We could see a NAFTA deal next week: APMA's Volpe
One of the leading voices in Canada’s auto sector is telling the country not to worry about the looming threat of auto tariffs in the ongoing NAFTA negotiations.
“The President, his commerce secretary, USTR have all admitted that [the threat of auto tariffs] is just a conflated argument to bully us into concessions in NAFTA,” Auto Parts Manufacturers Association President Flavio Volpe told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Thursday. “The fact of the matter is that industries affected such as [autos] or steel and aluminum can challenge the imposition of those tariffs in U.S. court and I think we can win.”
“If the Canadians ask us: ‘What should we concede in return for that?’ I’d say get a good deal and we’ll handle them in court.”
Volpe is confident the auto industry could successfully challenge any national security justification the Americans might make under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act.
“We’re talking about American cars made in Canada, with 60 per cent American parts and 50 per cent American raw materials,” he said. “When we take that challenge into [U.S. Court of International Trade] and we argue: ‘Hey, by the way, what you’re holding back are American goods back to American consumers,’ that’s not going to last too long.”
Canada’s trade representatives returned to Washington D.C. on Wednesday to take another run at trying to reach a new trade pact. Canada continues to reiterated its stance that it will not make a deal unless it is in the country’s best interest.
Volpe thinks a deal can be reached by the end of next week, if the U.S. backs off its tariff threats.
“Get the Americans to rewrite this scoping document for the Commerce Department, for their investigation into 232s to exclude Canada,” he said.
“It’s an elegant solution, and I think we’re close enough on enough items and we have a lot of the same interests as the Americans. We could probably do something next week.”