American Auto Industry Unites to Defend NAFTA and Preserve American Jobs

Date: October 24, 2017
Source: Driving American Jobs

Washington, DC, Oct. 24, 2017 -- Today, America’s auto manufacturers, parts suppliers, and dealers announced the formation of Driving American Jobs, a coalition to safeguard American jobs in the automotive industry. Together, members of the coalition are fighting for American workers who are in the middle of an incredible comeback. The United States is globally competitive thanks to many of the reforms the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) put in place. Members of the coalition do not believe it is right to change the game in the middle of a comeback. 

The Coalition comprises members of the American Automotive Policy Council, The American International Automobile Dealers Association, The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, which have joined together for the first time in their collective history to defend one of America’s most important trade agreements and the American workers whose jobs depend on trade.

Coalition members agree that the future of the American automotive industry and its workers depends on trade. NAFTA enhances the United States' global competitiveness through the elimination of tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment. While NAFTA has been in effect, domestic and international manufacturers and suppliers invested hundreds of billions of dollars in new and renovated U.S. facilities, and job creation. Additionally, dealers and other retailers are supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in cities and towns across America. 

“American automakers are driving the revival of American manufacturing,” said Governor Matt Blunt, President of the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC). “When you examine the data there’s no question that NAFTA has helped advance the global competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry sector. Now we have an opportunity to strengthen North America as a manufacturing powerhouse with a modern NAFTA that maintains the features that are working and makes improvements to benefit American workers and jobs. We look forward to working with the coalition, the Trump administration, members of Congress and all stakeholders to ensure American autos remain competitive in our global economy.” 

The benefits resulting from NAFTA are currently under threat. A diminished NAFTA endangers the success and competitiveness of our industry, reverses our manufacturing comeback, and places many jobs in the auto sector at risk.

“NAFTA continues to spur innovation and support high-paying U.S. jobs. It’s important to remember that these jobs are not just numbers,” said John Bozzella, President and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers. “They belong to hardworking Americans across the country who support their families and communities by working for auto manufacturers across the United States.”

NAFTA has played a key role in the growth and vitality of the U.S. auto industry. The United States produced one million more cars in 2016 than in 1993, the year before NAFTA took effect. Most economists agree that withdrawing from NAFTA will re-establish trade barriers that will hurt the U.S. economy and cost jobs. More than seven million jobs depend on the U.S. auto industry

"America's 1.1 million dealership employees rely on NAFTA to offer customers a wide selection of safe, affordable new cars and trucks,” said Cody Lusk, the President of the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA). “It’s clear NAFTA is working for the towns and communities served at the 16,700 dealerships across America, and helping create more stable, skilled American jobs with each passing year.” 

“Our biggest concern is for American workers and customers,” said Jennifer Thomas, Vice President of Federal Affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “Pulling out of NAFTA would lead to a decrease in vehicle production, a decline in jobs and an increase in what our customers spend when buying a new vehicle. Not to mention this would also have an impact on our abilities to export vehicles to foreign markets.”

“NAFTA is working by keeping American businesses competitive and hiring here in the U.S,” said Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) Senior Vice President Government Affairs Ann Wilson. While modernization of a 23-year old agreement is welcome, this must be done with care. The objective of NAFTA renegotiation must be to strengthen US manufacturing competitiveness by maintaining the robust and open supply chain that has helped fuel the 19 percent increase in motor vehicle parts manufacturing jobs we have seen over the last four years.” 

Driving American Jobs is a coalition of automotive trade associations, manufacturers, retailers and small businesses. For more information please visit our webpage at drivingamericanjobs.com, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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