Canadian Auto Industry to Korea: Play Fair or Piss Off

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson reports that Canada’s automakers are united against a new trade agreement with South Korean– unless the Asian country removes its “non tariff” barriers to Canadian auto exports. The news comes ahead of Canadian free-trade officials’ eleventh meeting with their South Korean counterparts. It also arrives against a backdrop of a radical shift in Canada’s balance of payments. According to a Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) paper on the subject, our neighbors to the North are now importing more cars than they’re exporting. CAW economist Jim Stanford sounds the alarm: “What was once a unique success story regarding Canada's high-value participation in world markets has turned remarkably quickly into an industrial nightmare.” While the CAW report also claims The Big 2.8’s restructuring efforts have “wiped out thousands of jobs,” (hey why not mention it?), the main focus is on getting tough with Korea: “This is the wrong time for our own government to expose this still-crucial export industry to even more damage from low-cost, one-sided imports.” So when would be a good time?

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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  • AGR AGR on Oct 08, 2007

    Interesting that Quebecois worked in Ste.Therese for several decades assembling cars, and across the Autoroute they are still assembling KW and Petes. Hyundai was using an old IBM facility in Bromont to assemble cars, and probably when the government subsidies ran out, and sales started going down. They shut the plant down. CAW economists surely saw the trend of increasing value of the Canadian dollar, and now the VEBA for health care is not helping. Article on what GM Canada is doing

  • Kurt B Kurt B on Oct 08, 2007

    "Canada’s automakers are united against a new trade agreement with South Korean– unless the Asian country removes its “non tariff” barriers to Canadian auto exports." Hmm.last time I looked there no truly Canadian automakers - not since the Bricklin anyway.

  • Glenn126 Glenn126 on Oct 08, 2007

    So, AGR, do you think that Hyundai still own the Bromont (ex-IBM) facility, so they could start sending "kits" for assembly and stop the criticism of the CAW? Or doesn't the CAW hold enough sway in Ottawa to cause Hyundai and Kia a problem? (Kia are 50% owned by Hyundai).

  • Omnivore Omnivore on Oct 09, 2007

    Ummm, isn't Chrysler a Canadian automaker now?