In a Monday, March 16, press conference call, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the auto industry has a "good argument" and expressed concern regarding the deadline.
"I think the administration would be wise to reconsider and show some flexibility for the sake of our economy because one of the really big winners out of the USMCA is the auto industry," Grassley, chairman of the finance committee, told reporters on the call.
The administration says the USMCA would create 76,000 automotive jobs and result in about $34 billion in new capital investments by auto manufacturers over five years as well as at least $23 billion annually in new U.S. auto parts purchases.
Toyota Motor North America said ratification of the USMCA is "good for the country and the auto industry" and is awaiting final auto regulations on how vehicles can qualify for reduced tariffs under the new deal.
"Once the rules are out, companies will need to comply," Toyota said in an emailed statement. "In the best of times, this would take months. But the coronavirus crisis makes 'now' the worst of times."
Several automakers contacted by Automotive News referred to the groups' joint statement.