Trudeau Minister Takes Pro-Nafta Message to Detroit Auto Show

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S., Canada and Mexico need Nafta to keep the auto sector growing, according to Justin Trudeau’s innovation minister.

“We have a lot of momentum in the automotive sector,” Navdeep Bains said in an interview Monday ahead of an appearance at the Detroit auto show. “In order to maintain that momentum, we need to continue to support Nafta.”

Bains spoke after announcing C$49 million ($40 million) in Canadian government funding to support an expansion plan for parts maker Linamar Corp. “The investments that we make in the automotive sector are also good for the U.S. as well -- it speaks to our integrated supply chains,” he said.

The next round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks is set to begin next week in Montreal. One of the core disputes is a U.S. proposal to raise the percentage of a car that must be built within the three countries, as well as to add a U.S.-specific content requirement. Canada and Mexico have largely rejected this, though the Trudeau government says it has “new ideas” to share on the topic.

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