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A united front on NAFTA

MP Colin Carrie returns from Washington following opposition visit

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

They may butt heads inside the House of Commons, but on a recent visit to Washington, MP Colin Carrie says the Conservatives are looking to show a united front with the federal Liberals when it comes to dealing with NAFTA negotiations.

Carrie travelled to Washington along with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and the Official Opposition delegation to meet with businesspeople and members of the Senate and Congress to discuss the ongoing negotiations surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

A lot of uncertainty continues to circle around the commitment of the United States to maintaining the agreement, and the potential impacts on supply chains that could have a ripple effect on many Canadian industries, including the auto sector.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty out there which is not good for any future investment for our countries and our communities, that’s for sure,” Carrie says.

For that reason, Carrie notes that much of the dialogue from the delegation was in support of what the Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to do in the negotiations.

“The idea is to show a united front because these are thousands of jobs that have been created by NAFTA,” he says. “We want to do our part and see what we can do.”

According to Carrie, one in five Canadian jobs is a result of a free trade agreement, and maintaining the agreement in order to protect jobs is a top priority.

“We want to get the best deal we can for Canadian families, for the workers, (and) the businesses,” Carrie says.

Throughout the course of the negotiations, which held its last round of discussions in Montreal this past week, President Donald Trump has continually issued statements hinting his desire to pull out of the deal.

“Recently we have heard that Mr. Trump is seriously thinking about making the notice to withdraw,” Carrie said, adding it makes it all the more important for Canadian politicians to put partisanship aside and focus on what is best for Canada.

“We want to put our best foot forward internationally and let people know,” Carrie said.

With the Montreal talks wrapped up, the next round is scheduled to take place in Mexico.