Vice President Mike Pence meets with U.S. automakers on
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[November 28, 2017]
By Ginger Gibson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President
Mike Pence and the administration's top trade official met with the
chief executives of General Motors <GM.N> and Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI>,
and a senior manager from Ford <F.N>, on Monday to discuss trade and the
renegotiation of NAFTA.
The meeting was held to cover "trade, commerce and manufacturing policy
and how it impacts their business" and was scheduled to include National
Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and U.S. Trade Representative Robert
Lighthizer, Pence's office said.
Automakers have found themselves at the center of disputes over
renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between
the United States, Canada and Mexico as the administration of President
Donald Trump pushes for more rules on auto imports that the American
manufacturers have opposed.
Automakers have been lobbying the administration to abandon proposals
that would require more parts for automobiles be made in one of the
three countries so as to avoid hefty tariffs.
"We view the modernization of NAFTA as an important opportunity to
update the 23-year-old agreement and set the stage for an expansion of
U.S. auto exports," Matt Blunt, the president of the American Automotive
Policy Council, said after the meeting.
Blunt said that the automakers appreciated "the opportunity to directly
address the industry's concerns with the administration's rule of origin
[to top of second column]
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks as he meets with members of
the Venezuelan exile community, recent Venezuelan migrants, other
local leaders and officials about the continuing devastation and
unrest in Venezuela at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in
Doral, Florida, August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
General Motors chief executive Mary Barra and Fiat Chrysler chief executive
Sergio Marchionne were expected to attend the meeting, while Ford's Americas
President Joe Hinrichs was set to attend.
Lighthizer is overseeing the renegotiation of NAFTA on behalf of the Trump
administration. The latest round of negotiations ended last week with little
Mexico and Canada rejected the U.S. proposal to raise the minimum threshold for
autos to 85 percent North American content from 62.5 percent as well as to
require half of vehicle content to be from the United States.
(Reporting by David Shepardson, Susan Heavey and Ginger Gibson; Writing by Chris
Sanders; editing by Andrew Hay and Grant McCool)
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