U.S. vice president to meet with U.S. automakers on trade

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks as he meets with members of the Venezuelan exile community, recent Venezuelan migrants, other local leaders and officials
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks as he meets with members of the Venezuelan exile community, recent Venezuelan migrants, other local leaders and officials about the continuing devastation and unrest in Venezuela at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Doral, Florida, August 23, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

November 27, 2017

By Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and the administration’s top trade official will meet with senior executives from General Motors <GM.N>, Ford <F.N> and Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI> later on Monday to discuss issues such as trade, the White House said in a statement.

The meeting will cover “trade, commerce and manufacturing policy and how it impacts their business” and will also include National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the vice president’s office confirmed.

Automakers have found themselves at the center of disputes over renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as the administration continues to push for more rules on auto imports that the American manufacturers have opposed.

Lighthizer is overseeing the renegotiation of NAFTA on behalf of the administration. The latest round of negotiations of the three-nation trade deal ended last week with little progress.

Automakers have been lobbying the administration to abandon proposals that would require more parts for automobiles be made in one of the three countries in order to avoid hefty tariffs.

Mexico and Canada rejected the U.S. proposal to raise the minimum threshold for autos to 85 percent North American content from 62.5 percent as well as to require half of vehicle content to be from the United States.

The meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (1930 GMT) at Pence’s office.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Ginger Gibson; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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