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Auto industry trade groups urge renewed NAFTA discussions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nine industry trade associations representing vehicle and parts manufacturers in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are urging the governments of the three countries to revive negotiations on efforts to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“As a new government forms in Mexico on Dec.1, we believe now is the time for all parties to return to the negotiating table with a renewed commitment to the modernization of a cohesive three-country NAFTA agreement,” the groups said in a joint statement.

“We have a great opportunity to update this trade agreement and it is in the best interest of all three countries to refocus on establishing a new NAFTA agreement that will allow the North American auto industry to remain globally competitive.”

The groups issuing the statement are: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; American Automotive Policy Council; Association of Global Automakers; Asociación Mexicana de la Industria Automotriz; Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association; Global Automakers of Canada; Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association; Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association; and Industria Nacional de Autopartes A.C.

Since his landslide victory on July 1, Mexican President-elect Manuel Lopez Obrador has wasted no time in showing his more pragmatic side by reaching out to his enemies in the business community and taking a half-hour phone call from President Donald Trump.

Mr. Lopez Obrador told TV Azteca that he and Trump talked generally about economic development and ways they can work toward being good neighbors. The former Mexico City mayor and three-time presidential candidate also embraced NAFTA with gusto during a weeklong media tour.

After meeting with outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto, the president-elect said he will support the current government’s approach to the NAFTA talks until his inauguration on Dec. 1.

“We are going to work together on the revision of the [trade] agreement,” he said at a news conference, “with the goal of signing a [final] accord.”

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Automotive News contributed to this article

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