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Trudeau talks trade with auto parts manufacturers

Roundtable discussion covered North American trade agreements and Donald Trump

Justin Trudeau meets with automotive parts manufacturers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with automotive parts manufacturers in Toronto on Monday afternoon. (Aizick Grimman/CBC)

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with representatives from automotive parts manufacturers on Monday afternoon in Toronto for a roundtable discussion on their industry.

The meeting, held at the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association head office in Toronto, included representatives from companies such as Magna International, Martinrea International, ABC Group and The Woodbridge Group.

Part of the discussions were over President Donald Trump's campaign pledges to tear up or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, representatives at the meeting say their concerns are lessening.

"I think that the Prime Minister and the President [Trump] had a good first date," said Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association. "We're not really worried."

Not looking for any new funding: Volpe

With a spring budget approaching for the federal government, Volpe told CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive that auto parts manufacturers aren't looking for new subsidies right now. However, they want to see the federal government serve as an advocate for the industry.

"We're not asking for any money," said Volpe. "We're asking them to be on the job and protect our interests."

Flavio Volpe

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association. (CBC)

The American consumer is getting good quality cars at a competitive price from North American production, added Volpe. He said one of the main goals of Canadian manufacturers is to provide governments with data to prove the industry creates economic value.

"When we get down to the nuts and bolts of it, lawmakers in the US... we're confident if they look at the facts, they'll be very happy with what has happened in automotive in NAFTA."

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