NDP calls on Liberals to work together to improve trade transparency and get better deals instead of with Conservatives to keep the status quo
OTTAWA – With the latest version of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) agreement ready for consideration by Canada’s minority Parliament, New Democratic trade critic Daniel Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona) wrote to Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland to ask that the government use this opportunity to work with New Democrats to bring trade negotiations out of the back rooms and get better deals for Canadians.
“We’re coming to the table with a serious offer on this deal,” said Blaikie. “This Liberal government has a choice: they can work with Conservatives to keep the old, secretive model of how these deals get done, or they can work with us on a new path forward that gives Canadians more transparency and better deals.
The NDP is proposing a plan for trade that would require consultation prior to negotiations, introduce disclosure requirements to ensure that Canadians know what is being agreed to, and provide for both a full debate in Parliament before signing a deal and a regular review to ensure that deals are still working for Canadians after coming into force. These changes were first proposed by NDP MP Peter Julian in a private member’s bill introduced before the last election.
“The Liberals told us at every single step that the deal was the best it could possibly be and it could not be any better. They would say that until the next deal would come out and then they would tout how much better it was,” said Blaikie. “For months, the Liberals rejected our call for better protections for Canadian workers and the environment. It was Democrats who got the job done. Canadians deserve more transparency than that. We’re willing to work with the government to fix this broken process forever and make sure we’re delivering better deals for Canadians that make their lives better.”