Auto Mayors Meeting

Auto Mayors concerned about new TPP trade deal and the negative impacts on auto sector

Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper recently attended an Automotive Mayors Meeting in Oakville.

The Auto Mayors work collaboratively at the provincial and federal levels to promote awareness, advocacy and strategic policy initiatives to strengthen the Canadian economy by keeping the automotive sector strong as a driver of employment, innovation and productivity advances across the Canadian economy.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton is Chair of the Auto Mayors and outlined concerns that the new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will undermine the Canadian automotive industry’s competitiveness and ongoing success, particularly in Ontario.

“The Comprehensive & Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) deal will have profound implications for the Ontario auto sector and our communities if it fails to recognize the uniquely integrated nature of the auto industry in North America. We believe it isn’t a fair trade agreement. It overlooks the auto sector – a vital part of the Canadian economy.”

Burton questioned why the federal government accepted the CPTPP while it is still trying to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico.

“The Auto Mayors are calling on the Canadian government to justify its apparent undercutting of the Canadian auto industry and NAFTA talks currently underway.“

They are urging the federal government to work collaboratively with the Canadian auto industry to address their concerns and halt any CPTPP discussions regarding Canada’s auto sector until the NAFTA renegotiations have been completed.

Important to talk to local automotive related industries

Mayor Sandra Cooper - Auto Mayors Roundtable

Mayor Cooper said that the mayors left the Oakville meeting with plans to talk to local automotive related industries in each of their communities to better understand their needs and thoughts on current NAFTA talks.

In Collingwood, Cooper will continue to talk to company representatives at Pilkington (NSG) and VOA Canada (seatbelt webbing).

“How does TPP impact export of your products? With material being shipped from Mexico or southern US, will there be impact on availability or time constraints in the future?”

Mayor Cooper has reached out to the industries and says she looks forward to conversations where company representatives will be able to list their concerns.

“That is taking place with us here and I’m sure that the other municipalities will do the same thing. The take away is that it is a very complex issue and we’re trying to wade through the weeds. There is an automotive caucus federally and they have been working on this for quite some time. I think that we have come away with having to contact our local industries, whether it be assembly plants or parts manufacturing operations to get their input before we come together again.”

The Ontario Auto Mayors all agree that they need to work together to maintain and expand automotive manufacturing in Ontario.

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