JAMA Canada Disappointed by the ‘Status Quo’ Results of the Federal Auto Review on Tariffs and Trade Policy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUNE 10, 1998
Toronto, Ontario: JAMA Canada is very disappointed to learn that there will be no change to the current discriminatory application of import tariffs on finished vehicles. The report of the Federal Government’s Automotive Competitiveness Review was released earlier today.
Commenting on the result, David Worts, Executive Director of JAMA Canada said, “Quite simply, the status quo is not an acceptable position. Differential treatment under the current two-tiered auto policy clearly favours one group of automakers over another. We will continue to seek changes with the Federal Government to establish a policy that is open, transparent and applied equally to all automakers consistent with international trade rules under the WTO.”
While tariffs are a significant part of the problem, this issue is primarily a matter of principle - the principle of non-discrimination. This issue arose from policy changes in the FTA which closed the Auto Pact to new entrants and terminated non-Auto Pact duty remission programs. At the same time, studies have shown that lower tariffs enhance trade and investment, and are beneficial for consumers.
“All automakers in Canada are foreign owned. It only makes sense, not to mention good policy, to treat all of them equally”, said Mr. Worts.
In an increasingly global industry, success along with jobs and investment are largely dependent on meeting customers’ needs with competitive products at competitive costs. Tariffs have been coming down under the GATT for the past 50 years. Canada’s auto industry has never been as strong as it is today, not because of protection, but because of global competition and international cooperation.