You Auto Know Week in Review: October 13, 2017

You Auto Know 10/13/17

NAFTA Negotiations Continue, U.S. Business Expresses Concern

As the fourth round of the NAFTA renegotiations began this week just outside of Washington, D.C., U.S. business groups began to sound the alarm with Congress about concerns surrounding the NAFTA talks, including proposed “non-starters,” and urging Congress to weigh in with the Administration. 

Earlier this week, AIADA participated in an effort led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to educate lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the potential ramifications of a withdrawal from the 23-year old agreement, or any unfavorable changes for the auto retail industry.  The industry is largely united in opposing a proposal by the Trump Administration to increase the NAFTA regional content requirement in automobiles from 62.5 percent to 85 percent, and also adding a new U.S.-specific content requirement of 50 percent.  Yesterday AIADA issued a statement detailing concerns about vehicle affordability under any significant changes.

More than ever, dealers need to drive home the importance of trade with their Members of Congress and showcase the economic impact of international nameplates in the U.S.  There are two ways to get involved:

Contact your Representatives

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Quotes of the Week

"While NAFTA modernization is important, we urge caution in considering the jobs that might be lost and the prices American consumers may incur as the result of changes to key aspects of the agreement."

            -Cody Lusk, President of AIADA (The Hill)

[A withdrawal that results from a failure to reach an agreement with Canada and Mexico would then amount to] "basically a $10 billion tax on the auto industry in America."

            -Charles Uthus, Vice President for International Policy at the American Automotive Policy Council (Politico)

“… withdrawal from NAFTA would put at stake millions of American jobs in every sector of the U.S. economy, the competitiveness of U.S.-produced goods and services, and our country's standing as a global economic leader."

            -Josh Bolten, President & CEO of the Business Roundtable (Politico)

 Business Groups Raise Alarms About Trump's Direction on Trade (The Hill)

Business groups are raising alarms about the Trump administration’s proposals to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the fourth round of talks started on Wednesday.

The feud between powerful business groups and the White House continued to ramp up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable among several groups that took their case to Capitol Hill over concerns that President Trump’s threats to withdraw from the 23-year-old pact combined with a handful of controversial proposals could torpedo the deal.

"The companies represented at the Business Roundtable are very concerned with reports that the Trump administration will weaken NAFTA with drastic changes that would disrupt supply chains that have greatly benefited U.S. businesses, workers and consumers over the last two decades," Joshua Bolten, president and CEO of the group, wrote in a blog post.

“Even worse, withdrawal from NAFTA would put at stake millions of American jobs in every sector of the U.S. economy, the competitiveness of U.S.-produced goods and services, and our country’s standing as a global economic leader,” Bolten said.

Trump renewed his threat to terminate the NAFTA during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday. In lieu of an agreement, Trump said he could envision the United States pursuing separate deals with Mexico and Canada, a move that would be a nonstarter with business groups and among lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The Chamber has called some of the White House’s proposals "highly dangerous" that could lead the business and agriculture community to oppose a NAFTA agreement if they are included. "Withdrawing from or weakening trade agreements like NAFTA would only benefit our competitors in Europe and Asia, including China," Bolten said.

The business groups have been reliable supporters of trade and have urged past and present administrations to expand U.S. reach of global trade through ambitious agreements. But they have found themselves battling the White House over a number of proposed provisions that include a sunset clause that would require the United States, Mexico and Canada to vote periodically to keep NAFTA going or risk the deal's expiration.

This led the Chamber, Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Foreign Trade Council, the Coalition of Services Industries, the American Farm Bureau and the National Pork Producers Council to spearhead a trip to Capitol Hill to discuss their concerns about the White House's proposals.

As NAFTA talks continue, the groups are aiming to keep momentum going while concerns abound that the discussions may be stalling.

On Thursday, the American International Automobile Dealers Association said proposed changes to NAFTA would likely increase the cost of vehicles.

"While NAFTA modernization is important, we urge caution in considering the jobs that might be lost and the prices American consumers may incur as the result of changes to key aspects of the agreement," Cody Lusk, the group's president, said in a statement.

The United States is pushing for automobiles to include more U.S.-made parts as well as more content from Canada and Mexico overall.

This Week in Policy News

Auto Industry Sees Threat to Jobs and Profits From Trump's NAFTA Push (Bloomberg)

Auto Part Content Requirements Could Sink NAFTA Talks (Auto Blog)

U.S. Chamber Issues Battle Call to Save NAFTA (Automotive News)

Trump Says Open to Bilateral Canada, Mexico Pacts if NAFTA Talks Fail (Reuters)

This Week in Auto News

Toyota, Nissan among automakers checking parts hit by metals scandal (Automotive News)

2017 Best Dealerships To Work For (Automotive News)

Hyundai: Don't like your car? Take it back. (Detroit Free Press)

Must Watch

Watch an oldie but goodie of President Ronald Reagan in 1988 as he makes the case for the importance of trade to the U.S. economy.

Friday Funny

Police Thank “Dumb Criminal”       

Police in the Akron, OH area have a nomination for the “World’s Dumbest Criminals.”

Authorities discovered three people breaking into vehicles, but one of them fled on foot and got away.  The suspect used a phone at a local gas station to call his friend who was still at the scene and being arrested.

An officer answered the phone and said, “Hello.”

“The suspect, thinking that his buddy was a free bird and was answering his phone, informed the officer that he successfully escaped and ran to the Circle K and to come pick him up,” police posted on their Facebook page.

The officer obliged and arrested the suspect.

“Police work is hard enough,” police said in the post. “We can’t thank criminals enough times for providing assistance from time to time and making our job easier. We would hope you would be smarter than that, yet if you were … you wouldn’t be breaking into vehicles.” (Ohio.com

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