Auto Chiefs Concerned with NAFTA Stance

The auto industry has warned that significant changes to the so-called rules of origin could undercut the president’s America-first goals.

Top executives from Detroit automakers met Monday with Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials and aired their concerns about changes the Trump administration is seeking to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has pushed for companies to construct more auto assembly plants in the U.S., while also pushing for major changes to NAFTA that the automakers oppose. U.S. negotiators have proposed significant changes to the so-called rules of origin for autos in a bid to ensure more U.S.-made parts are used in vehicles assembled in North America, a change that the auto industry has warned could undercut Trump’s America-first goals.

“We view the modernization of NAFTA as an important opportunity to update the 23-year-old agreement and set the stage for an expansion of U.S. auto exports,” Matt Blunt, a former Missouri governor who leads the American Automotive Policy Council, a trade association representing Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said in a statement. “We also appreciate the opportunity to directly address the industry’s concerns with the administration’s rule of origin proposal.”

Blunt said there are other things the group would like to have added to NAFTA, including a provision to guard against currency manipulation by Mexico and Canada.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, GM CEO Mary Barra and Joe Hinrichs,  Ford’s president of global operations, attended the White House meeting. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn were also scheduled to attend the meeting, Pence’s office said earlier on Monday.

By Ryan Beene Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-27/auto-chiefs-air-concerns-with-trump-nafta-stance-in-white-house

 

 

U.S. dairy, poultry producers press for Canada market openings

reuters

A dairy farm on the banks of the Columbia River

Canada uses supply controls to help poultry, dairy farmers

* US producers see 2nd chance in Trans-Pacific Partnership

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – The United States must fix mistakes it made in the North American Free Trade Agreement by insisting in new trade talks with Canada on unrestricted access to that country’s poultry and dairy market, U.S. agricultural groups said on Monday.

“All we’re asking is that we have an open and free fair trade shot at the border,” Bill Roenigk, senior vice president at the National Chicken Council, said at a hearing conducted by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact.

Canada’s Conservative government, sensitive to sentiment in vote-rich Eastern Canada, has long said it will maintain supply-management measures for dairy, poultry and egg farmers. These measures largely entail matching production to domestic demand and levying high tariffs to discourage imports.

However, the government has also said all goods are subject to negotiation, both in talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership among 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and in free-trade discussions with the European Union.

Four-fifths of Canada’s 13,200 dairy farmers live in Ontario and Quebec, populous provinces that are generally critical to election success.

Roenigk said U.S. producers thought NAFTA, which went into force in January 1994, would eliminate tariffs on U.S. poultry exports to Canada and were shocked when Ottawa, as well as a NAFTA dispute settlement panel, took the opposite view.

Now that the United States has a second chance to address Canada’s poultry tariffs, the U.S. industry’s “view on this is the old Irish proverb: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” Roenigk said in his prepared remarks.

“The U.S. poultry industry strongly opposes Canada’s participation in the TPP unless Canada expressly commits to removing all border restrictions on poultry imports from the United States,” he said.

Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president at the National Milk Producers Federation, said U.S. dairy producers were also disappointed NAFTA did not open up Canada’s market and were determined not to let that happen again.

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