Concerns Arise Over Protectionist Currents in NAFTA Talks

Is the auto industry the hinge point for ongoing NAFTA talks between the USA, Canada, & Mexico? Automakers became concerned recently when the representative from The United States & Donald Trump’s trade czar, Robert Lighthizer, seemed to indicate that automakers would be required to manufacture a certain quota of their vehicles in the United States under the renegotiated deal.

Response from Member Nations

Representatives of Canada and Mexico, as well as various automakers, responded with hostility to this potential policy. They feel that, in the end, such trade policies foreshadow even greater economic complications than those that currently exist. Automakers have urged Lighthizer and the Trump administration to carefully consider the complexities of the situation before moving forward since a wrong move could accidentally raise vehicle prices.

Lighthizer made the Trump administration’s position clear: NAFTA has damaged American manufacturing to a profound degree, and something must be done, even if a few eggs are broken in the process. The desolate state of the manufacturing sector in the USA cannot be denied, as hundreds, if not thousands, of American factories have shut down in recent decades for new ones to be built overseas. Still, industry leaders are dubious as to whether the trade policies put forward by the Trump administration really solve anything.

What’s to Come

It’s the resistance of the auto industry more than any other factor, analysts predict, which may put a wrench in the works of Trump’s protectionist and nationalistic vision which seeks to restore the vitality of American manufacturing, the force which originally afforded us our status as a global power.

While the results of these ongoing dialogues are unknown, strengthened trade ties between NAFTA nations would inevitably result in profound economic benefit for all three countries. Even if there are some growing pains as a beleaguered automotive industry confronts the new shape of American manufacturing as viewed through the unpredictable policies and views of the Trump administration, further talks will at least provide a platform for the dialogue to continue its way toward its inevitable resolution.