Local consultations on NAFTA renegotiation

MP Ramsey wants to hear from local groups and residents on the future of NAFTA

The Trump administration has announced its intentions to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In our riding of Essex, thousands of jobs depend on maintaining a strong Canada-U.S. trade relationship. As it stands now, trade between our two countries is well-balanced and highly integrated, with far-reaching implications on most industries.

As the Member of Parliament for Essex and the New Democratic Party’s critic for International Trade, I believe Canadians must be included in the conversation about the future of NAFTA and that our region’s priorities be defended. An agreement this important needs to be studied carefully and understood thoroughly prior to assessing its overall merits and weaknesses. I also believe that proper policy analysis requires wide consultation amongst a broad array of Canadian stakeholders.

I am reaching out to a wide number of organizations, businesses and sectors across Essex County to invite your evaluation of NAFTA – both positive and negative – and to advise me of your priorities for a renegotiated NAFTA. Some questions that may be helpful in guiding your feedback include:

  • How are jobs impacted in your organization, business or sector by trade with the U.S.?

  • If across-the-board border adjustment taxes that are being discussed in the U.S. become reality, how would your organization, business or sector be affected?

  • What parts of NAFTA have been detrimental to your sector, and what should be improved or maintained?

  • What should Canada do to protect jobs in trade-dependent industries such as auto and agriculture?

  • Given media reports about threats to target supply-managed sectors in the upcoming negotiations, what would be the impact on your sector of an undermined supply-management system?

  • What are your specific concerns with respect to Canada placing limitations on its ability to regulate in the public interest, such as on universal healthcare or pharmacare, environmental and labour standards, or on the use of public water?

I would be very grateful if you could provide me with your comments by mail or electronically (tracey.ramsey@parl.gc.ca) at your earliest convenience. Suggested deadline is April 14, 2017 but submissions will be accepted at any time. If you so indicate, I will keep your submissions in strict confidence.

Thank you for your collaboration.