02 Oct Statement from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce regarding NAFTA deal in principle, from the Honourable Perrin Beatty, President and CEO
The Chamber is delighted to learn of a deal in principle for a renewed NAFTA. This step forward comes as a relief for our members who have been searching for much-needed clarity and predictability in the relationship with our NAFTA partners.
As with any trade agreement of this breadth and scope, the Chamber will want to carefully review the details before making a final assessment. Specifically, we will seek clarity on how the agreement addresses the existing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, as well as how it will ensure that tariffs and quotas upon Canada’s auto sector exports will be avoided.
The Chamber’s members will also look closely at how the agreement treats specific sectors, including dairy and government procurement, and how IP will be dealt with across several industries. Our retail members will also want to evaluate the impacts of any changes to the de minimis level on their domestic sales.
While we applaud the achievement of an agreement, Canada must remember the lesson this turbulent period has provided: we must never again allow ourselves to be overly-dependent upon one trading partner. We must continue to diversify our markets to protect ourselves from capricious and unfair actions in the future.
Additionally, we urgently need to boost Canada’s competitiveness. Our members, Canadian businesses from all sectors across the country, continue to be woefully disadvantaged compared to our international peers.
For Canada to prosper as a trading nation, we must overhaul our regulatory and taxation frameworks, which are suffocating the ability of our businesses to innovate, to compete for talent on the global stage, to deliver nation-building projects, and to attract foreign investment. We must also redouble our efforts to dismantle the remaining barriers to internal trade and mobility.
The Chamber congratulates Minister Freeland and Canada’s negotiating team for delivering an agreement that remains trilateral and that will continue to deliver prosperity for Canada, and for doing so under extraordinarily challenging conditions.
For now, the 200,000 businesses that comprise the Chamber’s network can breathe a little easier and return their focus to where it should be: serving their customers and providing jobs for their employees. The Chamber will continue to advocate on their behalf so that, together, we can build a Canada that wins.