TORONTO—The future of Canada's more than one million automotive jobs has emerged as a critical part of what's at stake at the NAFTA renegotiation table in Washington after the U.S. chief negotiator targeted the sector on the first day of talks Wednesday.
U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer opened discussions between the three countries involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement by pointing to the carnage in the manufacturing sector as the reason so many Americans view NAFTA as a failed agreement. He talked about the auto sector in greatest detail.
"Thousands of American factory workers have lost their jobs because of these provisions," Lighthizer said in his opening remarks.
He highlighted the U.S. desire for more production of parts in North America as one of the top issues in the agreement that President Donald Trump has dubbed the "worst" trade deal in history.
The United States proposed a higher content requirement to avoid a tariff. That would include more parts made in North America, including "substantial" U.S.-made parts.