The group has been meeting to put together an analysis of the industry to show how integrated it is and how free trade is key to the competitiveness of manufacturers across North America, said Don Walker, CEO of Magna International Inc. He declined to say who is joining the talks.
"We're a very integrated industry and neither Canada or the U.S. - or Mexico for that matter - want to make the whole value chain less efficient," Walker told reporters at a conference in Toronto on Jan. 25. "We want to make sure that nothing happens that will inadvertently drive the cost up."
Manufacturers in Canada and Mexico have been holding their breath to see what changes Trump proposes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. He said on Jan. 22 that he would begin re-negotiating the deal soon and his representatives have had initial meetings with both countries. He’s also promised a "very major" border tax on companies that move jobs outside the U.S.
A border tax between the U.S. and Canada "makes no sense" given how closely the industry is tied together, a view shared by leaders in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, Walker said. Those states are key areas of support for Trump, who rallied blue -collar workers to his cause by promising to bring back jobs that had shifted to other countries over the past few decades.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.