Essay about A Brief History of The Canadian Automotive Industry

Essay about A Brief History of The Canadian Automotive Industry

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In the early 1960’s the Canadian automotive industry faced a growing crisis of a seemingly uncontrollable decline in the production and sales of American brand vehicles, which was a major industry in Southern Ontario. Several domestic and international factors had contributed to this economic crisis and the task of stabilizing it fell upon the shoulders of the federal government. Official inquiries were established and several economic policies were put into place to help remedy the situation, but it was not until the monumental passing of the Automotive Products Trade Agreement of 1965(APTA), signed by Prime Minster Lester B. Pearson and President Lyndon B. Johnson, that significant reorganization of the entire North American auto sector could take place. Commonly known as the Auto Pact, this treaty essentially allowed for the free trade of automotive products across the Canada-US border, given that certain industry requirements had been met. Through analyzing the history and the weaknesses of the Canadian automotive industry in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, this essay will affirm that the Auto Pact was a necessary restructuring of the North American car industry that inherently benefited Canada’s continental automotive trade with the United States.
The Auto Pact of 1965 was a free trade agreement that allowed for the movement of both automotive parts and finished vehicles across the border, tariff-free, under the condition that automobile production levels would not fall below 1964 levels, essentially preserving the Canadian auto industry. Prior to the agreement, the automotive manufacturing sector was in a state of uncertainty; plagued with decreasing exports and a flood of imports, both overseas and south of the border, ...


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...ada-U.S. Auto Pact of 1965: An Experiment in Selective Trade Liberalization.” Rev. ed. Paper presented at the Conference on Trade and Industrial Organization, Merida, Mexico, December 16-18, 1985.
Hazledine, Tim, Ian Wigington. “Canadian Auto Policy.” Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques 13 (1987): 490-501.
Reed, Beverly. Canada's car industry before the Auto Pact. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1978. Online radio clip.
Pearson, Lester B. A continental auto industry. Texas: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1965. Online radio clip.

Thomas, Kenneth P. “Capital Mobility and Trade Policy: The Case of the Canada-US Auto Pact.” Review of International Political Economy 4 (1997): 127-153.

White, Richard. Making Cars in Canada: A Brief History of the Canadian Automobile Industry 1900-1980. Ottawa: Canada Science and Technology Museum, 2007.

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