To the Editor:
Trade is critical to the Canadian economy; in fact, one-in-five Canadian jobs and 60 per cent of Canada’s GDP are dependent on trade. Global trade tensions and diplomatic failures have created pressure on Canadian producers of products such as barley, corn, oats, pulses, soybeans and wheat.
This is one reason Conservatives requested an emergency session of parliament to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Conservatives recognize the importance of the CPTPP to our economy; while the Trudeau Liberals have left this important trade agreement stalled in the House of Commons, delaying its introduction and failing to take steps to advance it to secure first mover advantage over our competitors.
With the U.S. providing a $12-billion bailout to ease tariff pain for American farmers, it is imperative the Liberals ensure this does not worsen market conditions for Canadian producers by taking steps to diversify Canada’s export markets.
Whether it is market access for our natural resources, tax and regulatory competitiveness, or international trade diversification, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have failed to address Canada’s faltering position in the global economy. They have also failed to maintain, and contributed to the decline in access to some key export markets for our agricultural products.
Pulse growers looking to India are now facing higher duties, severe import restrictions and they still do not have a long term fumigation agreement. Italy has closed its doors to Canadian durum wheat and Saudi Arabia has stopped buying our wheat and barley.
Canada has an opportunity to show leadership on the world stage. We should step up, ratify this agreement and put pressure on other signatory countries to do the same. The Liberals need to act immediately to ratify the CPTPP and diversify export markets for our Canadian producers without further jeopardizing any existing access.
The Conservative Party recognizes the importance of the CPTPP, its role in our economy, and the good paying jobs trade creates. Conservatives will continue to voice their support for this critical trade agreement.
Under the leadership of Andrew Scheer, Canada’s Conservatives will continue to defend our vital agriculture industry, holding Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to account. We will continue to work with our producers to help them survive the Liberals’ failures on behalf of Canada’s farmers.
John Barlow and Luc Berthold
Conservative Shadow Ministers for Agriculture