Local expert weighs in on NAFTA deal, saying it’s important for - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local expert weighs in on NAFTA deal, saying it’s important for San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Each day millions of dollars worth of goods cross the San Ysidro Port of Entry destined for the U.S., Mexico and Canada, as negotiators continue working to hammer out a new tri-national trade deal thousands of miles away in Washington.

“Getting a deal on NAFTA is vitally important for the U.S. and for San Diego, which benefits from 28 billion of annual cross border trade,” explained Miro Copic a professor at San Diego State University.

Copic adds that jobs on both sides of the border are at stake.

“Over 400,000 manufacturing jobs between San Diego, Imperial and Baja California are related to multinational businesses that do cross-border trade,” said Copic. 

Earlier this week the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement, which primarily focuses on auto manufacturing that requires at least three-quarters of a car to get made in North America and increased wages for some workers.

“Part of it is the manufacturing that occurs between San Diego and Mexico is in the Maquiladoras in Tijuana,” continued Copic. “Consumers are potentially the losers in this. The reason is the following, it'll increase the cost to produce a car. There's higher labor costs and also it requires local steel to be used.

Canada remains a hold out. Friday the Toronto Star published off the record comments made by President Donald Trump to Bloomberg News pledging not to make concessions to the Canadian government, adding “it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal."

President Trump didn't appear to disagree with the alleged remarks, saying “...but I said in the end it's OK, because at least Canada knows how I feel so it's fine, it's fine - it's true."

“The comments that are being made by the president at inopportune times hurt American negotiations during the agreements either multilateral or bilateral. It’s important they're seen to speak for the United States,” said Copic.

Trade negotiations with Canada are expected to resume next week.

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