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Policy Briefing: Trade
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chat with officials at the APEC leaders' summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, in November. Both are leaders of countries that on March 8 are set to sign the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. PMO photograph by Adam Scotti

While protectionists idle, Canada is building prosperity at full steam

Opinion|Peter Hall
This week’s expected signing of the CPTPP is giving liberalized trade a needed shot in the arm.
Canada is in the middle of various trade talks including with China, Mercosur, ASEAN, India, and NAFTA. Trade experts say it's a key time for Canada to take advantage of talks before the opportunity is lost to gain access to valuable and attractive markets.
From Asia to Europe to South America, Canada is securing better terms of trade, locking in progressive ambitions on gender, for workers, and for the environment.
With Canada leading the charge to make a major change in the international law governing foreign-investment protection, surely this should be debated in Parliament. Yet, we hear crickets.
Opinion|Tracey Ramsey
They appear powerless to stop duties and tariffs from piling on to Canadian industries.
Softwood lumber, dairy, supercalendered paper, and wine are just some of the other products being fought over.
The tabling of the budget late last month just happened to coincide with Donald Trump’s latest and arguably boldest protectionist action on the trade front, with the president announcing the U.S. will impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports.
Put simply, there’s a perception that Canada is ramping up taxes and restrictions just as the U.S. ramps down.
Canada is set to start formal trade talks with the South American bloc Mercosur, meanwhile it's ready to sign the revised TPP this week, as Donald Trump says he'll impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Ports and airports want the federal government to pick up the pace with grant approvals, while the 2018 budget indicates that billions of dollars worth of infrastructure spending planned for this or next fiscal year will instead be delayed to later years.
If the PM had been serious about trade with India, he would have brought the agriculture minister on his recent trip to help smooth over tariff problems.

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