according to three officials familiar with the talks.

U.S. proposals on government procurement, textiles and fresh produce are seen by the Canadian and Mexican governments as red-line issues with little or no hope of agreement, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are private. The last round of talks that ended Wednesday in Ottawa took on a more negative tone at times compared with previous sessions, the officials said.

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How the Trump Administration Is Doing Renegotiating NAFTA

09/28/2017 The New York Times

Flag_of_the_North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement_(standard_version).svgOTTAWA — Six weeks into the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the thorniest issues surrounding the pact remain unresolved.

The United States, Canada and Mexico wrapped up the third round of trade talks in Ottawa on Wednesday, and negotiators from all sides said they are working nights and weekends to bring the deal to a close.

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NAFTA negotiators notch a chapter, set up fourth round of talks for October

09/27/2017 The Hill

TLC_mapTop trade negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico said Wednesday they have one chapter of an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the books.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo said they have completed the chapter on small- and medium-sized enterprises in remarks at the end of the third round of NAFTA talks in Ottawa.

 
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U.S. NAFTA proposal ensures enforceable provisions on labor -USTR

09/27/2017 Reuters

Image result for ustr logo

OTTAWA – The United States on Tuesday presented a draft NAFTA proposal on labor as negotiators from Canada, the United States and Mexico joined the talks in Ottawa.

Labor unions called the proposal inadequate, but a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it included enforceable mechanisms that raised labor standards.

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New Publication | The NAFTA Negotiations: A Mexican Perspective

By Luz Maria de la Mora Sanchez

The launching of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations on August 16, 2017 begs a serious and thorough discussion given what it is at stake for the three countries in terms of trade, investment, economic integration, competitiveness, jobs, shared production, and innovation. While a NAFTA modernization has been long overdue, this renegotiation was motivated by the wrong reasons; i.e. to address the United States’ concern regarding its trade deficit with Mexico and to return lost jobs to the U.S. manufacturing sector.

When the NAFTA negotiations were launched in Washington, DC, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer’s remarks underscored “the huge trade deficits, the lost manufacturing jobs, the businesses that have closed or moved” as a result NAFTA.  In sharp contrast, Canada and Mexico framed this process as an opportunity to modernize the Agreement to better respond to the 21st century economy. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, used their opening speeches to reiterate that NAFTA has benefited the three partners and considered it a very favorable pact. In direct contrast with Trump’s and Lighthizer’s statements, Secretary Guajardo called the NAFTA a “strong success for all parties,” while also stressing that Mexico is not the problem but rather “the solution to the region’s competitiveness.”  Given these diametrically opposing views and goals, Mexico and Canada have a very hard act to play in order to come up with an agreement that responds to their own interests while also addressing the United States’ key concerns.

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