The Three Amigos Summit is taking place in Canada this week and earlier tonight, Mexico’s President, Enrique Pena Nieto, joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a state dinner at Casa Loma in Toronto. This summit also involves US President Barak Obama and the 3 leaders will be discussing the economy.
The auto industry, 1 of Canada’s largest exports, is in jeopardy and Mexico has grown into a global powerhouse.
Greig Mordue is an Associate Professor at McMaster and he was in Mexico a couple of weeks back to look at auto plants for his research.
“they are uniquely focused on the auto industry and what everyone working together can do to bring more investment.”
Mordue says by 2020 Mexico will make 5 million vehicles and Canada might make 2 million.
It’s an industry that provides half a million jobs in Ontario, but there’s a growing concern with the lack of investment in Canada from the Detroit three, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. The union representing over 40,000 auto-workers says their employees are getting nervous.
Auto companies have transferred production to plants in Mexico. In 2014 Ford considered a new engine plant in Windsor, but instead, built one down south.
Over that time 8 production plants have opened in Mexico and 2 have closed in Canada.
Assembly plant workers earn the equivalent of about $4 Canadian an hour but according to Unifor president Jerry Dias, wages are only 5% of the cost of the car so that’s not the number one issue.
Dias and Mordue are calling on the Federal Government to improve partnerships with the automotive industry and are optimistic with a new government in charge.
CHCH also spoke to markets reporter Jamie Sturgeon for his take on the Three Amigos Summit.