Commerce secretary amps up pressure ahead of third NAFTA round

Commerce secretary amps up pressure ahead of third NAFTA round”

Analysis of newly released "value-added" data from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that the share of USA -produced content in manufactured imports from Mexico and Canada has eroded significantly since the mid-1990s.

In a Washington Post opinion piece preview of the report to be released on Friday, Ross said the analysis of recently released OECD trade in value-added data shows a marked decline in US content in automotive imports from Canada and Mexico from 1995 through 2011.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has frequently criticized NAFTA's rules of origin as a "back door" for Chinese auto parts to enter the United States through Mexico and Canada and that the trade pact's benefits needed to be restricted to its members.

So far, US negotiators have not specified the changes they are seeking to the rules of origin or notified Canada and Mexico of their specific demand for USA content in vehicles. The U.S. content in Mexican manufactured goods fell by more, to 16 percent from 21 percent.

Vehicles assembled in the three NAFTA countries already contain 75-per-cent North American content, so changing the rules of origin in a new deal to higher than the existing requirement of 62.5 per cent makes little sense, the Bank of Nova Scotia says.

Mexico says its imports into the United States contain about 40% USA content.

Canada and Mexico combined are the largest source of manufactured products imported into the United States, accounting for almost a quarter of our imports.

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