That was the word Premier Scott Moe used early and often throughout his press conference in Saskatoon Monday, as he described the new tri-lateral trade deal Canada joined the night before. The deal is known as the United States, Mexico and Canada trade agreement, the USMCA for short.
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Canada joined at the 11th hour, barely avoiding the US government’s October 1st deadline. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau characterized signing onto the re-vamped deal Sunday as “a great day for Canada.”
For Moe, there’s a lot to like, especially the access Saskatchewan has to their largest trading partner in the United States.
— David Boles (@DavidJBoles) October 1, 2018
“We’re pleased with the efforts and the Government of Canada and our bargaining committees in the fact that they have been able to get to an agreement with what is our largest trading partner,” said Moe. “I think it’s important for us to recognize that this preserves the free and fair trade opportunities that we have.”
According to the Premier, 55% of Saskatchewan exports go to the USA, with 85% of Saskatchewan imports come from their southern neighbours.
“Preserving that type of trading environment with that large of a partner is of crucial importance to our province.”
There are aspects of the deal Moe is concerned about, a prominent one being Section 232, which pertains to tariffs on steel and aluminum. US President Donald Trump has said steel and aluminum tariffs would remain “until such time as we can do something that would be different, like quotas perhaps, so that our industry is protected.”
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“It also affects our manufacturing industry here in Saskatchewan, manufacturing industry such as those suppliers or manufacturers of agricultural equipment that are exporting that equipment all over North America as well.”
Moe noted there’s more work the Trudeau government has to do with the US government on this issue, noting conversations have been had with Trudeau, Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale and Minister of Internal Trade Dominic Leblanc.