Automakers in Canada and the United States fear a Donald Trump presidency could have a negative impact on the auto industry, Canada’s minister of economic development told the Canadian Press.
Navdeep Bains told the news agency he’s had nervous conversations with concerned automakers at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
"Any kind of disruption to that, any kind of impact to the border would have a negative consequence to both Canada and the U.S.," Bains told the Canadian Press. “Having open borders benefits both Canada and the United States.”
Bains didn't offer details of the conversations to the Canadian Press.
Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, previously told reporters the proposed 35-per-cent border tax on cars not made in America isn’t specific to any one country and could include both Canada and Mexico. Trump has also made it clear he intends to at least renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, if not opt out of it completely.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has already discussed free trade and the border tax with Trump’s team. Freeland’s press secretary Chantal Gagnon told Automotive News Canada on Jan. 17 that Canada is “a pro-trade government and that the the countries’ “strong integrated economies provide the basis for advancing our strong and prosperous partnership with our southern neighbour.”
“We have a constructive working relationship with the Trump transition team, and discussions are ongoing,” Gagnon said of the border tax. “This particular proposal is something that has been floated for quite some time, and is opposed by at least as many American lawmakers as support it, but at this stage, we are going to continue to work with the incoming administration on the interconnectedness and to the mutual benefits of our two economies.”