USMCA Offers Security Amidst Uncertainty


Farmscape for March 29, 2019

Full Interview 7:49 Listen

The Vice President Policy and Public Affairs with NATIONAL Public Relations says despite continuing uncertainty over trade, the pending USMCA has renewed Canada’s optimism on the trade front. USMCA, CPTPP and the like: deciphering the alphabet soup of trade agreements was discussed earlier this week as part of the 2019 London Swine Conference.
Jean-Michel Laurin, the Vice President Policy and Public Affairs with NATIONAL Public Relations, says despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the USMCA, there is renewed sense of security in Canada.

Clip-Jean-Michel Laurin-NATIONAL Public Relations:
In Canada the uncertainty around what was going to happen with NAFTA, was it going to be repealed, was it going to be the result of disputes between the American administration and Congress, we had no idea what was going to happen but President Trump definitely thought it was a terrible agreement for his country and he was adamant that needed to be renegotiated. At least now that cloud of uncertainty is no longer there. We know what NAFTA would be replaced with. It would be replaced by the USMCA. We know what’s in that agreement, we think it would be good for Canada. There’s some really good elements in there. The question now is what’s going to happen? Is it just a piece of paper, will it actually become a law, will it be implemented, will it be ratified, will we see the benefits of that?
That’s not clear. It’s mired in U.S. politics. Some legislators in the U.S. don’t want to give an inch to President Trump. Some are asking for the steel and aluminum tariffs to be lifted. Canada is asking for those tariffs to be lifted also before we implement the agreement but there’s a roadmap, there’s a pathway to the agreement being in force, being implemented. We don’t know how long it’s going to take but there’s a likelihood that it’s going to be implemented. The question is more when than if it’s going to be implemented.

Laurin acknowledges lot of the changes in Canada’s global trade position, such as its deteriorating relations with China, are the result of Canada reacting to what’s happening in the United States but, he suggests, trade agreements such as the CPTPP have helped enhance Canada’s position with regards to trade.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

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