U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is said to be leveraging a position that NAFTA rules on auto manufacturing require 70% of source origination from inside the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Canadian union leader Jerry Dias agrees with the position in order to Make Canada Great Again.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wants more than 70 percent of North American content in vehicles built in the United States, Canada and Mexico under a renegotiated NAFTA trade deal, the head of Canada’s largest private sector union said on Friday.
Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, told reporters he suggested in a recent meeting with Ross that the level be raised to 70 percent from the current 62.5 percent, and that the U.S. commerce secretary suggested a “more aggressive” level.
Ross has long advocated strengthening the rules of origin for the auto industry as a way to bring back automotive production from Asia and other non-NAFTA countries.
Negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement are in their second round this weekend in Mexico City, where rules of origin are expected to be discussed.
U.S. negotiators, however, may not reveal specific rules of origin targets until later rounds, according to auto industry lobbyists.
“In fairness to Wilbur, he was more aggressive than I was,” Dias said of Ross’ desired North American content level.
Dias said he thought that a 70 percent rule would be a step in the right direction for an industry whose jobs have migrated from the United States and Canada to Mexico, and would help shift production of some automotive electronics and other parts from Asia and Europe back to North America. (read more)