Tell Trudeau to hit pause on ratifying NAFTA 2.0
TO: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister
CC: Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade
There are troubling reports that Prime Minister Trudeau is on the verge of rushing the ratification of NAFTA 2.0 through Parliament.
Doing so could shut the door on progressive changes that are in the works to make the new deal better for people and the planet.
Right now, progressive Democrats in the U.S. are using their majority power in the House of Representatives to push for stronger environmental and labour provisions in NAFTA 2.0, as well as to reduce protections for pharmaceuticals that lock in higher drug costs for people like you and me, and lock in billions in profit for Big Pharma.
But these much-needed improvements from the U.S. will be harder to achieve if Canada ratifies the deal as-is in the coming weeks.
There’s also the serious issue of President Trump refusing to lift illegal and retaliatory tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
If ratification happens before these issues are properly dealt with, Canada will lose significant negotiating power to ensure those much-needed improvements get made.
It’s not just unilateral steel and aluminum tariffs that are problematic. While NAFTA 2.0 is better than its predecessor, the deal is still rife with problems:
- Canadian dairy farmers would be sacrificed to allow U.S. dairy products into our grocery stores, including milk from cows injected with genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone.
- The provisions around environmental protections are still far too weak, will fast-track the approval of pipelines, and fail to address the twinned climate and water crises.
- There are concerns that rights and protections for workers are still inadequate.
- You will see an increase to the cost of prescription drugs.
- Foreign and domestic corporations would be granted greater rights to monitor and change Canadian regulations to their benefit on a wide range of public policies.
In short, NAFTA 2.0 is still a corporate-first deal that requires significant changes.
And there’s still a good chance to make the deal better for people and the planet – but only if we all come together to demand it.
Call on Mr. Trudeau to do the right thing and hold off on ratifying NAFTA 2.0.