WUOMFM

NAFTA

Sam VarnHagen / Ford Motor Co.

My guess is that virtually everyone who even half-heartedly follows the news knows that a Republican senator from Tennessee called the White House an “adult day care center” after the President called him a coward, et cetera, et cetera.

parliament hill in ottawa
robin_ottawa / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

From his earliest days as a candidate, President Trump complained about NAFTA, calling it the worst deal ever.

But soon after taking office, he backed away from his pledge to tear up the trade agreement. Instead, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are re-negotiating NAFTA.

Earlier this week, Canada made a demand that could certainly resonate here in Michigan — a call to roll back the right-to-work laws which allow workers to opt out of paying dues to the unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Gage Skidmore / wikimedia commons - CC BY-SA 3.0

The Trump administration is expected to release a NAFTA negotiation plan soon, which could have a large effect on Michigan's economy. NAFTA is opposed by many American workers, who say the plan has taken U.S. jobs to Mexico.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, says Trump's NAFTA plan should reflect the promises made during the campaign. In several states, including Michigan, Trump said he would pull the United States out of NAFTA. He has since decided to renegotiate.

automotiveauto.info

President Trump followed up on a key campaign promise last week and formally notified Congress of his intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Some economists say there's more of a downside than an upside to opening up the landmark deal, especially for Michigan.

Charles Ballard is an economist at Michigan State University. "My advice to anybody talking about renegotiating NAFTA, if you have to use a scalpel, use a scalpel.  Please don't use a meat ax," Ballard said.

picture of donald trump
DONALDJTRUMP.COM

President Donald Trump talks a lot about "renegotiating" NAFTA.

There are few places that would feel the fallout from changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) more than Michigan and Ontario.

Patti Kunkel, a Canadian nurse practitioner in Henry Ford Hospital's cardiac intensive care unit, worries that her TN visa may not be renewed.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It appears some Canadian nurses who work in southeast Michigan hospitals may not be able to do so for much longer.

That’s  because some U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seem to have changed their longstanding interpretation of a NAFTA provision allowing those nurses special work visas—though it’s apparently not an agency-wide change in policy.

The NAFTA treaty allows Canadian and Mexican citizens in certain occupations, including registered nurses, specific work visas called TN visas.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Atlantic Council / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell agrees with a major campaign promise of President Trump: NAFTA needs to be re-negotiated.

Dingell co-sponsored a resolution introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, last week that she calls a “road map” to reshaping the trade deal.

"Michigan's the heart and soul of the American Auto Industry,” Dingell said. "And since NAFTA passed, we have seen factories shuttered, jobs lost, and real incomes drop for too many people."

automotiveauto.info

Donald Trump's trade deal policies and his strong-arming of the U.S. auto industry could help to bring back auto factory jobs, says economist Sean McAlinden, formerly with the Center for Automotive Research and now an independent consultant.

Trump has threatened companies, in particular Ford and Toyota, with stiff tariffs for building cars in Mexico, although nearly all major car companies also build cars in Mexico. 

He has also withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and he plans to renegotiate NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons

Car companies are doing their public relations best to avert angry tweets by President-elect Donald Trump, who has been threatening steep tariffs on cars made in Mexico.

Today, General Motors announced it would invest $1 billion in U.S. plants and projects and create 7,000 U.S. jobs.  That appears to be a total of 1,500 "new and retained" jobs related to the billion-dollar investment: 450 jobs from in-sourcing truck axle work from Mexico, and 5,000 jobs primarily related to GM's decision in 2015 to in-source much of its IT operations to Warren, Michigan.

President Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There's been something besides the shiny new cars, SUVs and trucks grabbing attention this week at the North American International Auto Show.

That something is the uncertain future for the auto industry under incoming President Donald Trump.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined Stateside to talk about some of the anxiety that exists in the auto industry and what some experts are saying about a potential repeal of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)

wikimedia user McZusatz / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As President-elect Trump and his team prepare for inauguration in two months, Michigan is preparing for President-elect Trump.

And Trump has outlined a number of things he'd like to do with regard to trade in his first 100 days in office.

Flickr user ellenm1/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Trade agreements have been a big topic of discussion this election year.

President Obama has been pushing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The majority party presidential candidates are both opposed to it. The North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico has also seen a lot of criticism.

Last week, the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan released a letter in support of those trade agreements and others.

wikimedia commons

Congressional Democrats say there are enough votes on both sides of the aisle to strike down a Trans-Pacific Partnership if it doesn't include key measures to protect U.S. jobs., including protections against currency manipulation.

White House

We've been exploring the effects of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, recently. NAFTA is 20 years old this year and has had dramatic effects on the state and U.S. economy.

What has NAFTA meant to the auto industry, in particular, the movement of companies and jobs to Mexico – companies and jobs that used to be based in Michigan?

We turned to Stateside's partners at the BBC for more information. BBC correspondent Luis Fajardo joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

White House

It’s been 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. It drastically changed the economic relationship between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

While signing the bill into law, then-President Clinton said, “NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs.”

So, let’s spend the next little while taking stock of NAFTA, and what it’s meant particularly to Michigan, it’s economy, the auto industry, and the state’s workers.

Patrick Anderson, the CEO of the Michigan-based Anderson Economic Group, and Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California Berkeley who specializes in labor and the global economy joined us today.