Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is warning that Washington will push for higher U.S. content in auto manufacturing as NAFTA renegotiations enter the third round in Ottawa.
Mr. Ross brandished a study on Friday that he commissioned, which said the share of U.S. manufacturing content in imports has dropped significantly since the North American free-trade agreement took effect in the 1990s. His contention goes to the heart of thorny trade talks surrounding what is known as rules of origin.
“If we don’t fix the rules of origin, negotiations on the rest of the agreement will fail to meaningfully shift the [U.S.] trade imbalance,” Mr. Ross wrote in a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post. “That is going to change under President [Donald] Trump, and rules of origin are just the beginning.”