September 28th, 2017

NDP statement on the third round of NAFTA renegotiations

NDP Critic for International Trade, Tracey Ramsey, made the following statement:

"This was a busy week in Ottawa for the third round of NAFTA renegotiations, yet despite it taking place so close to Parliament Hill, Canadian Parliamentarians – and the people they represent – still have no clear picture of what has been accomplished. The Liberal government continues to provide only vague updates on the trade deal, without sharing any real content.

I am disappointed in the government's lack of transparency. It is simply unacceptable to only receive broad and general statements about what is at the negotiating table.

In her press conference to end the third round of NAFTA renegotiations, Minister Freeland avoided many questions on the American's and Mexican's willingness to raise labour standards. She wouldn't comment on the fact that throughout the talks, President Trump threatened to walk away from the deal, therefore bargaining in bad faith. She also went as far as to defend the US's aggressive actions of placing duties on both our softwood lumber and aerospace industries, as simply common place, familiar and accustomed behaviour by the US Commerce Department. This is unacceptable and very worrying for Canadian workers.

Canadians are worried about the food they eat, the air they breathe, the water they drink, the goods they buy, sell and produce, their jobs, their families and their futures. This trade deal impacts so many aspects of Canadian life and Canadians need and deserve a government that stands up to the Trump administration to defend Canadian interests.

NAFTA can improve the welfare of all North Americans, but in order to do so, it must be transparent, inclusive and forward-looking. It must address important issues like climate change, income inequality and the value of our people. The Liberal government has the opportunity to change this important trade deal for the better and make it about people, instead of corporate profits.

New democrats will continue to hold them to that."