October 1, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Abbotsford, BC – Today Abbotsford MP and Canada’s former trade minister responded to the conclusion of NAFTA renegotiations between Canada and the United States.
“Although I am pleased that Canada will participate in the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA), we do not yet know the scope of the concessions that the Trudeau Government has made to gain access to this agreement and the impacts they will have on Canada’s economy,” said Fast. “What we do know is that Canada has made major concessions on dairy, chicken and egg imports from the United States, concessions which our local farmers have strongly resisted.”
Reports also indicate that Canadian auto exports to the United States have been capped, a limitation which was not present under NAFTA and which could result in significant long-term impacts for Canada’s auto industry. Local retailers will feel the bite of new increased duty thresholds on e-commerce, as American retailers are expected to take away significant market share from Canadian small businesses. It also appears that concessions the Trudeau Government has made on patent protections will increase the price of pharmaceuticals in Canada. It does not appear that Canadian negotiators were successful in having punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum lifted, nor has the softwood lumber dispute been resolved.
“Until I am able to review the actual text of the agreement, I cannot determine whether this outcome is of net-benefit to Canadians,” explained Fast. “It is unclear what gains, if any, Canada secured in return for the concessions it has made. I fully expect that Canadians will compare the USMCA to the existing NAFTA agreement and evaluate whether the new agreement is an improvement.”
Once the final text of the new trade agreement has been made available, it will have to be tabled, debated and passed in the House of Commons before becoming law. Canadians are entitled to have their voices heard during that process.
For Further Information, contact:
Office of the Hon. Ed Fast
Member of Parliament for Abbotsford