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trade

Re: Larry Miller's Op-Ed http://owensoundhub.org/letters/5977-usmca-end-of-canadian-sovereignty.html

The U.S. wanted out of Chapter 19 - and they were adamant about it, this was one of the major sticking points for a long time. The U.S. wanted to settle all disputes in their court system. While Mr. Miller may wish to characterize this as getting something we already had, we had to negotiate that back on to the table.

Then Mr. Miller says, "Canada offered up increased access to supply managed industries like dairy, eggs, chicken and turkey". While he is correct that the government agreed to open up 3.25% of the dairy market to the U.S. - that is EXACTLY what the Conservatives chose to do under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)  they negotiated and that originally included the United States!

And let's not forget, the Conservatives also elected to give a massive $4.3 billion handout to dairy farmers as a result of the TPP agreement. Given there are only 12,500 dairy farmers in Canada, that would have resulted in each farmer getting a $22,500 annual subsidy, every year for 15 years. Conservatives love to talk about individual responsibility and rejecting corporate welfare and "handouts", but when it comes to their base and their traditional demographic of support, suddenly they're fine to dole out taxpayers money to a very small fraction of Canadians.

As far as drug prices go, Europe and other parts of the world agreed to 12 year waiting periods before they would allow their domestic pharma companies to produce generic versions of U.S. drug company products. Canada was around 8 years originally but are now aligned with much of the rest of the world. Canada simply enjoyed an unfair advantage as compared to other countries (many of whom are our other trading partners) for a long time. Now it's an even playing field - fair's fair Mr. Miller.

While article 32.10 is concerning, it only involves "non-market" countries like China with whom we might negotiate a broad trade agreement. While there is legitimate concern as to the nature of this chapter, it was likely a trade off to retain something far more important - Chapter 19.

Opposition parties have to find something wrong with whatever the governing party does/says. It's their job. However, their critique shouldn't be taken at face value. Do the research and find out for yourself whether the criticism is legitimate. Most of Mr. Miller's critique is not.

Nigel Osborne

Durham


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