Top Auto Economist Doubts Big Changes In NAFTA

A top auto economist in Canada is predicting the NAFTA changes being pushed from the Trump administration will end up being tweaks.

Senior Scotiabank Economist for the auto sector, Carlos Gomes, says the "Buy American" slogan may work on the campaign trail, but not as well in reality.

He says part of the reason we haven't seen details of what the Trump administration is seeking may be that they don't know themselves.

Gomes says the facts of the auto industry integration show it actually benefits the US.

He says the level of integration in the auto industry has made it a leader in economic growth: "exports form the NAFTA region have increased by about 4-percent per year and that's a full percentage point faster than what we're seeing in the global auto industry exports"

Gomes says creating barriers in renegotiating NAFTA could end up hurting the US more than Canada or Mexico because 92-percent of all auto shipments from plants in the US end up staying in the NAFTA region.

In his latest Global auto industry outlook, Gomes points out one-third of all auto parts exports from the US are destined for Mexico.