From NZ’s point of view one of the interesting issues arising from the Liberals’ victory in Canada is whether that country will now drop out of the TPP. (This was discussed in comments following yesterday’s post, but I think it bears a bit more examination). What has Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said about the TPP?
A new Liberal government would take a long look at any trade deal signed by the Tories before deciding whether to uphold it, party leader Justin Trudeau said Sunday.
“We will of course evaluate and look at what’s in the deal,” he said in Brampton after a boisterous and crowded rally with dozens of Ontario candidates. “The problem is that (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) has been secretive and non-transparent in this and we need to make sure that we’re actually creating a trade deal that is good for Canadians.”
A major statement on October 5th:
“The Liberal Party of Canada strongly supports free trade, as this is how we open markets to Canadian goods and services, grow Canadian businesses, create good-paying jobs, and provide choice and lower prices to Canadian consumers.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership stands to remove trade barriers, widely expand free trade for Canada, and increase opportunities for our middle class and those working hard to join it. Liberals will take a responsible approach to thoroughly examining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Harper Conservatives have failed to be transparent through the entirety of the negotiations – especially in regards to what Canada is conceding in order to be accepted into this partnership.
“The government has an obligation to be open and honest about the negotiation process, and immediately share all the details of any agreement. Canadians deserve to know what impacts this agreement will have on different industries across our country. The federal government must keep its word and defend Canadian interests during the TPP’s ratification process – which includes defending supply management, our auto sector, and Canadian manufacturers across the country.
“If the Liberal Party of Canada earns the honour of forming a government after October 19th, we will hold a full and open public debate in Parliament to ensure Canadians are consulted on this historic trade agreement.”
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says he would consult both Parliament and the provincial premiers before ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will not allow his MPs a free vote on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Another statement on October 19th:
“The Liberal Party of Canada strongly supports free trade, as this is how we open markets to Canadian goods and services, grow Canadian businesses, create good-paying jobs, and provide choice and lower prices to Canadian consumers,” said the Liberals in a statement released within hours of the announcement of the deal. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership stands to remove trade barriers, widely expand free trade for Canada, and increase opportunities for our middle class and those working hard to join it.”
Summing up, Trudeau has been critical of the secrecy surrounding the TPP, he is committed to consulting widely on it, and he has strongly stated his party’s commitment to free trade. Some see this as casting doubts on the TPP, but I don’t have that reading. I think it’s pretty clear that Trudeau and The Liberals are going to support it. There is one big variable left, however, and that is the farmers:
Canadian farmers plan to lobby any new prime minister to reverse TPP deal
Canadian farmers have vowed to pressure a new government to abandon the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, because it will remove protection for dairy farmers.
National Farmers’ Union president Jan Slomp said the Canada’s dairy industry could disappear in 10 years without protection, with Quebec dairy farmers worst affected.
“We will revisit the TPP under any new government and say it is achieved under false pretences, and also the Liberal Party has spent significant amount of time stating support for supply management,” Mr Slomp said.
“The one thing coming to our rescue hopefully is the province of Quebec, which fervently supports supply management. “Their agriculture sector depends on it more than any other province,” he said.
“Assuming we get a Liberal Government, (they will be pressured) to somehow back-peddle on this secretly derived TPP agreement.” …
With his big election win Trudeau can afford to ignore the farmers and press ahead with the agreement. But – conservatives in rural seats just got massacred. Farmers are angry. If Trudeau decided to work with farmers and scrap the TPP, he could lock in their newly mobile support, and give the Liberals a very broad base. The temptation to set themselves up as the “natural party of government” for the foreseeable future could be a strong one!