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Mayor calls for copy of trade agreement

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

Oshawa mayor John Henry is joining the call of other mayors asking for a copy of the recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The call was made by the Ontario Auto Mayors, a group of mayors with auto manufacturing in their communities.

The main concern of Henry and the rest of the group is that the new trade deal – which has not yet been ratified by Parliament – will put auto manufacturers in Ontario in a bad spot economically, potentially costing local jobs.

“Ensuring the strength of our automotive community is a key part of our city’s continued economic success,” Henry stated in a news release on the announcement. “We value the partnership we have with our automotive facility. As such, we want to keep and continue to grow jobs in the auto sector because each auto job generates nine more.”

A main concern raised by the group about the deal is the reductions in regional content requirements in cars, meaning cars can be sold without tariffs if they meet a certain requirement of components manufactured in a signatory country.

This means that cars made up of parts from countries where parts are cheaper would gain preference, thus leading to job losses in manufacturing hubs such as Oshawa.

Regional council is also calling on the federal government to look into these regional content requirements, recently passing a resolution calling on Ottawa to maintain the levels set in the North American Free Trade Agreement.