NAFTA And the Car Companies and Trump

The combination of NAFTA and the car companies and Trump seems problematic right from the very start, doesn’t it? President Donald Trump has railed against NAFTA for quite some time, and several of the auto manufacturing companies here in the United States have become his targets on Twitter as a result of having production facilities in Mexico.

Well, tweets are one thing, and actions are another. It looks as if President Trump may unilaterally withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA very soon, and very abruptly, that is, without offering a graduated withdrawal from the trade agreement. And, if that happens, the auto industry in the United States would be thrown into chaos.

NAFTA has been around for 25 years now, and auto manufacturers (both foreign and domestic; any company that has a U.S. production facility) and auto suppliers have built very complex supply chains with NAFTA in mind in those 25 years. To suddenly discard NAFTA would product dramatic, wrenching changes in pricing, quality and timeliness of the goods these companies sell.

NAFTA And the Car Companies and Trump - Seatco does the best convertible top replacements

This seems to be a minor consideration so far in the discussions the Trump administration has been having regarding NAFTA. To be sure, there are many other industries that will be affected, like agriculture and household electronics, etc., but the effect on the auto industry will be savage and just about immediate.

The auto industry had some pretty tough years after 2008, and then rebounded, and is in fairly good shape now. It would be criminal to carelessly sabotage the industry now as result of an immediate withdrawal from NAFTA, as opposed to an orderly, scheduled wind-down.

Whether you want NAFTA to stay, or you want it to go, it’s incumbent upon the federal government to not do anything that is going to send the industry into spasms of hurried reorganization and market uncertainty.

Let’s hope cooler heads prevail. There is no reason that NAFTA and the car companies and Trump cannot make withdrawal a deliberate, safe process if the decision is made to abandon the agreement.

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