With just five weeks before the United States- Mexico-Canada Agreement introduces tougher automotive rules of origin, automakers are weighing whether to ask for more time to comply.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has requested petitions from automakers that are seeking an alternative staging period for the rules of origin, which require more vehicle content to be made in the region and a significant portion of that content to be made with high-wage labor. If eligible, automakers will have an additional two years to meet regional value and labor value content thresholds, extending the phase-in from the standard three years to five.
But the time-consuming process must be completed while purchasing departments are scrambling to ensure assembly plants can get parts after extended shutdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19. Vital decisions must be made, but the uniform regulations — the instruction manual providing details on how to comply with the new rules — aren't out yet.
Those regulations are expected to be released June 1 — a month before the United States- Mexico-Canada Agreement enters into force, several trade attorneys and experts told Automotive News.