POLITICS

Tories, NDP MPs Want Liberals To Outline Canada's NAFTA Priorities To Trade Committee

The MPs from both opposition parties are jointly requesting an international trade committee meeting.

07/18/2017 14:00 EDT | Updated 07/18/2017 15:10 EDT
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following a family phto at the Greek Theatre during a G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017.

OTTAWA — Conservative and New Democrat members of Parliament want a trio of federal ministers to appear before a Commons committee immediately to outline Canada's priorities for upcoming NAFTA renegotiation.

The MPs from both opposition parties are jointly sending a letter to the clerk of the international trade committee today, requesting that a meeting be held.

Their request follows the release Monday of the U.S. government's goals for the next iteration of the deal, an 18-page overview which, among other things, calls for better access for American products and services in both Canada and Mexico.

Canadian government not obligated to disclose objectives


The MPs want to hear a similar statement of priorities from the Liberals, specifically from the ministers of International Trade, Foreign Affairs and Finance, as well as Canada's chief negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement talks.

But while U.S. law requires that administration to disclose negotiation objectives, the same obligation does not exist for the Canadian government.

The Liberal government is currently accepting input from the public on a renegotiated deal, asking what elements of NAFTA should be preserved, what should be improved and what new issues need to be addressed to modernize the 23-year-old agreement.