Canada ‘Extremely Worried’ About NAFTA
A member of Canada’s NAFTA Advisory Council says it is time to be worried about the negotiations, which begin again this week.
“I’m hearing that people are extremely worried about where this is going, and people use language behind the scenes like ‘it looks like the Americans are driving towards a cliff on this, and Canada will have to follow,’ and we don’t want to see that,” council member Rona Ambrose said in an interview on CTV, a Canadian television network.
Ambrose said it all came to bear in the last round of NAFTA talks that concluded in Washington, D.C., in mid-October.
Farm groups asking
There, the American trade negotiators put demands on the table, including on auto and dairy, that Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called “unconventional” and “troubling” in the closing news conference.
“The American’s demands are completely unreasonable. They may not seem unreasonable for the Americans but they are definitely unreasonable for the Mexicans and Canadians, and they put NAFTA at risk,” said Ambrose, who prior to joining the NAFTA team was interim leader of the federal Conservatives.
“I actually think it’s time for us to be worried, I think we are worried behind the scenes, and I think we have to start activating everyone who understands why it matters that this agreement cannot fall apart, and that means on both sides of the border,” Ambrose said.
Gary Doer, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S., said it is imperative Canada figures out a win for all sides, and one that’s not detrimental to Canadian business.
Doer said Canada should leverage the argument that a NAFTA pullout will have consequences south of the border.
“It won’t be without consequences in the United States as well,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a win to get a one-day headline and have unemployment in your own country,” he said of the possibility of the U.S. leaving the deal.
Source: CTV News