Canada’s trading relationship with the USA is critical to many sectors of our economy. Despite a range of sometimes counter-productive pronouncements from south of the border, Canada was able to secure a good deal in signing the US-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Some concessions were made, but we gained many benefits. The Labour and Environment chapters are stronger with new commitments and enforcement measures. The very important Chapter 19 Dispute resolution section was protected and extended. Impartial dispute resolution is a critical safeguard for Canadian industries, like forestry, so important to BC.
Our government fought to maintain Canada’s cultural exemptions – and succeeded! This will protect our unique cultural products along with tens of thousands of jobs otherwise at risk from US –produced entertainment and media giants.
I often heard concerns voiced that free trade’s Investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms (ISDS) could enable foreign investors to sue Canada if our environmental rules are strengthened. I’m happy to say that the ISDS mechanism has been eliminated altogether from USMCA.
We can now move forward with confidence that the Canadian economy and $2-billion in daily cross-border trade is secure well into the future. This was only possible with Canadians’ solid support – thank you!