Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Will Hurt Canadian Auto Industry – Study

A Report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Posted July 7th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

(A Brief Foreword by NAL publisher Doug Draper – Given the importance to jobs and the economy the auto industry still plays in regions of Canada like Niagara, the silence from our political and community levels over the possibility the Trudeau government will sign this Harper negotiated trade deal is deafening compared to the amount of concern in the United States over the amount of damage this deal could do to jobs in the auto and many other sectors.

So congrats to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for at least doing this study.)

Ottawa, Ontario – As global debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intensifies, a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives finds the agreement will negatively impact the Canadian automotive industry, undermining the competitiveness of assembly and small and medium-sized auto parts plants.canadian centre for policy alt

“TPP will be a game changer for the global automotive industry,” says Queen’s University professor and auto industry expert John Holmes, who co-authored the study with Jeffrey Carey, also from Queen’s. “The proposed treaty will significantly affect decisions regarding what, where, and how automotive products will be pro­duced within the wider TPP region, with Canada getting the short end of the stick.”

The Devil is in the Details: The TPP’s Impact on the Canadian Automotive Industry highlights how a critical side deal in the TPP, negotiated between the United States and Japan but applicable to all TPP parties, further reduces how much of a vehicle or automotive part needs to be produced within the TPP region for it to get duty-free access under the agreement.

As a result, vehicles assembled using parts made outside the TPP region (e.g., in China) will benefit in North America without any reciprocal gains in Asia for North American auto firms.

“Weakening regional content requirements for vehicles and automotive parts to qualify for preferential tariff treatment could have a greater adverse impact on Canadian assembly and parts operations than removing tariffs per se,” notes Carey.

Holmes and Carey also point out the following in their report:

  • growth in Canadian vehicle exports to markets outside North Amer­ica will be limited at best;
  • the large difference in vehicle import tariff phase-out periods between U.S. and Canada will favour locating new assembly invest­ment and reinvestment in the U.S. rather than Canada;
  • increased Canadian import penetration by vehicles built in Japan is possible with an attendant negative impact on domestic vehicle pro­duction and, in turn, domestic parts production; and
  • small and medium-sized Canadian parts makers will face increased competitive pressure from parts produced in low-cost non-TPP coun­tries due to the weaker rules of origin for both vehicles and parts. Suppliers furthest from the assembler in the supply chain and pro­ducing discrete parts for components such as engines, suspensions and brake systems will be most vulnerable.

“While undoubtedly there will be winners and losers, the automotive provisions in the TPP, if implemented, will have overall negative consequences for automotive production and employ­ment in Canada,” Holmes concludes.

Some Niagara, Ontario citizens rally in opposition to TPP Trade Deal

Some Niagara, Ontario citizens rally in opposition to TPP Trade Deal

The Devil is in the Details is the latest study in the CCPA’s ongoing research series on the TPP, What’s the Big Deal: Understanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership and is available on the CCPA website at

About The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives –

The CCPA’s National Office was established in 1980 when the Centre was founded. Located in Ottawa, it coordinates the CCPA’s national research agenda and publishes reports, studies, books and commentary on a wide range of public policy issues.

The office also publishes its national magazine, the Monitor (six times a year) and Our Schools/Our Selves, a quarterly education journal.

The National Office houses several ongoing projects: the Alternative Federal Budget, the Education Project, the Growing Gap, Making Women Count, and the Trade and Investment Research Project.

For more information about our recent research and activities, please read our Annual Report:

– See more at:

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

Visit Niagara At Large at for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



One response to “Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Will Hurt Canadian Auto Industry – Study

  1. Nice to see someone seriously take time to evaluate, even with their known political bias.

    Where can we find a similar study on the Benefits of TPP? The Harper government didn’t agree to TPP, nor is Justin supporting it, to destroy us. Surely, there must be Something good for Canada in TPP? Can’t we have some stories about TPP benefits before bothering our MPs about it?

    In the same vein, why is no one decrying the recent 3 Amigos clean energy deal which will give cheap Québec & Labrador hydro power in 20+ year contracts, to help USA manufacturers compete with Canadian companies. Meanwhile, Ontario keeps raising our highest-rates-in-North-America even further to Refurbish our Nuclear generators which are already (or soon to be) past their Best Before Dates. (Nuclear is unaffordable, uninsurable, undisposable.)

    ONTARIO should also be buying from Hydro Québec to keep whatever manufacturers we still have supplied with Affordable electricity.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s