Canada’s Liberal government insists it supports the Canadian auto sector – all of it, from traditional parts and vehicle assembly to the development of artificial intelligence and lidar.
But it’s getting more and more difficult to believe that our elected federal officials truly believe in auto manufacturing. That’s evidenced by the way in which Canadian NAFTA negotiators have essentially refused to, well, negotiate with the United States during NAFTA talks. Canada has yet to counter the most controversial U.S. auto proposals, which include 85 per cent North American content — and 50 per cent U.S. content — in vehicles assembled in the NAFTA region.
And just when negotiators were getting seated at the bargaining table in Montreal, another faction of the Canadian government goes agrees to a 11-country Trans-Pacifica Partnership that just about everyone in the auto industry hates.
"This could not be a dumber move at a more important time," Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association President Flavio Volpe said of the new deal.
"Let's be clear, the TPP is the worst trade deal ever!" Unifor President Jerry Dias tweeted immediately, also calling the deal B.S.