April 23, 2019 / 2:43 PM / 3 months ago

Pence to visit Michigan to tout new North American trade deal -sources

WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is set to visit southeast Michigan on Wednesday to make the case that the North American trade deal intended to replace NAFTA would boost the auto industry, industry officials said.

Pence will speak at an event with automakers and auto suppliers in Taylor, Michigan and is expected to tour a Ford Motor Co truck plant in Dearborn as the administration works to convince Congress to ratify the new trade deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday estimated that under the deal U.S. auto industry employment would rise by 30,000 jobs for parts and engine production, but that the number of U.S. vehicle assembly jobs would decline. U.S. vehicle prices would rise up to 1.6 percent, causing consumption to fall by 140,000 units per year, or about 1.25 percent of 2017 sales, the report said.

The Trump administration and U.S. automakers, disputed the ITC report, saying instead that the new trade deal will create 76,000 automotive sector jobs within five years as automakers invest some $34 billion in new plants to comply with the pact’s new regional content rules.

The White House did not immediately comment on Pence's trip.

Reporting by David Shepardson

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