A trade organisation representing many Japanese OEMs in North America has welcomed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal that is designed to reduce trade barriers between country signatories.

The Association of Global Automakers said that “open trade and investment policies have encouraged international automakers to invest billions of dollars in the United States, creating a stronger domestic manufacturing base and stimulating economic growth.” It also said that if the TPP is approved by Congress, it will provide new opportunities to increase exports and support American jobs.

This agreement will benefit American consumers and businesses alike by creating an engine for future US economic growth, it said.

Canada has seen considerable dissent from the automotive sector concerned that more relaxed rules of origin will disadvantage Canadian suppliers.

The Japanese vehicle makers in Canada made clear their support for greater flexibility on imports and the supply-chain benefits that brings. 

JAMA Canada said the TPP was a “complex and challenging initiative for trade liberalization that will have long term benefits for all member countries, including Canada and Japan”.

JAMA Canada also said that it supported the provision of “forward-looking, flexible rules of origin (ROO) which reflect the realities of current global supply chains”. It also said it believed the flexibility [the percentage of non-North American content in North American-made vehicles can potentially rise to 55-60% from a previous 37.5%] would “enhance the competitiveness of our members in Canada and not distort our supply chain in Canada, which has been built up over almost 30 years”. It added that ROO flexibility is necessary since automakers rely on global value chains.

The Association of Global Automakers members include American Honda Motor Co., Aston Martin Lagonda of North America, Inc., Ferrari North America, Inc., Hyundai Motor America, Isuzu Motors America, Inc., Kia Motors America, Inc., Maserati North America, Inc., McLaren Automotive Ltd., Nissan North America, Inc., Subaru of America, Inc., Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., and Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

See also: ANALYSIS: What does TPP mean for autos?