Canada doesn't intend to 'give an inch' on auto in NAFTA negotiations

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Canada doesn't intend to 'give an inch' on auto in NAFTA negotiations

Canada doesn't intend to 'give an inch' on auto in NAFTA negotiations

Canada's NAFTA negotiations team does not intend to "give an inch" on anything involving the auto industry, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs' parliamentary secretary.

Andrew Leslie was in Windsor Wednesday to lead a town hall about the ongoing trade negotiations and the future of the city along with area MP Tracey Ramsey.

The retired lieutenant-general faced questions about the planned second span for the Ambassador Bridge, Canada's relationship with the United States and the auto sector during the hour-long event.

"The integrated auto industry is the single largest industry we have," he said. "It produces the most jobs, the most value added and it's perhaps the penultimate expression of this closely integrated, value-added chain that exists between Canada, the United States and Mexico."

'Be careful what you ask for'

Leslie confirmed the government plans to work with all three parties during the negotiations with the hope of keeping NAFTA alive.

"We believe in the trilateral approach to NAFTA and we believe NAFTA has added tremendous value to all three of our countries," he explained.

Leslie also had a warning for President Donald Trump and his rhetoric about the importance of American-made vehicles.

"Be careful what you ask for," he said. "How are you going to do that when a car can cross the border, especially between Detroit and Windsor five, six, seven times. Do you pay tariffs every time? Is it a Canadian car by the time it's sold? Really tough to figure that out because our two economies are twinned so closely together."