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Shares of Canadian auto parts suppliers surge after trade deal removes tariff threat

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Canadian auto suppliers surged after the U.S. and Canada reached a free-trade deal that eliminated the threat of damaging auto tariffs.

Martinrea International Inc. jumped 13 per cent at 10:10 a.m. in Toronto., the most since 2014, Magna International Inc. gained 5.1 per cent and Linamar Corp. rose 9 per cent.

“I think Canadian stocks in general have had this NAFTA cloud over them, that’s certainly true for the auto parts sector,” Rob Wildeboer, chairman of Martinrea, said in an interview. “I expect valuations are going to increase.”

U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly threatened to impose tariffs on Canadian autos and auto parts if a NAFTA deal couldn’t be reached, pressuring the sector. The deal reached late Sunday ensures Canada won’t be affected by tariffs unless exports top 2.6 million units annually, well above the current level of 1.8 million. It also includes tighter rules of origin for auto production, and calls for 40 percent of a car to come from factories where workers are paid more than US$16 an hour.

“The auto industry should be absolutely thrilled,” Jerry Dias, national president of the Unifor union, said in an interview on BNN Bloomberg TV. “Today people can rest and take a big deep breath. We really are in a situation where we can attract investment.”

Canadian auto parts stocks have languished this year, with Martinrea down 18 percent and Linamar losing 19 per cent through the end of September.

“There appears to be good upside potential for the stocks due to their strong earnings per share growth potential and their low valuations,” Cormark Securities Inc. analyst David Tyerman wrote in a note Monday.

Bloomberg.com

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