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JT Singing Off Key While Obama Slow Jams the Benefits of TPP

Posted On 2022-06-13 00:00:00

OTTAWA – A few weeks ago at the conclusion of the G7 Summit in Japan, the tone on trade in the Leaders’ Declaration was coordinated, in that the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fight all forms of protectionism and encourage trade liberalization efforts through regional trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The problem is that not everyone was singing from the same song sheet. The odd man out was of course Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau who has bought into the protectionist rhetoric, and whose non-position on the TPP agreement bared no resemblance to the commitments he made in the declaration.

Allies understand the importance of the TPP agreement to Japan is as much a trade strategy as it is a foreign policy strategy, especially as tensions rise over regional territorial disputes. At a press conference after their bilateral meeting, it was painfully awkward seeing Trudeau show real indifference to Prime Minister Abe’s push to seek early ratification of the TPP together with Canada. In sharp contrast, viral footage of Obama from the Tonight Show last week showed the President slow jam the benefits of the TPP.

If it’s not already known, the Liberal government’s position regarding the lack of consultations during negotiations is becoming more evidently false as witness testimony piles up during TPP hearings at the House of Commons trade committee. Union opposition to the agreement, like Teamsters Canada, finally admitted on record that they had the opportunity to fully participate with TPP negotiators, but chose not to. One can only assume that the willful ignorance deployed on behalf of union members by their bosses was to maintain the self-fulfilling prophecy of being ostracized from negotiations.

Justin Trudeau and his Trade Minister continue to embrace the vocal negatives of protectionism at the expense of Canadian consumers, exporters, innovators, investors and job creators. Canadians deserve an honest answer from this government on such an important trade agreement. Members of Parliament are awaiting the promise of a timely and full debate on the TPP. The longer the Liberals pontificate the more out of tune Canada becomes on the world stage.

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