The New NAFTA Must Do Right by Canadians

When Parliament reconvenes next week, parliamentarians will have the chance to review the new NAFTA agreement. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government will table NAFTA implementation legislation next Wednesday.

The renegotiation of NAFTA began about two years ago when Justin Trudeau stated that he was “more than happy” to renegotiate NAFTA with incoming President Donald Trump. It was something of a shock when the Prime Minister voluntarily submitted Canada to a renegotiation when it was widely known that the US was primarily concerned with how the agreement governed the relationship between their country and Mexico. But Canada was suddenly drawn in to what would be a long, tumultuous couple of years.

Thankfully, we seem to have arrived near the end of this saga. With Canada’s economy slowing and vulnerable, a lack of access to US markets would further weaken business investment and exports. But free trade with our southern neighbour represents opportunities for all Canadians.

Canada’s Conservatives are the party of free trade. It was a Conservative government that developed free trade with our southern neighbour in the first place and we recognize that there is a lot of potential for continued growth and investment with a strong agreement in place.

I have not yet seen the legislation for the new NAFTA deal but, like all Canadians, I want the best deal for families, workers, and businesses. As the process continues, I expect the Liberals to brief all parties on the details to ensure parliamentarians can review the impacts of this implementation carefully.

Unfortunately, during our last briefing, the Liberals were unable to provide clarification about the impact of the agreement on Canada’s aluminum, auto, and agriculture sectors.

Having this agreement in place is important, but it has to do right by Canadians. I urge the Liberals to allow for a full, thorough debate on the new agreement. If they’re able to show how this new agreement is in the best interest of Canadians, I’ll be happy to support its passage through the House of Commons.