“MEMA urges the administration to continue to negotiate with Canada and Mexico with the common goals of sustaining and improving the agreement. Any changes to NAFTA must improve the integrated North American supply base and concurrently preserve and grow U.S. jobs. This, in turn, will strengthen our nation’s ability to manufacture products in the U.S. and export globally,” said MEMA President and CEO Steve Handschuh in the letter. “A withdrawal from NAFTA would have a serious detrimental impact on our nation’s economy. The economic growth and continued prosperity of our industry and this nation requires the U.S. to stay at the negotiating table.”
The letter, addressed to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer, lists five specific recommendations to improve NAFTA.
- Recognize innovative technology developments by providing suppliers a framework to include research and development (R&D) engineering, designing and software development expenditures in regional value content calculations.
- Retain tariff shift for automotive parts.
- Standardize the rules of origin for automotive parts to allow the options for either tariff shift or RVC with no required tariff shift.
- Ensure that aftermarket parts, including remanufactured goods, are not treated differently new goods imports.
- Provide incentives to U.S. companies to train and expand the U.S. workforce.
“Since the recession, the U.S. has seen a six percent growth in vehicle industry jobs … much of this employment growth can be tied directly to NAFTA,” said the letter, signed by Handschuh and Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs. “The total U.S. employment impact of the supplier industry is 4.26 million jobs.”