The final week of August has been brutal for Canadian Liberals in Ottawa, and Conservatives believe that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s lack of leadership is to blame for the current state of affairs as they relate to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Tories are escalating their criticism against the way the Liberals are handling NAFTA negotiations. Earlier this year, Conservative leaders actually sided with PM Trudeau when he retaliated against the draconian import tariffs imposed by United States President Donald Trump earlier this year; however, now that the time has come to actually negotiate NAFTA, the Tories believe that party leader Andrew Scheer would have done a much better job since he has experience in this regard.
In the past, Scheer has been appointed to lead trade delegations and meeting with his American counterparts; these meetings have been successful because Scheer was able to articulate the benefits of unity and trade partnerships. PM Trudeau, on the other hand, is currently stuck on political rhetoric.
Conservatives are specifically concerned about the NAFTA talks conducted between Mexico and the United States without the presence of Canadian trade delegates. Even the Mexican trade representatives brought up this issue, which the Americans casually brushed off and attributed to political tensions between Trump and Trudeau.
As the situation stands, Canada is mostly on the sidelines of the NAFTA negotiations. The advice passed on by Conservatives to PM Trudeau and his trade advisor has been ignored. It is time to face reality and allow the Tories to step in for the good of Canada; trade and politics do not always mix, and this is something that Conservatives know better than the Liberals.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.