20% of our economy at risk

Published on July 19, 2018

Yesterday, Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet and created a new position: Minister of International Trade Diversification.

Yes, diversification, as in promoting trade with countries other than the US.

46 years ago, Pierre Trudeau launched his “Third Option” plan to do exactly the same thing. It made no difference at all.

It’s great to be able to trade with every country in the world. But we’ve always done, and will always do, most of our trade with our neighbours to the south.

Our economies are deeply integrated. 20% of our GDP depend on exports to the US. It’s fundamental to our prosperity.

But all this economic activity is now at risk because the Liberals bungled the NAFTA negotiations.

Instead of negotiating freer trade, they came to the table with demands to include gender, aboriginal, labour and climate change issues.

Yesterday, we also learned that the US could sign a bilateral treaty with Mexico, leaving Canada behind.

And the day before, Canada’s deputy ambassador to the US confirmed that American negotiators are still demanding the end of our unfair supply management system, another of Pierre Trudeau’s idea.

That’s something we should have done years ago for the benefit of Canadian consumers.

But she said “that’s an unacceptable request for us.”

So, the negotiations are at a dead end. We’re in a trade war that we cannot win with our biggest partner.

And instead of solving the problem, the Liberals are telling us we should trade with Finland and Paraguay instead.

Will this nonsense ever end?!

I was the first to say that we should put supply management on the table a year and a half ago to ensure a successful renegotiation of NAFTA.

I’m still the only politician in Ottawa who is not afraid of this small but very influential interest group.

If you think we should have a realistic and strategic plan to reach a NAFTA agreement, instead of putting 20% of our economy at risk by protecting Pierre Trudeau’s legacy, send a message to the political class.

Help me fight for principled conservative ideas.