Mexican auto exports to US up 20 percent ahead of NAFTA renegotiation
During the campaign, President Trump constantly criticized automakers for building vehicles in Mexico and, in his eyes, taking jobs away from Americans. Trump’s threats of dissolving the North American Free Trade Agreement and placing tariffs on Mexican-built vehicles put the auto industry on alert. Companies like Ford have backed out from increasing production in Mexico, taking a severe financial hit in the process. That said, not all of the numbers follow that trend. According to Reuters, Mexican auto exports were up 16 percent year over year and up 20 percent to the United States.
Mexico produces roughly 20 percent of all vehicle production in North America. The Mexican Auto Industry Association announced that in April, Mexico produced 278,173 vehicles, exporting 228,810. And 179,958 of those exports made their way north to the United States. Total exports through the first four months of 2017 were up 15 percent compared to the first four months of 2016.
It’s not all good news for Mexico. Both Mexico and the Trump administration are gearing up for a renegotiation of NAFTA. The deal is likely to hurt Mexico’s booming auto industry as the US is the country’s top trading partner, though it does have free-trade deals with a number of other countries. A number of automakers including Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, GM, and Ford produce vehicles in Mexico. Trump’s goal is to make the deal more “fair” for US workers.