U.S. Seeking a Trade Deficit Reduction in Early NAFTA Talks and Not Much Else
Despite President Trump having initially framed his proposed NAFTA renegotiations as a hardline “America First” endeavor, the administration’s stance has soften significantly. In a recent summary of objectives, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer highlighted fairness as the key issue throughout.
Absent were any mention of abandoning the deal if certain conditions were not met and the steep tariffs previously alluded to by the president. In fact, any mention of tariffs specifically targeted their reduction or elimination — for both imported and exported goods. There are, however, numerous examples that reaffirm the Trump administration’s earlier objectives and a handful of inclusions that should please domestic automakers.
No Fixed Abode: The Perks (And Perils) Of Protectionist Policies
“Like any good capitalist, I firmly believe that automakers need competition to produce their best and most innovative work.” That’s what my colleague and occasional pal Stef Schrader on Jalopnik wrote yesterday, in a column titled Protectionism Is Only Good If You Love Really Terrible Cars. I doubt neither Stef’s sincerity nor her diligence; she hits all the traditional marks in her piece, from Allegro to Trabant, and she does it with style.
I am not a good capitalist. Not any longer.
For most of my life, I was; I’ve been mostly self-employed since I was 19, and I’ve never asked for help from anybody save for three weeks’ worth of unemployment payments in 1995. I always looked at life as a battle that went to the strongest, and I never felt inadequate in the face of the challenge.
Once I became a father, however, I started wondering about my son’s prospects, and the prospects of his contemporaries. What if they didn’t have the strength, or the luck, that I’ve had? Should they be just tossed aside by the global economy, discarded forever just because they couldn’t win a race to the bottom with seven billion other desperate souls?
If the former president of the Miami University Entrepreneurial Society (yes, guilty as charged) can read Adbusters and start worrying about factory conditions around the globe, perhaps that means everything out there is up for grabs. And it’s worth asking the question: Could a new round of protectionist policies, intelligently conceived and applied, change our lives as drivers, consumers, and workers — for the better?
Canada's Detroit Three Union Boss Seems Pretty Darned Pleased After Trump's Trade News
Reactions are varied following this morning’s announcement that President Donald Trump will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and pull the country out of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
North of the border, however, the leader of Canada’s Detroit Three autoworkers was apparently dancing a jig. Unifor president Jerry Dias seemed thrilled when he appeared on talk radio to sing the praises of the president’s executive actions. Trump’s moves are “a great opportunity to right the ship,” he said.
Trump Tells Manufacturers He'll Cut Regulations and Taxes, Renegotiate NAFTA
Ten high-profile manufacturing executives, including Ford CEO Mark Fields and Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk, visited the White House today, where they were informed by President Donald Trump today that he would dramatically reduce corporate taxation and scale down regulations by as much as seventy-five percent.
Trump promised the return of manufacturing plants and jobs within the United States during his campaign. Making it more appetizing for specific companies to do so is an essential aspect of that plan, however, the new President also issued the caveat that companies choosing to invest outside of American soil would have to pay for it.
How Decision 2016 Will Affect the Auto Industry
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.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Details Released
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.
TPP, an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, includes members Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States of America and Vietnam.
New Zealand leaked the details on its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
Union Leader Blasts Obama on Pacific Trade Talks
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.”
Trans-Pacific Partnership Fears Hover Over Detroit Three
The Detroit Three are among those expressing concern over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, specifically what it would do to the industry.
A Game Of Chicken Tax: Detroit Drops Pretenses, Wants To Keep Japan Out For As Long As Possible
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.
And Now, Japanese Trade Talks Sans The Silly Propaganda
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.
Protecting Rice And Chicken Tax, Japan And U.S. Agree On TPP Talks
“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] .
400,000 New Jobs Or 90,000 Unemployed? A Tale Of Two Free Trade Agreements
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.
Mazda Says Sayonara To Flat Rock, Good Riddance To Ford
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.
Ford Demands Ultimate Sacrifice From Japan: Kill Some Car Factories, Then We Talk
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.
Detroit: Never Mind, Let The Japanese Have Their Kei Cars. We Want Vietnam And Malaysia In The TPP
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.