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Published on Saturday, January 27, 2018

Auto mayors critical of Trudeau's TPP reversal

Oakville mayor calls on government to rethink new Trans-Pacific Partnership

Auto mayors critical of Trudeau's TPP reversal
Metroland photo
Oakville Ford Assembly Plant
Oakville Beaver

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton and other Ontario mayors with key interests in the auto sector are calling on the federal government to rethink the new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

In a press release issued Jan. 25, the Auto Mayors advocacy group expressed concern that the agreement would undermine the Canadian automotive industry’s competitiveness and ongoing success, particularly in Ontario.

Canada agreed to a revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Jan. 23.

“The Comprehensive & Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) deal will have profound implications for the Ontario auto sector and our communities if it fails to recognize the uniquely integrated nature of the auto industry in North America,” said Burton, chair of the Auto Mayors.

“The Auto Mayors are calling on the Canadian government to justify its apparent undercutting of the Canadian auto industry and NAFTA talks currently underway. We believe it isn’t a fair trade agreement. It overlooks the auto sector — a vital part of the Canadian economy.”

Oakville Mayor and Auto Mayors Chair Rob Burton.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the agreement, which was reached with 10 other countries in Tokyo, is “the right deal.”

“Our government stood up for Canadian interests and this agreement meets our objectives of creating and sustaining growth, prosperity and well paying middle class jobs today and for generations to come,” he said during a press conference.

Critics of the original deal, signed February 2016, said it was deeply flawed and contained major concessions that would negatively affect Canada’s auto and dairy industries, cultural sector and access to affordable medicines.

“Despite a new name, there is nothing remotely progressive about the TPP, and Unifor remains opposed to this bad trade deal,” said Unifor national president Jerry Dias, head of Canada’s largest private sector union.

“Rebranding TPP as a progressive agreement ... is a joke. It isn’t progress for workers — it’s a broken promise by the government.”

Burton also questioned why the federal government accepted the CPTPP while it is still trying to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico.

“The Auto Mayors are calling on the Canadian government to justify its apparent undercutting of the Canadian auto industry and NAFTA talks currently underway,” he said.

“We believe it isn’t a fair trade agreement. It overlooks the auto sector — a vital part of the Canadian economy.”

Burton said the federal government needs to ensure the Ontario automotive industry is not adversely affected by content rules, vehicle standards, documentation requirement and the phasing of tariff reductions relative to other countries.

He noted the current deal needs to eliminate existing nontariff barriers, as well as prevent future potential barriers to Canadian exports.

The Auto Mayors are urging the federal government to work collaboratively with the Canadian auto industry to address their concerns and halt any CPTPP discussions regarding Canada’s auto sector until the NAFTA renegotiations have been completed.

“We need to work together to maintain and expand automotive manufacturing in Ontario,” said Burton.

The Auto Mayors work collaboratively at the provincial and federal levels to promote awareness, advocacy and strategic policy initiatives to strengthen the Canadian economy by keeping the automotive sector strong as a driver of employment, innovation and productivity advances across the Canadian economy.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

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