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Trump's NAFTA replacement is not enough to beat car workers

Nearly 50,000 workers were off work a second day Tuesday as the United Auto Workers Union continued to negotiate wages and health benefits. A fixed point is to return manufacturing jobs that have moved to Mexico.

A UAW source close to the negotiations told CNN that the carmaker would not budge on this point. A GM spokesman said the company has offered to create more than 5,400 jobs and invest $ 7 billion in the United States.

The USMCA still needs to be approved by Congress. But some of the major changes it would make are intended to address jobs moving to other countries.

"I have a respectful message for all United Auto Workers who are currently on strike," Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday during a speech at the Heritage Foundation.

"As the president said, hope and confidence you will figure out your differences with GM. But while you're at it, if you really want to support our nation's car workers, UAW and GM should tell Congress to pass the USMCA and make sure "There are more car workers for decades to come," he said.

White House spokesman Judd Deere confirmed Tuesday that administrative officials were not involved in the union-GM negotiations.

The president is paying close attention to the manufacturing sector, which is an important part of his political base. He met GM's CEO Mary Barra earlier this month about her decision to close four US facilities.

On Monday, Trump again proclaimed the USMCA at a campaign rally in New Mexico, and if approved, the agreement would fulfill one of his campaign promises to tear it down. the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Unions love it," he said of the USMCA.

But the UAW is far from embracing the proposed trade agreement in its current form.

"It will not stop the movement of car production to Mexico and beyond," UAW said in a blog post in August.

Car workers accuse NAFTA of sending manufacturing jobs south of the border, where wages are lower.

The USMCA addresses this by requiring more of a vehicle's parts to be manufactured by workers who earn at least $ 1

6 an hour to remain duty-free. It also adds a provision that would require 75% of vehicle parts to be manufactured in North America, up to the current rule of 62.5%.

A report from the US International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, found that the USMCA would have a modest but positive effect on jobs. The study estimated that it would add 28,000 jobs in the automotive industry over six years, but also lead to a slight increase in the price of vehicles paid by consumers.

But the American Automotive Policy Council, which represents General Motors, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler, criticized the agency's report for underestimating the long-term investments that American car manufacturers will make because of the USMCA. A White House report said that car regulations alone would create 76,000 jobs and lead to $ 34 billion in new manufacturing investment over a five-year period.

Industry analysts say it would take a long time for companies to relocate capital-intensive manufacturing facilities because of the USMCA's requirements

"We don't think there are companies that will close their factories in Mexico and move to the United States," Michelle says Krebs, executive analyst at Cox Automotive.

"We believe that in many cases they will only pay the penalties and continue to do what they do," she added. as it is written.

"The USMCA's labor and environmental standards and their enforcement are insufficient to prevent companies from continuing to move jobs to Mexico so that they can pay less employees and dump poisons," wrote Democratic Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell in an op-ed article published Monday in the Washington Post.

Although she admitted that The labor reform laws adopted by Mexico earlier this year "are a step in the right direction."

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich and Kaitlan Collins contributed to this report.

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