Laval, QC, August 28, 2018 – The following is a statement from Teamsters Canada President François Laporte on the bilateral agreement-in-principle between the United States and Mexico to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):
“Teamsters Canada is pleased that Canada will be returning to the NAFTA negotiating table following the ‘handshake agreement’ between the United States and Mexico. Its details will need to be carefully studied as Canada and the U.S. work toward a tripartite trade agreement.
“Canada and the U.S. are each other’s most important trading partners and biggest export markets – not China, not Mexico. The U.S. enjoys a US$8.4 billion trade surplus with Canada. Millions of jobs on both sides of the border depend on a stable trade relationship between both countries, including 5000 dairy workers in Canada represented by the Teamsters.
“Dairy represents under 0.5% of total trade between both countries. The U.S. enjoyed a US$518 million dairy trade surplus with Canada in 2017. Canada consistently buys dairy products from the U.S. worth five times more than the small amount we export there.
“Our hope is that the parties will continue moving toward the Canadian labour proposal, and that provisions on labour rights will be enforceable. In the meantime, we will continue working with our International Union in Washington, DC, toward a tripartite NAFTA that works for workers.”
Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, represents 1.4 million workers in North America.
Director of Public Affairs