Photo: Ryan Remiorz, The canadian Press
According to the minister of public Safety, Ralph Goodale, Canada is the largest export market for 35 u.s. States, a trade of which depend on the nine million jobs across the United States.
Two government ministers Trudeau will spend the next few days in the United States to convince the elected us to protect the trade relationship between Canada and their countries.
“It is an unrelenting effort,” admitted the minister of public Safety, Ralph Goodale, in an interview while he was on the road at Kentucky.
“We have an important relationship to preserve, and we have an important message to convey that it is necessary to repeat constantly to ensure that it is heard. “
Direction Kentucky and Tennessee
These visits take place in Kentucky and Tennessee, two neighboring States, a little more than two weeks before the sixth round of negotiations of the free trade Agreement north american (NAFTA), which will begin on January 23 in Montreal.
The minister of Agriculture, Lawrence MacAulay, will spend the week-end in Tennessee for the annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization that represents american farmers. Five thousand delegates of the agricultural world are expected to attend. His message will be, perhaps, to the ears of the us president, Donald Trump, since it must give a speech.
Mr. Goodale is involved, as to him, the 23rd Day of the Chamber of commerce in Kentucky on Thursday. This annual event brings together a large number of representatives of the business world and the political class.
Mr. Goodale will meet with the governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, the secretary of the department of economic Development, Terry Gill, one of the Justice and public Safety, John Tilley, the Agriculture commissioner, Ryan Quarles, and the ambassador of the United States, Canada, Kelly Craft, who grew up in that State.
“Kentucky is a State strategic where the business community has already expressed loud and clear in our favor,” explained the minister, noting that the leader of the republican majority in the u.s. Senate, Mitch McConnell, is one of the representatives of this State in Washington.
The Chamber of commerce of Kentucky is one of 300 organizations have signed in October a letter addressed to the us president, Donald Trump, asking him to keep NAFTA, or even to modernize it. It has repeatedly threatened to withdraw his country from the free trade agreement.
Mr. Goodale will present to its interlocutors that more than 100 000 jobs there depend on trade with Canada, which amounted to US $10.9 billion annually. One-quarter of the exports of Kentucky are intended for the canadian market, according to the ministry of world Affairs. In the top of the list is its famous whisky.
“The key message is that NAFTA is important, that the trade relationship between Canada and the United States is important to one side or the other, that we need to work very hard to ensure that we do not harm this relationship and find ways to strengthen it “, he detailed.
“It is extremely important not to disrupt or interfere with the movement of goods from one side to the other of the border,” he added, pointing out that the supply chains of many companies extend from both sides of the border.
Canada is the largest export market for 35 american States, was recalled by Mr. Goodale. A trade of which depend on the nine million jobs across the United States.
The charm of the Trudeau government that began last spring to save the NAFTA continues in 2018. Thirty ministers and parliamentary secretaries have participated up to now. The assistance of the provincial premiers, mayors and representatives of chambers of commerce has also been sought.
Difficult for the moment to say if these efforts are bearing fruit. At the most recent round of negotiations of the NAFTA in Mexico, some progress had been made in sectors that are less contentious, such as e-commerce, but the proposals most controversial issues affecting the automotive sector had not advanced.
The original maturity date of December 2017 to complete the renegotiation of the commercial treaty has been postponed. The negotiators for Canada, the United States and Mexico will continue the talks until at least next march.