Harper admits his TPP deal will devastate auto industry

One day after Trade Minister Ed Fast said the auto sector would have to “adapt” due to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Stephen Harper announced a woefully inadequate plan that concedes what we already know: his TPP deal means thousands of lost jobs.

“TPP has changed the rules of the game, but Stephen Harper is sticking with a plan that has already failed the auto industry,” said NDP Brian Masse, NDP candidate in Windsor-West. “Harper’s secret TPP fails to create a climate of long term investment in the auto parts industry, instead he’s signed a deal that kills 20,000 jobs, devastating families and communities.”

Canada has lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs under Stephen Harper, including over 40,000 auto jobs. And after four years of Stephen Harper’s majority government, Canada has received only 0.2% of the nearly $82 billion of new assembly capacity worldwide, according to a report from the University of Windsor.

At present the Canada-US auto industry is fully integrated. Under the terms of the TPP revealed thus far, the U.S. will get to phase out tariffs over 25 years; Canada will have to do the same in just 5. This de-harmonization puts Canadian manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage and give them yet another reason to move jobs out of Canada.

“Only the NDP is standing firm for auto jobs: We will not be bound by Stephen Harper’s bad deal,” said Masse. “The Liberal platform includes no support for manufacturing and no support for auto jobs. In fact, Justin Trudeau has to cut his own jobs plan in order to balance the budget in the final year. Canadians deserve better.”