CADA closely monitoring NAFTA
U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators working on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) reportedly met in Washington on April 19th to help move the process forward before the general elections in Mexico take place this summer.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, along with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, also met earlier in April as pressure to complete the deal continues to mount. CADA Public Affairs Director Huw Williams says the association is monitoring the situation very closely.
“CADA’s main message to decision makers on both sides of the border is that we need a fully integrated trade and automotive market in Canada,” says Williams. “The message coming from the auto parts manufacturers is aligned with the dealer message, which is that we need to have a close collaboration between the two markets, and that NAFTA has worked well for both countries so far.”
If a misalignment was going to happen around the trade agreement, Williams says there would be two major impacts: the disruption of the footprint of manufacturing and assembly parts in Canada (which would also have an impact on the country’s economy), and a greater cost structure imposed on dealers and consumers.
“Our message to our partners in the automotive world is simple,” says Williams. “The importance of having a strong resolution to NAFTA that is in interest of all countries, and that protects Canadian consumers and dealers, needs to be communicated to decision makers.” He adds that he believes NAFTA officials will find a solution that ensures the agreement remains intact in some form or another.