Third Round of NAFTA Update
September 29th, 2017 - 11:40am
NDP Critic for International Trade, Tracey Ramsey, made the following statement:
“The fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations begins today and Canadians have yet to see substantial progress on this important trade deal.
The Liberal government is failing to stand-up for Canadians against unfair tactics used by the Trump administration. The administration continues to bargain in bad faith by failing to provide clear proposals, threatening to pull out of the deal and continuing to bully our industries such as dairy, softwood and aerospace. The U.S. has also threatened to serve Canada with protectionist policies surrounding rules of origin.
Now, the Prime Minister himself is in Washington to try and save this deal. Canadians need the negotiating team to secure a strong commitment to level the playing field for working people, ensure the strong future of our supply managed sector and to maintain our ability to implement environmental policies.
It is imperative for the federal government to eliminate Chapter 11’s ISDS provisions in this round as well. The Lone Pine Resources arbitration case currently being heard in Toronto is a perfect example of how NAFTA Chapter 11 has undermined our national sovereignty. Lone Pine is suing Canada for trying to protect our water in Quebec.
NAFTA can and must improve the lives of all North Americans, but to do so it must be transparent, inclusive and forward-looking. It must address important issues like climate change, workers’ rights, and the millions of Canadian jobs at stake. The Liberal government has the opportunity to change this key trade deal and make it about people, instead of corporate profits.”
MP Tracey Ramsey also spoke on CBC Windsor Morning Radio, please click here to listen.
The third round of NAFTA renegotiations just wrapped up the other day in Ottawa.
Despite the fact that negotiators have met three times, the public still does not have answers to key decisions that will impact Canadians daily lives.
In this past week of negotiations in Ottawa there were numerous occasions where I was able to stand up in the House of Commons to ask the government for some transparency about NAFTA during question period. You can review my questions by clicking on the links below.
And I was proud to be joined by four other colleagues this week during question period who also questioned the government on the lack of clarity during these renegotiations. MPs Ruth-Ellen Brosseau (14:25:43), Pierre Nantel (14:45:45), Cheryl Hardcastle (14:51:33) and Linda Duncan (14:52:59).
I also engaged with a variety of key stakeholders and civil society organizations where I joined a panel discussion on NAFTA at the University of Ottawa this past weekend. Which you can review on Trade Justice Network`s website.
I am frustrated that the Liberal government will not be transparent on NAFTA issues and instead the public must rely on vague statements from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Chief Negotiator or rumours that are leaked to the media.
NAFTA has a major impact on the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the goods we make, buy and sell, our jobs – everything in our lives are impacted.
The history of NAFTA highlights an agreement negotiated in secret – behind closed doors, by the wealthy and for the wealthy. I would like to be able to say that this process has changed, but it has not. Under Chapter 11’s Investor State Dispute Resolution process, or the weak unenforceable environmental and labour side agreements and energy proportionality clauses, big corporations have benefitted greatly, while the people of Canada have been an afterthought.
So, as the third round of negotiations comes to a close and we look to what the fourth round will deliver, my New Democrat colleagues and I will keep working hard to ensure the Liberals do not fail Canadians on our nation’s most important trading partnership! We know better is possible and we can achieve it together.