January 11th, 2018

NDP: NAFTA transparency needed now more than ever

OTTAWA – In light of recent news reports, NDP International Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey is once again renewing calls for transparency from the Liberal government on the status of NAFTA trade renegotiations. The Liberal government must be upfront on how they plan to directly support Canadian businesses and workers if the deal collapses.

“From the very beginning of NAFTA renegotiations, we have urged the Liberals to be open and clear about their plans and priorities with this trade deal. Yet, despite the Liberals’ campaign promises to be open and transparent, they have left Canadians completely in the dark,” said Ramsey. “Many Canadian businesses and jobs, in all sectors, are affected by NAFTA, and it is simply not enough for Minister Freeland to give Canadians vague platitudes that her government will provide a ‘whole of government preparation’. What does that even mean?”

Last August before the NAFTA renegotiations began, Ramsey, together with her opposition colleagues, were able to compel Minister Freeland to appear before the Standing Committee on International Trade to be transparent to the committee and to Canadians about her government’s priorities on NAFTA.

“Minister Freeland stated this week that her government has contingency plans in place if Trump withdraws from NAFTA, and that they are ‘prepared for the worst’,” added Ramsey. “It is time the Minister reveals what those plans are, to provide leadership and stability for Canadian workers. Auto workers, agricultural producers, manufacturers, retailers, health care workers, transportation providers, and all affected Canadians deserve to know what supports will be in place.”

During his campaign to become President of the United States, Trump threatened to pull the U.S. out of the 23 year old trade deal, and as we draw closer to the sixth round of renegotiations in Montreal, President Trump is expected to officially withdraw from the trade deal by the end of the month. This will leave many Canadians, who rely on trade with the U.S. for work, in a difficult situation.