Unifor warns CPTPP legislation hurts NAFTA trade position


September 17, 2018

TORONTO – Unifor warns that rushed debate on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) legislation hurts Canada’s trade position at a crucial point in NAFTA negotiations.

“The CPTPP includes loose cultural protection, an expansion of foreign imports in supply-managed industries as well as weak and unenforceable labour standards – key issues that Canada is fighting for at the NAFTA negotiating table,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “How do we tell the U.S. and Mexico that we won’t surrender Canadian markets, reduce labour standards and open ourselves up to massive job loss when that is exactly what we are in the process of doing with ten other nations?”

The government’s decision to accelerate Bill C-79, the CPTPP Implementation Act, illustrates a disjointed trade strategy, as workers in key economic sectors including auto, forestry, paper products and steel and aluminum remain under threat by an unpredictable Trump administration.

If passed, the CPTPP will also lower auto content rules without creating any reciprocal access to the Japanese auto market.

“The signing of the CPTPP was a speedy reaction to the international instability created by Trump,” said Dias. “Now it’s time for both the Liberals and Conservatives to slow down and put the brakes on until the outcome of the NAFTA negotiations are known. Once we have clarified rules with our largest trading partners then the CPTPP can be reevaluated and, I would advocate, renegotiated.” 

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at @email  or 416-896-3303 (cell).