Thank you. I apologize for the problems with the microphone.
This is something we take very seriously. We've said, and Joseph just said as well, that we never know how some of these things are going to play out. Certainly right now the talk around any type of border adjustment tax seems to be fading in the U.S. At the same time, we're really well aware that if the administration is going to put through its corporate tax cut agenda, it will need to find revenue somewhere. We're not sure where it would come up.
There has been a wide variety of opinions on what that might look like. Without getting into specifics on any one of the models that are out there, our concern, frankly, is simply with the level of integration and the number of things that go back and forth across the border. Joseph could talk about the steel that goes into auto assembly, for example. But pretty much anything that we make within the North American environment is crossing back and forth across the border numerous times.
In some of the cases I've seen, like an engine block that's created, that block alone will cross the border six times before it's put into a car. So with all the various parts, you're talking about thousands of transactions across the border. If you have to capture every single one of these shipments that go into the U.S.... Just the tracking, in and of itself, of those shipments will be difficult, as will be the effort to try to tax all of these. Trying to figure out exactly what it is that's value-added in Canada on the way back in, from a part that actually originated in the U.S. and separating out what might be Canadian versus what's American will be an administrative nightmare. From the way we're looking at it, it would be very difficult.
I've seen economic studies that show an increase in consumer prices of anywhere between 5% and 10% in the U.S. almost overnight. I'm not an economist. I've just read different articles from different economists who have looked at this. But I don't think that's the big cost. I think the big cost is actually going to be trying to figure out what is American, what's Canadian, what's Mexican, and what's from somewhere else.
I know the automotive sector fairly well. The steel sector is part of that in the integrated supply chains. In pretty much any sector you look at between Canada and the U.S., they eliminated all of that tracing a long time ago. They did it because with the rules that were set up in the automotive sector going back to the 1960s, in aerospace and defence in the 1950s, and other sectors you're looking at from the FTA onward in the 1980s, the data isn't there to trace a lot of that anymore. To try to re-establish the data trails on a lot of this stuff would be very costly for businesses to do. They would lose productivity, lose competitiveness.
Again, we're not talking about this just from a Canadian competitiveness point of view, but Canadian and U.S. global competitiveness together as we compete against China, Europe, and other markets. It's not just about building a car in Canada. It's about building a car within NAFTA and competing against cars coming from South Korea, Japan or Europe. That's the really big unknown in this.
To put a dollar figure on that, I would have no idea what it would be. I don't think anyone could truthfully tell you what that number is. But the cost for business would be significant. It may not even be a direct dollar cost. It may be an indirect business processing cost that would be very difficult to put a number on, if you ever had to start figuring out some of the tracing of some of these things.
My comment earlier, and our comments on these things, is that the biggest priority we hear from our members on NAFTA and Canada-U.S. relations is the need to simplify borders. These are American companies, Canadian companies, and European companies. If you were to ask American companies in the U.S. what their priorities were, they'd say a lot of the same things. To us, this just adds an additional complexity to this, rather than making us more competitive and stronger globally.