When U.S. President Donald Trump followed through on his promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacfic Partnership, many people speculated the deal was dead in the water. Similarly, Canada has also faced threats of NAFTA withdrawal by the U.S. within the same three month period.
For many of the remaining countries, including Canada, these real or idle threats by President Tump have been an encouragement to find a more diversified trade portfolio. This is not to say that Canada/U.S. trade is no longer important, because it is. What it means, though, is that Canada now has an excuse to expand its exports globally and reduce the reliance on trade with the United States, just in case President Trump decides to follow through on his threats.
Shaun Haney discussed the Toronto TPP meetings on RFD-TV’s Market Day Report
Canada participated in the first TPP post-U.S. era meeting in Chile in March and is hosting the remaining signatory countries in Toronto, Ont., this week. All of this is in preparation for upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of trade ministers in Vietnam.
Canada bills itself as “the bridge between the Pacific and the Atlantic, and we’re happy to host them. It shows that Canada is front and centre when it comes to trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
– Canada’s International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne (courtesy of Bloomberg)
It seems that involvement in TPP is an issue that even the Conservative and Liberals can and should agree on. Even going back to last fall Gerry Ritz, Conservative trade critic was saying Canada should proceed on TPP no matter what the U.S. decided.
It was no accident that a Canadian delegation was also in China last week in an attempt to increase softwood lumber exports to the economic powerhouse. All of this was in response to the United States implementing its one billion dollar countervailing duties on softwood lumber.
In the long run, a more diversified trade portfolio for Canada makes its economy stronger and creates added stability as the United States looks to renegotiate many of its multi-lateral and bilateral trade deals around the world.