For all of Trudeau’s Concessions, He Gained Zero from Trump

October 3, 2018

After long and heated negotiations, Canada has entered into a new trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. The trade agreement that replaces NAFTA is called United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated he intended to negotiate a better deal with President Donald Trump, compared to the original NAFTA deal. While the signing of the new USMC agreement is an economic necessity, Trudeau`s promise of a better trade deal for Canadians fell very short.

The USMCA does not put the Canadian economy in a better trading position than the former NAFTA agreement. Recently imposed US tariffs on Canadian aluminum, steel and softwood are still in place. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has even stated that there is no timeline in place to remove these tariffs.

The Canadian steel and aluminum industries deserved better from the Liberal government. American and Canadian tariffs will continue to have a negative effect on these industries. US President Trump asked Prime Minister Trudeau to address China’s dumping of offshore steel into Canada to gain access to the United States duty free. Trudeau refused to act on the President’s request, which resulted in tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Trudeau also promised Canada’s softwood lumber producers that his successful trade negotiations with President Trump would address duties on Canadian softwood lumber duties; and again Trudeau failed.

American drug companies will also benefit greatly under the new USMCA as a result of increased pharmaceutical prices. Buy American provisions also remain, shutting out Canadian companies from bidding on American government contracts.

Under the new USMCA, both Canada and Mexico are forbidden from starting trade negotiations with countries considered non-market economies by any other member. This section of the agreement may give the United States a veto over future free trade negotiations with China, thereby limiting future market access for our farmers.

Ultimately, Trudeau’s UMSCA negotiations will be judged on how Canada benefits. We in the Conservative Caucus will evaluate what Canada gave up versus what it got in return. Disappointingly, it is clear that for all of the concessions Trudeau gave to President Trump, Trudeau was unable to win any from Trump in return.

I and my Conservative colleagues will hold Justin Trudeau to account for every single line of this agreement.

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