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With an unpredictable president threatening to tear up NAFTA, the automotive industry in North America could be heading for a great re-alignment, which will benefit American workers a decade from now.
Currently, many vehicles manufactured in North America have components from all three countries: USA, Canada, and Mexico. While there may a country of final assembly, there really is no true country of origin.
If a 25% tariff on all cars deemed to be Canadian (and that can be defined in so many ways), cars across North America are going to be more expensive than before. Not only will the tariffs add to the costs, but the manufacturers will lose their efficiencies from their various plants working together across borders.
In time, the manufacturers will come to the conclusion--that to be more competitive than their competion--they need to move more and more manufacturing from Canada and Mexico into the USA. When a car is now made totally in the USA, there will be no tariffs in American cars sold in America.
Canada could impose a counter tariff. But this will cause more hardship for Canadian consumers than entice the auto industry to stay in Canada. But when the manufacturers pull out of Canada, Canadian auto consumers will still be forced to buy American cars (even Japanese designs are mostly made in North America).
In the end, auto workers who worked the line in Ontario and Quebec will be handing over their jobs to Americans. The Canadian market for American cars will really not disappear. In a decade, the new economy will stabilize, prices will come back to normal--and all manufacturing will be done in the USA. This master plan will make America great again!