Photo: Jeff Gilbert / WWJ

Pence Pushes For New Trade Agreement During Stop In Metro Detroit

"Manufacturing is roaring back."

April 24, 2019 - 5:10 pm

TAYLOR, Mich. (WWJ) -- Vice President Mike Pence is pushing for the approval of the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Speaking at Motor City Solutions in Taylor, Pence said "manufacturing is roaring back," urging automotive leaders to fight for the new USMCA agreement to be completed.

"Just last week the United States Trade Representative released a study that says if the USMCA goes into effect, we can actually expect automakers to invest an additional $34 billion in our country," Pence said.

Suppliers are on board with the administration when it comes to the USMCA, the replacement for NAFTA -- they want to get it passed. But when it comes to tariffs, that’s another issue. Ann Wilson, president with the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, says suppliers are caught in the middle.

"It’s the uncertainty of what might come next," Wilson told WWJ Auto Beat reporter Jeff Gilbert. "Additional tariffs on imported autos is of real concern. It’s hurting investment, it’s hurting jobs, and ultimately, it’s going to hurt the consumer."

Wilson says it’s still good to keep the lines of communication open with the administration.

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association has spoken out against tariffs, but Wilson says they’re not against the idea of negotiating new trade deals.

"We agree with the President 100 percent – we need to have more manufacturing in this country, we need to have more jobs in this country, and trade needs to be a level playing field for all participants," Wilson said.

Prior to his speech, Pence toured Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant, where he rolled a 2019 F-150 off the line.

Pence said there have been 480,000 new manufacturing jobs created across the U.S. in the last two years, including more than 26,000 in Michigan