During this month’s all-candidates debate at NVIT, all five candidates were asked about their party’s plan for dealing with the US as a trade partner and the USMCA free trade agreement.
*Candidates are listed in the order they responded to the question
Robert Mellalieu, Green Party of Canada
“The only thing I can say is we would like to see more diversification. That’s a big border and it’s one of our big customers, I think we need to look at that and say hey that shouldn’t be such a big customer. Maybe look at China, they have problems too, but there are lots of other countries we can sell our stuff to and we should look at diversifying all that. As for NAFTA 2.0, let's just see if Trump stays in, let's see how that goes.”
Mary Ann Murphy, Liberal Party of Canada
“NAFTA 2.0 is actually the United States Mexico Canada Free Trade Agreement, which hasn’t yet been ratified. The next steps are still some tinkering on some small details within the agreement. As I said earlier, we have already signed seven major free-trade agreements, which is quite an accomplishment for a government within a simple four-year term.”
Joan Phillip, NDP
“We have to diversify our economy, so we aren’t so reliant on any one trading partner. We are so reliant on the US. We have to start looking more inward. We have to nurture relationships globally; we’ve upset some countries within the middle east, and we have to stop it. We have to be the one promoting peace across the world because that is going to get us to a decent relationship with other countries to have a trading partner.”
Dan Albas, Conservative Party of Canada (Incumbent)
“The fact of it right now is we don’t know what the Americans are going to do. Right now, I don’t believe the democrats are going to grant any kind of win to Mr. Trump. We need to wait to see if they actually ratify (USMCA) as it’s currently laid out.
Canada does need certainty, the longer this gets dragged out the more investment goes to the United States. Why, because even our own producer will say if I can’t count on Canada to have a free-trade agreement I’m going to go where my biggest market is and we will continue to lose investment. That’s why we would ratify the current agreement if parliament agrees.”
Allan Duncan, People’s Party of Canada
“The United States is so powerful economically and they’re right beside us, they are our biggest trading partner. We need this agreement we need the best agreements we can have with them. This agreement has been in limbo, it hasn’t been working the way we want it to. One of the ways we can gain more leverage is the expansion of our markets to other nations to Asia.
The PPC would like to give as much attention as possible to this agreement, to our partnership with the states, and the expansion of markets. We need our economy to be continually expanding and being healthy for the benefit of all Canadians.”
For the full platforms visit the Party’s websites.
Canadians head to the polls on October 21.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt