Nafta: Auto industry groups urge caution

Trade pact’s local content rules need strengthening to avoid being used as a 'back door'


Reuters June 30, 2017
PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: Auto industry trade groups said on Wednesday that tightening the rules of origin in the North American Free Trade Agreement could be disruptive and hurt the competitiveness of US, Mexican and Canadian auto plants. Their testimony at a public hearing ahead of NAFTA renegotiations, expected to start Aug 17, contrasted sharply with frequent comments from US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that the trade pact’s local content rules need strengthening to avoid being used as a “back door” for Chinese auto parts. Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council argued that NAFTA 62.5% local content requirement was working just fine and “strikes the right balance” for encouraging local manufacturing.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2017.

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