January 26th, 2018 - 5:08pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 26, 2018
MASSE STATEMENT ON GOVERNMENT AGREEMENT ON CPTPP: Canadian Automotive Concerns Neglected
WINDSOR, ON – On January 23, 2018, the Government of Canada committed Canadians to the Comprehensive and Progressive Partnership for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with ten other countries including Australia, Brunei, Chili, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru and Vietnam.
According to the government, the agreement included automotive commitments on standards, regulations, and market access, with certain countries including Japan. However, it remains unclear whether this market access will actually improve access for our Canadian automotive companies to these nations who will also have increased access to our domestic market.
My NDP colleagues and I stand alongside automotive manufacturers and workers in this country who have voiced our respective concerns and who felt blindsided by this announcement. We know that without seeing the text, and how it will impact the automotive sector and our workers, it is impossible to gauge the real impact that this will have on this industry in Canada.
In response to this portion of the proposed agreement, Ford of Canada’s Vice President of Government Relations, Caroline Hughes said, “Ford of Canada is also very concerned and disappointed by the government’s decision to sign onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement without consulting the industry. Ford is concerned that the current agreement is going to reduce the competitiveness of its current operations,” she said, noting vehicle standards, taxation policies, documentation requirements and inspection rules are different for each country.
The Canadian Association of Vehicle Manufacturers (CVMA) stated: “The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA) remains concerned that the tentative CPTPP agreement announced today will disadvantage auto companies that have invested in job sustaining manufacturing in Canada while providing competitive advantage to other TPP countries. The CVMA remains concerned that access for automotive exports from our factories to the CPTPP markets has not been materially improved by the agreement”.
Jerry Dias, President of Unifor, said, “Despite a new name, there is nothing remotely progressive about the TPP, and Unifor remains opposed to this bad trade deal. Rebranding TPP as Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a joke. It isn’t progress for workers—it’s a broken promise by the government.”
Even the President of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA), Flavio Volpe, has made it clear to the Liberal Government that this agreement needs to meet the needs of the Canadian automotive industry or it just does not make sense. They presented a paper to the Minister of International Trade that highlights their concerns and how it will impact the automotive parts manufacturers.
We have seen the projected numbers on the damage this Agreement will have on our economy and they are not good. This deal will jeopardize 58,000 jobs across the board in Canada with 20,000 in the automotive industry alone. Together, Mayors of 20 Ontario auto communities urged the Trudeau Liberals to kill this deal and protect the automotive sector – a sector that employs more than 115,000 people directly. In fact, the latest trade deficit numbers in Canada for 2017 cite the automotive industry as the only reason that the deficit didn’t widen further due to increased imports and exports in the automotive industry. The Liberals are gambling with this vital economic industry.
Without seeing the deal, its language, and provisions, Canadians cannot be confident that this is in our nation’s best interests. On April 18, 2016, I asked in the House of Commons for the Liberals to stop with this “job-killing trade deal.” In response, then Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, David Lametti MP, confirmed that the Liberals would study the deal and bring it before Parliament and the Canadian people, before signing.
Our NDP International Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey (Essex) said, “New Democrats have long been concerned by the secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations and despite promises to be transparent, the Liberal government continues to give Canadians vague updates and mixed messages. Canadians deserve clear and definitive answers on what is included in this deal, and deserve a government that does not negotiate trade deals behind closed doors.”
With Parliament set to resume sitting next week, I call on the Liberal Government to stand by their word and be transparent. Show Canadians the agreement immediately and let those in the automotive sector, and other impacted sectors, have their say about the provisions affecting them.
For more information: Melanie Namespetra 613-996-1541 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Darlene Dunn Mahler 519-255-1631