Canada, Mexico, United States discussed on The Current
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The the latest job numbers declining foreign investment and worries about regional alien are raising fears that the future may not be so bright. And of course who knows if the grinch is lurking in the shadows because new Nafta's still has to be ratified by each country here to look at all of this. Is Our national affairs panel. Katie Simpson is a senior reporter with CBC News. She's been covering the Nafta talks and now the deal and we eastern Mexico City. Heather Scoffield is an economics columnist for the Toronto Star. She's in our Ottawa Studio and Kelly cried. Herman is a Calgary based reporter for the Globe and Mail who covers business and politics and she joins us from there. Hello to you all morning heather. Let's let's start with you. What are the positives? You see for Canada in this new trade agreement. It's a big relief. I think to you Well from from the business community point of view to just have some stability into know that there is something finally written on paper that yes it still has to go through ratification but it looks like ah you know all this. Everything's lined up for that to finally happen so you know for the last three years business every time you want to go and make an investment and every time you want to think where you're going to put your next dollar you've been you've been Surrounded by this uncertainty not knowing what's Donald Trump going to do next asked what he's what's he going to demand for his own economy What are the rules of the game and so you have second thoughts about investing in Canada and so this gives some kind of certainty in a very the very uncertain world? I mean there's all sorts of other things out there for sure but but this is this is one big piece that that is finally settled. Katie you are in Mexico City. What was the mood like among Canadian eighteen delegates at the signing ceremony? Mexico's National Palace. I think there's a sense that this is actually now in the final stretch and they can finally finally proceed with the domestic ratification process. And they're relieved. Everyone thought that this was going to be over about a year ago when they signed off on this does aries the sidelines of the G. Twenty people knew would be difficult with the changing political dynamic in the United States however now there seems to be a bigger sense sense of relief but one thing that I want to point out. That was really strange inside. The Room is when the Americans got up to speak at yesterday signing ceremony it was. US Trade Representative Robert Bert Lighthizer who spoke on behalf of the American delegation. And he was. It almost became uncomfortable the way he was gushing about the American or about out the Mexicans and and how the president was a historic figure and and how they put the best person possible in in this position to negotiate gate. This and they didn't let politics get in the way and the key to that is the Americans were so pleased to get the concessions out of Mexico. Soco's that they were able to get that ball blight heiser was just. He couldn't contain himself at the ceremony. Yesterday okay well we know. Then it's going to be a a big selling point for trump in Washington them but tell us what's in this agreement that allows the Canadian government to frame this as a win win win Kristof religious said well Christopher your freely in the Canadian government is trying to take credit for some of the changes that were added to this agreement and When Nafta negotiations originally began back in two thousand seventeen the the conservatives that actually criticized the Liberals for trying to put some things in there that were to progressive particularly around the environment? Well what do you know two years later when it's time for the Democrats to have a say in all of this in the United States That the environment would be a big deal. So the the changes that have been added to this agreement relate to environmental environmental and labor provisions and making sure particularly in Mexico. The Mexican companies live up to the Labor standards and they've they've sort of changed the onus here that if a company is believed to have been violating the standards and not meeting the standards that have been set out by this agreement. It's up to the company to prove that es in violation of the or it's up to that they are following the rules that are in place it reverses the onus and so there's a big push to make sure that inspections can be done in Mexican facilities to make sure again. There are those standards and make sure that there is the right to collective bargaining in Mexico. Things like that so the major changes are really targeting. are really targeting Mexico but there is one change that really stands out for Canada and that has to do with pharmaceutical drugs. Dogs the new Nafta the the one that was negotiated in two thousand eighteen that all three countries signed off on had this provision that large pharmaceutical companies could develop and be protected texted from generic companies taking their science to make generic drugs for ten years in Canada. The current law or the current rules are eight years so this would give those big pharmaceutical companies two more years to make those big profits and it would mean that the higher drug prices could be charged for an additional two years. Well the Democrats got that entire provision stripped out so it will remain status quo in Canada Kelly. Credit and Calgary what is the view from there is Canada's seen to lost in it in any ground in this agreement. Well I you know I think in For all the reasons that Heather in Katie of laid out there is is a sense of relief that there is any stability and any solid agreement that can really be relied on as as as Canadian companies look for investment as they look for some kind of stability. I think they're this does not put an end to what might happen out of the US. The Donald Trump administration. This does not put an end to the uncertainties there. the ratification process for this will take place in the US. Maybe a day after the impeachment impeachment vote so there there's still a lot of uncertainty. I think what is really interesting to me. Is What is interesting to Albertson's in a lot of respect to is the messaging that came from Christie a freeland on this of course. She emphasized at a in Mexico City yesterday that that this will this new Nafta after deal will require a seventy percent North American aluminum component. Of course that is focused at Quebec Major aluminum producer deuce her and that that was important. Because right away you had Block leader Mr Blanchette saying that. This deal isn't good enough for Quebec so I think the messaging on this back to Canada was really interesting because we have a government. A minority government needs to rely on the other parties. The other parties are going to be looking at the de details details of this deal and and really they will have an actual say in this unlike If if this agreement had come to fruition before The October vote that led to a minority government so I think the messaging back to the Conservatives to the block to the. MVP is really interesting in this case. Heather we we are. There are growing concerns about the health of the Canadian. Economy is this deal is signed. What what did the latest job numbers tell us? Well we had We've had a really great year in terms of job creation until last month. Where where where the where we had a major setback And you know every economist will say okay. Let's let's look past. It's the number you have to. You have to look over over time and not get too carried away about one month But you know there is. There is certainly a lot of concern. I think that the global economy is slowing down And that growth levels in Canada are just not what what we what we've become used to. They're not what they used to be an in and going forward. We won't be seeing a lot of strong growth so You know there. There is a fear that this one month will be a sign of things to come or or that or that. You know we're just heading into a period of of of slow growth and weakness. Generally that even if people are getting jobs they're not getting there. There's just not a lot of momentum. I mentioned in the economy so that our standard of living over time is is eroding. We'll jobs are one thing. Heather what what are other indicators that suggest the country could be heading for recession in two thousand twenty. Well I don't think You know nobody's crying recession yet in a serious way But we do have quite a few challenges on on on the horizon that that that suggests some some times I think investment is one of the one of the things that Quite a few people who are concerned about we had some ups and downs For sure but Especially in the patch. I think Kelly Kelly knows a lot about that but That they in the third quarter. We had some really Concerning serving investment numbers and and you know with all the uncertainty that we see globally That that looks to be a sign of things to come and Kellyanne hustle prized where you by the national numbers given unemployment in Alberta. I was surprised to see such a dramatic turn in the national numbers of course A A low ebb. Economy is something that elbruz been dealing with the last five years and there are a lot of striking numbers in the the statistics. Canada job report for November. Of course it's just one month it's a snapshot but we saw you know not only the Drop in job numbers nationally but in Alberta we we saw another increase in the unemployment rate another eighteen thousand jobs lawson and really strikingly a really high jump in the unemployment rate among young young men Under age twenty five basically in one in five young men in Alberta under the age of twenty five is unemployed right now according to the November numbers. And you know if that's not a political issue I don't know what is when you have young men without work and what was really striking to me. This week is Federal Finance Minister Bill. More no saying he doesn't He doesn't worry too much about recession..