Don’t Give Away the Farm at NAFTA Negotiations

For Immediate Release
July 18, 2017

OTTAWA - NDP leadership candidate Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) is calling on the Prime Minister to protect Canada’s interests in the face of increasing US protectionism at the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.

“My message to the PM is, don’t give away the farm,” Angus said. “And while we’re at it, don’t give away the fisheries, the telecoms, the banks, or the softwood producers, either.” 

Angus’ comments came after the US released its priority list for upcoming NAFTA negotiations, which begin August 17. The US is demanding the end of the Chapter 9 dispute resolution process and new entries into the telecom and banking industries. They’re also demanding an end to the softwood lumber dispute in favour of US producers.

“The question for Canadians is, who will be in the House of Commons this fall defending us?” Angus said. “NAFTA will be a lobbyist feeding-frenzy, and they’re putting everything on the table from our culture to labour rights to the environment. Does anyone believe that Justin Trudeau has their back?”

Angus said that NAFTA already favours the US too much.

“In the US, government projects constantly apply Buy American policies,” Angus said. “Here in Canada, NAFTA forbids provinces and municipalities from favouring locally made products and technology.”

“That’s not a level playing field.”

Angus said it’s imperative for the Canadian government to set tough limits on what we want to get and what we’re willing to give away. 

“One-sided protectionism? No. Telecom takeover? No. Crushing our softwood industry? Hard no!” Angus said. “Justin Trudeau must work for Canadians’ interests, not the interests of the hedge fund managers and lobbyists who couldn’t care less about Canadians’ well-being.”

“I’ve got your back. Our PM surely doesn’t,” he said.