October 18, 2013
Statement by NDP Trade critic Don Davies on the proposed Canada-European Union Trade Agreement
New Democrats welcome progress towards a comprehensive new trade agreement with the European Union.
We believe in expanding and diversifying our trade relationships—particularly to lessen our dependence on the United States.
The NDP has long maintained that Canada should have deeper economic relations with the European Union, democratic countries with some of the highest environmental and labour standards in the world.
New Democrats have said all along that when it comes to trade deals, details matter. Unfortunately, Conservatives have kept Parliament and Canadians in the dark throughout the negotiations. Talks were conducted in secret and with an unacceptable lack of transparency. And despite today's announcement of a deal, the government still has not shared the text of this agreement with Canadians.
Significant concerns have been raised about a potential deal's possible effect on a range of Canadian interests -- the future of Canada’s dairy farmers, the ability of local governments to pursue economic development, the liability of taxpayers to multinational lawsuits, and increases in the cost of prescription drugs. These issues all remain big question marks.
We know that there are advantages and compromises in every negotiation. New Democrats will continue to take the responsible approach – we will wait until the full text is released, analyze its contents and engage in wide consultations with a diverse range of stakeholders – including business, labour, local and provincial governments, Aboriginal peoples, and others –to determine if the deal is, on balance, a good deal for Canada.