DETROIT—If there's one thing a CEO hates, it's uncertainty.
Will President Trump tear up NAFTA, torpedo the corporate average fuel economy or trigger a trade war with China? Until they find out, automotive suppliers might be tempted to delay any big decisions.
For now they can sit tight. U.S. vehicle sales have leveled off after a six-year boom, so most suppliers aren't struggling to eliminate production bottlenecks.
"We don't anticipate a change coming soon," said one senior executive of a major global supplier, who asked not to be named. "We're continuing to invest in our factories" in Mexico.
But the executive is worried about the long-term prospects for the North American Free Trade Agreement. His company has highly automated plants in Canada and the U.S., while Mexican factories produce components with a high labor content.
Workers at Mexican supplier plants earn $2.61 an hour, compared with $19.91 for their American counterparts, according to the Center for Automotive Research.