The GNCC is pleased to hear that a deal in principle has been reached for a renewed trade agreement between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The uncertainty created by negotiations over NAFTA and the brewing tariff war have already had negative effects on the Canadian economy, which have been felt in Niagara, and this deal may bring that uncertainty to an end.
We are grateful to Minister Freeland and her negotiating team for having reached an agreement under difficult circumstances. Given the clouds that hung over the proceedings, the GNCC believes the value of their hard work cannot be overstated.
Both the GNCC and our partners at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce feel it is too early to assess the prospective deal, and that a comprehensive review of the precise terms of the agreement is necessary before we can say for sure whether it will be an improvement over NAFTA, how it will affect the Canadian economy, and what Niagara’s place in it will be.
We feel the important lesson to be drawn from this episode of Canadian economic history is the danger in becoming overly dependent upon a single trading partner. CETA offers new opportunities in Europe, and new trade deals with Asian countries may be forthcoming. The GNCC feels the best use of this trilateral North American agreement would be to buy Canada a breathing space in which to diversify our trade and to decrease our vulnerability to the tactics which the United States recently employed against us.