U.S. Seeks Quick Nafta Deal, but Allies Balk as It Gives Little Ground

04/11/2018 The New York Times

manufacutiringThe Trump administration is pushing to reach a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement by the beginning of May. But the timeline could be complicated by its refusal to budge from contentious proposals aimed at bringing manufacturing back to the United States.

The administration has not significantly softened its position on rules that automakers would need to meet to qualify for zero tariffs under Nafta, according to a summary of the American proposal reviewed by The New York Times. While the administration has removed a requirement about the percentage of a car that must be made in the United States, it has added other rules that North American automakers say could be costly and complicated to meet.

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Canada reports progress on NAFTA, says ‘we’re not there yet’

04/04/2018 Reuters

Chystia_Freeland_2016.jpgMexico, Canada and the United States have made good progress in their bid to modernize the NAFTA trade pact but still have work to do, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday.

Freeland also said she would be flying to Washington for a meeting on Thursday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is pushing hard for a quick deal in principle to finish before a July 1 presidential election in Mexico.

The three members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could announce by mid-April the outlines of a settlement that would likely tackle the key issue of autos content while leaving other contentious chapters to be dealt with later, say sources familiar with the matter.

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Mexico auto sector down but still kicking

03/19/2018 Automotive News

automobileBy attacking the North American Free Trade Agreement, promising a U.S.-Mexico border wall and embracing protectionist policies, President Donald Trump has managed to dent Mexico’s auto industry over the last year.

But the damage is far less than what some economic analysts on both sides of the border feared, leaving Mexican trade negotiators holding a stronger hand than expected as talks to renegotiate NAFTA head into their eighth round next month.

With two months of Mexico industry numbers in for this year, the biggest casualty of the administration’s tough talk is the sharp drop in domestic Mexican auto sales.

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U.S. NAFTA autos negotiator called from Mexico for consultations: officials

02/26/2018 Reuters

automobileThe U.S. negotiator for regional content requirements in autos flew back to Washington from a NAFTA round in Mexico on Monday to talk with car companies, officials said, in a development some hoped would lead to progress on the contentious issue.

Four Mexican, Canadian and U.S. trade officials said the negotiator, Jason Bernstein, had been called back, with two of the officials saying he was there to meet U.S. automakers.

Kenneth Smith, Mexico’s chief negotiator, told reporters late Monday that Bernstein went to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to talk about the auto sector rules, but he did not comment on the potential meeting with automakers.

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No, Mr. President, Chrysler isn’t leaving Mexico

01/30/2018 CNN Money

shutterstock_54084691President Trump is praising Fiat Chrysler for moving out of Mexico. The only problem is, that’s not what’s happening.

Fiat Chrysler has six plants in Mexico, and none are closing.

 On Sunday, the president tweeted praise of the automaker, which is shifting production of some pickups from Mexico to a U.S. factory. But his tweet overstated the move.

“Our economy is better than it has been in many decades. Businesses are coming back to America like never before,” he tweeted. “Chrysler, as an example, is leaving Mexico and coming back to the USA. Unemployment is nearing record lows. We are on the right track!”

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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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Export Advice: Doing Business in Mexico’s Automotive Industry

07/21/ 2016 Industry Week

automobile.jpgMexico may surpass India by 2020 as the sixth largest vehicle producer globally, according to the Mexican Association of Automotive Industry. The automotive industry accounts for 18% of Mexico’s manufacturing sector and 3% of its national gross domestic product. Mexico’s auto parts industry is closely tied to its American counterpart and economic growth in the United States.Monica Martínez, commercial specialist, U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, discusses opportunities in the below Q&A. Martinez is part of the U.S. Commercial Service’s worldwide network of 108 offices across the United States and in U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 75 countries that help U.S. companies export.

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