• Wayne Easter posted an update 3 years, 1 month ago

    #internationaltrade (Wayne Easter) is of critical importance to our economy and Liberals have long held that fair trade is worthy of support. While increased trade is important, the Harper government has deliberately minimized the role of Parliament and by extension Canadians in this process.

    There are legitimate concerns regarding trade negotiations. For example, under the Canada – European trade agreement one of the provisions related to intellectual property could see Canadians facing increases in the cost of pharmaceuticals in the range of $2.8 billion annually due to an EU demand for increased patent protection. The last time our negotiators appeared before the International Trade Committee was November of last year. We as parliamentarians owe it to Canadians to ensure that these trade agreements provide net benefits to Canadians, not merely impose additional costs.

    Isn’t it time for the Harper government to let Canadians in on these trade deals?

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    • I agree Wayne, CETA was a huge issue in the last election (at least locally), and we had no idea how the government was leaning on this issue.

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    • Wayne: OK, we are worried about the price of pharmaceuticals and I am with you on this. But I think a bigger aspect of International Trade is our exports rather than our imports.

      We have to forge relationships with India, China, Brazil and other emerging economies and start selling our engineering and project management skill to them. Bombardier, SNC Lavalin, Acres Engineering and Accenture are in these countries creating thousands of jobs for Canadians. We need a lot more of this and our government should be leading the parade helping our Canadian businesses with contacts, tendering protocols, housing information etc. to help them get started.

      The US is going down the toilet and we need new sources for our exports.

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      • The Liberal Party has long advocated expanding our trading relationships, of broadening our export presence internationally and the markets in the developing world will increase in importance.

        My concern is that broadening that base will present Canada with a challenge.

        Even Foreign Affairs and International Trade in its recent examination of the state of our trading relationships has projected that as far out as 2040 more than 75% of our exports in terms of merchandise trade will remain with the United States.

        The critical point is that while we work toward expanding our trading relations it is important to ensure that we are reaching the best possible agreements for Canadians and that the process is one which is transparent and open to public scrutiny to ensure that the direction in which we are moving accords with the widest possible public support.

        Your point on India is valid as well and we need to pursue an agreement there as well.

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        • Hi Wayne: Thank you for your comments. You mention that Foreign Affairs and International Trade projects 75% of our exports going to the US through to 2040.

          Have they considered what would happen with a 70 cent US Dollar.

          The US is operating with a National Debt of $14.7 T that costs over $500 B per year to carry.

          They are operating with a $1.5 T deficit and a political system that cannot increase taxes on the rich or cut the huge military budget (currently at $600 B). That is why they are printing money to pay the interest on their debt. On top of that,1/4 of the outstanding mortgages are underwater.

          One of these days China is going to stop buying their bonds because of their concerns for future inflation.

          I think we have to take off our rose coloured glasses when looking at the US Economy and prepare ourselves for a recession down south that could spread to Canada if haven’t prepared ourselves with new trading partners,

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          • I could not agree with Mike more. What troubles me is that to continue our strong trade relationship with the US, we are being forced to sacrifice aspects of Canadian sovereignty. In 2013, the US requires Canadian financial institutions to disclose confidential information on all clients.

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        • On trade with India: Sure so long as that doesn’t mean shipping even more IT jobs there. Indians are now doing the jobs we used to give to our young people. Where will the next generation of Canadian IT workers come from?

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