Freeland expresses concerns of Canadian automakers at NAFTA talks

WASHINGTON _ At the NAFTA talks, Canada is voicing some concerns heard from its car companies.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says she raised some of those concerns with her U.S. counterpart today.

Freeland says she wants to make sure the new rules don’t burden North American auto production with administrative red tape.

She says too many administrative headaches would make the region’s autos less competitive, benefiting producers elsewhere.

The latest U.S. proposal demands that 75 per cent of every car use North American parts, that 70 per cent of all steel be North American, that 40 per cent of every car be built by workers making $16 per hour and that companies get credit for research and development spending.

One industry-funded study by the Center for Automotive Research says those rules would increase the cost of a car by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, act as a multibillion-dollar tax, and ultimately hurt sales.