As this is written in late June, the 2016 presidential race has been whittled down to two presumptive nominees from the two major political parties, and two or three more candidates that should appear on ballots nationwide. There are dozens of issues facing the public, certainly, but as The Truth About Cars is obviously an automotive-focused site, we felt discussing issues not related to the auto industry is well beyond the scope of our talents or expertise.
However, there are plenty of issues that will affect our industry, so we are establishing a discussion on the candidate’s positions on those issues. We aim to present a fair, unbiased assessment that will no doubt be shredded within the first five comments, so have at it.
The full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was released Thursday by pact member New Zealand. The trade agreement will set out trade rules for multiple industries — including automotive manufacturing and the import/export of those vehicles — for its member states.
The head of the AFL-CIO in the United States is criticizing the current presidential administration for its pursuit of a trade zone in the Pacific that could open up Asian markets to America and vice versa, the Detroit News is reporting.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote the administration a letter saying that a free-trade agreement with countries such as Japan jeopardizes American jobs because those countries may be able to source cheaper parts from outside the negotiated area, according to the report.
“I hope it is not the case that the Canadian and Mexican negotiators are actually holding a harder line than our own government on this issue. But due to the unaccountable lack of transparency from USTR, absolutely critical decisions are being made without our input or voice. Thousands of good American jobs and an iconic American industry are at risk, and we don’t even know what our government’s negotiating position is.”
Detroit is finally dropping the mask and says what it really wants in U.S. / Japanese trade relations. It wants to keep existing barriers that frustrate importation of Japanese cars, and that, for all intents and purposes, prevent importation of Japanese trucks. For the next generation, Detroit wants to be in your pocket without outside interference. (Read More…)
Now that the U.S. and Japan have agreed on a watered-down version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations (America will keep its beloved chicken tax for at least another decade, Japan will protect its rice farmers from the evils of cheap American rice,) negotiations between the EU and Japan about a trade pact are getting underway, with considerably less drama. (Read More…)
“Japan effectively sealed its participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations Friday after reaching an agreement with the U.S. over its entry into the talks for the emerging regional free trade pact,” says The Nikkei [sub] . (Read More…)
In Europe, EU commissioners received the green light to start negotiations for an EU-Japan free trade agreement (FTA), despite the complaints of the auto industry, notably the one in Italy, and PSA in France, Reuters reports. Japan is the EU’s third-largest trading partner after the United States and China, and the architects of the FTA hope for 400,000 new jobs to be created in Europe as a result of the agreement. (Read More…)
Today, the last Mazda6 will “roll off the assembly line in Flat Rock today as the Japanese automaker hands the keys to the plant back to its one-time parent, Ford Motor Co.,” says the Detroit News. It is part of a sad and messy affair that makes Ford look stupid and vindictive. (Read More…)
Imagine what happened if the representative of a large Japanese or Chinese car company would demand that America should close some car factories before easier access to foreign markets would be contemplated. All hell would break loose, and the Seventh Fleet would steam in the direction of the loose cannon – if it is not already there. What happens if the representative of Ford says that Japan should be required to reduce the size of its auto industry before being allowed into regional free trade talks with the United States and eight other countries in the Asia Pacific? Business as usual. (Read More…)
This just in: “The U.S. auto industry has dropped a demand for Japan to abolish rules related to minivehicles ahead of upcoming talks between the two sides over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade zone,” The Nikkei [sub] writes after reading this story. (Read More…)
For a long time, Japan’s automakers had pressured their government to enter free trade talks with Europe and the U.S. The Japanese government had dragged its heels, putting the interest of ageing farmers first. With a trade agreement, Japan would be a ripe market for American rice farmers and cattle breeders, and I would finally be able to enjoy a good steak in Japan without risking a heart attack. Caused by the price, not by the cholesterol.