Details continue to emerge surrounding the new trade agreement between Canada and the United States. A deal was struck late Sunday evening on September 30.
The new deal, dubbed USMCA (United States Mexico Canada Agreement), was finalized after weeks of negotiating and uncertainty. Member of Parliament for Souris-Moose Mountain Dr. Robert Kitchen spoke with Discover Weyburn about his early thoughts on the trade deal. He's optimistic the USMCA can benefit Canadians and Canadian businesses.
"We're still looking through it to see if it's a good deal for Canada, or not. Like most Canadians, we're hopeful this new deal will be a good deal for the Canadian economy," Kitchen said.
Reports are emerging Canada had to give up concessions in some areas to "win" in other industries. Even though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out and said, "no deal is better than a bad deal," Dr. Kitchen is wary of the sectors that will be impacted in the long run following the new trade deal.
"The tariffs that are still there on steel and aluminium, they haven't changed. The tariffs on softwood lumber are still there," he explained. "On top of that, he's made concessions on the Dairy industry, which he said he would continue to defend."
Kitchen assured that the Official Opposition would continue to inquire about the details of the agreement. As of yesterday, he and his party had not yet received the full document outlining all the points of the USMCA.
Question Period is where the Conservatives will continue to dig deeper into the Liberals and attempt to find out more details. The House of Commons is sure to be animated as more details continue to emerge. Kitchen stated Canada has lost a lot of investors which negatively impacts the economy. However, he and his party were concerned with one main factor throughout the lengthy negotiation process.
"This is about, 'how do we keep jobs here in Canada?' And that's the main thing we want to focus on, and that's the main I want to focus on," Kitchen said. "How do we not only keep jobs not only in Canada but how do we keep jobs in southeast Saskatchewan."
One thing that worries Dr. Kitchen is the initial reactions from both the United States government and that of the Liberals. One of the main goals of the Trump Administration was to rework NAFTA. Mexico signed on a few weeks ago, leaving Canada as the odd-man out and with little bargaining power.
"After all of this negotiating, the Americans are saying what they got out of it. What this government is saying is, 'what we didn't lose,'" the MP said.
With some industries being hurt by the agreement, it will now have to be decided if this was the right call for Canada for the long term. How this decision plays out could leave a lasting legacy for this Liberal government.
"As we go through the document, and obviously it's a huge document. Getting through it we need to see exactly all the particulars of it," Kitchen said. "As we move forward, we're going to make this Liberal government accountable for every single line in this agreement."