Ford Has a Few Pointers for Trump as NAFTA Negotiations Loom

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford has a few pointers for trump as nafta negotiations loom

Ford Motor Company thinks it has the answers for the impending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, believes the key to an updated NAFTA includes protections against currency manipulation and the standardization of product regulation between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Of course, Hinrichs is just one voice of many. Despite his initial threat of NAFTA’s abolishment failing to pan out, President Trump has maintained a hardline stance — stating he will negotiate a better deal for the U.S. (or pull out if he can’t). Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown has urged for transparency throughout the process while echoing some of Trump’s campaign promises to stick up for American jobs by not showing favoritism or allowing industries to play against each other.

By contrast, Hinrichs’ proposals are specifically focused on streamlining the auto industry and avoiding long-standing complications associated with financial witchcraft.

Speaking to Automotive News, Hinrichs said he would like to see his ideas make it into the prospective overhaul of NAFTA and serve as a blueprint for future trade deals. “We can, as a country and region, provide some good templates and examples for the future of trade agreements beyond the NAFTA region,” he explained. “I think, in the end, the people involved know what’s at stake here and we’ll clearly end up somewhere that will make sense for the U.S. and the industry.”

“We don’t know how it will play out,” Hinrichs said. “It’s our belief — and I think the industry’s belief — that the integration of the North American auto business has certainly served the North American continent well relative to its competitiveness vs. the rest of the world, and that’s important for all of us to remember.”

While Ford has been fairly vocal about currency manipulation in regard to the defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership, it doesn’t seem to be worried about it within North America. The provisions in NAFTA to protect against it really only serves to set a good example for more global trade agreements.

“Traditionally we don’t see the Canadian dollar or Mexico peso being manipulated by the government, but we believe trade agreements should incorporate mechanisms around currency manipulation and the like,” Hinrichs explained.

He didn’t say it, but we all know which Far East People’s Republic the industry is most concerned with in respect to economic voodoo. As for the amalgamation of vehicle standards, that’s as clear as it gets. Automakers don’t want to waste time and money adhering to differing safety and build standards between countries.

General Motors, like Ford, would also like to see the deal result in smoother sailing for manufacturers. “We want a balanced playing field,” said CFO Chuck Stevens last week. GM also supports simplifying local content and origination rules. However, if the deal changes in a matter that increases the cost of imported items, Stevens said he’s “hopeful there would be a period of transition so we can adjust to it.”

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on May 02, 2017

    To make the US competitive in the global auto industry Trump needs to restructure all imposts that are making the US auto industry less competitive rather than tugging at the populist "bringing the jobs back to America" theme. US vehicles are not competitive overall in the global market. Blaming Mexico or even the Canadians is incredibly niave. I can't believe Trump's bullsh!t stance on dairy. The US dairy industry is like it comes from Cuba. The dairy farmers are heavily subsidised. Reduce the number of farmers rather than the welfare dairy industry you guys have. The US auto industry is already subsidised over $3000 a vehicle! And the cost will rise even more with any changes that Trump makes to NAFTA. Even a socialise Germany subsidises $1300 per vehicle.

  • 4drSedan 4drSedan on May 02, 2017

    Write to your representative and vote. They're the only things that matter.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on May 02, 2017

      And that was evident this last election, much to the chagrin of one political side. But who saw this coming? Not I. So now that it is here, we better buckle our seat belts because we're on Mr Toad's Wild Ride! I'm hoping for more and bigger V8s in the US cars. Hellcat was ahead of its time.

  • StormEagle 400 miles range
  • Inside Looking Out Enforcing laws? It is so yesterday! Welcome to California!
  • Lou_BC You'd think cops would have an understanding of the laws they are supposed to enforce.
  • Merlyn I’m on my second Spark and love it! I can pass any car I’ve never had a problem going up a hill it does just fine. As for cargo I can fit three suitcases, two book bags and still have the front seat for a passenger. Not sure what point this guy is trying to make. I have hand free phone service and Sirius radio plug in my phone and have navigation. I would buy another spark in a heartbeat.
  • Buickman I won't own one and I'll be happy!