NAFTA 2.0

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How do you take down criminal network hidden in the shadows? I tell him that. I know that they're the ones who are running the largest child abuse website on the dark net the journalists working to expose the darkest corners of the Internet. That's your playroom for that's your baby's clothes. That's my house. The police ace who hunt down online predators. The environment. They're using no we didn't we didn't make it. They made it hunting. MOORHEAD subscribe wherever you get at your podcasts. This is a CBC DC podcast. Hi I'm Laura Lynch this podcast from the December eleventh edition of the current. All of us together have finally accomplished what we set out to do at the very outset. A Win Win Win. Agreement which will provide stability for workers in all three of our countries for for many years to come the noon after deal is all wrapped up with a bow just in time for the holidays and Deputy Prime Minister Christa. Freeland may sound Mary. 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. And I worry about that personally because we have in Canada in the global economy seen years of growth and anytime That cyclical process reaches this point. I think you know policy-makers he makers need to be very worried about recession about A lot of a lot of possible headwinds. So I just you know and the concern from Alberta's Verte whether The federal liberals are taking those economic concerns seriously of course Katie during the election campaign the liberals promised to deliver on on both climate action action and economic growth and. I'm wondering how much of the agenda hinges on bringing foreign investment back all that is certainly something that has been a challenge for the liberal government when it was when it had its majority mandate I think one thing that we're going to see a now that this the big chunk of the Nafta negotiations is sort of put to bed and Christopher Freeland freeland. Can you know get back to Canada. Take on this new role that she can sort of focus less on that candidate. US relationship and now focus on making sure that the concerns of of the prairies and the concerns parts of Canada that you know ended up you know the Liberals didn't win any seats in Alberta Saskatchewan and a big concern about that is has the economic climate and that's a big part of what is going on with the political result. We saw the twenty a nineteen election so now the Christa Freeland has has finished dealing with this abroad Justin Trudeau can lean on her. And we know that she's already started sort of an impromptu listening tour speaking with premier speaking with other Leaders to try and find find out ways that they can hear the concerns of the people that lives in those in those parts of the country and a big concern. There is investment in the economic climate. Speaking of Premieres Kelli Kelli. The Jason Kennedy was in Ottawa. Yesterday I met with the Prime Minister. Was He hoping to win from his meeting with Justin Trudeau. You know. I think most of all he was hoping to win attention for The the economic issues and The political issues that he's bringing up at a time where there is national focus focused on Alberta and Saskatchewan issues because of the the election results because the liberals were completely shut out of Alberta and catch one. There is attention on this and and and you know while while the federal government sees this as a pressing issue rather than you know international trade disputes. I think Mister sure Kenny is going to work that for all it's worth and you know the the things that he's asking for The headline items. Of course our you know guaranteed timeline for the completion. The Transmission Trans Mountain pipeline expansion A lift on the cap on the Fiscal Stabilization Fund which Jason Kenney very very politically has called a rebate on equalization even though it's not And he he is looking for some kind of wiggle room from the the federal government on Algirdas issues given the economic circumstances given that Alberta's economy has diverged so much from the national economy in the last five years. He's he's looking for some kind of he's looking for some kind of reset in the relationship. As you know Kristie of freeland takes over the the interprovincial file and I think you know while he's not going to get any kind of result this week there is going. I mean to be a push from Alberta for some kind of movement from Ottawa in the weeks and months ahead and and that will be watched very closely. Okay how do you think anything resulted from from that meeting. Yesterday that would allow Canada to claim progress. If not victories will. He didn't leave with any money in his pocket but I don't think he came with that in mind. I think he very successfully frame the conversation around Albertus demands but he so so he's he said what the conversation will be about over the next few months it's and You know and set the stakes out very clearly to to the population of Alberta. But it's also interesting. He stood down Actually early on on his demand to change See Forty eight NC sixty nine which he calls the new pipeline bills No more pipeline bills Those are those are the the bills that were passed last Towards the end of the the last parliament that that changed the way that the government oversees and Approves Natural Resource Development So so Jason. Kenney has has conceded publicly that okay the federal government is not going to change those. And he's he's he's changed how he's framed that conversation around approval of of natural resource development. So that's pretty pretty important and also you know by by focusing on the fiscal stabilization aspect of of transfer payments he's moved away from that equalization conversation as well which was A. I mean that was just an a nonstarter for for everybody involved. So you know there's been a bit of give and take and I think he. He's he's trying to convey a sense that he's leaving Ottawa with a bit of a warm and fuzzy feeling about the future conversations with auto with with the federal government but there has been a lot of movement I think on both sides here so far. How do you take down criminal network hidden in the shadows? Tell him that. I know that they're the ones who are running. The the largest child abuse website on the dark nets the journalists working to expose the darkest corners of the Internet. That's your playroom for. That's your baby's is close. That's my house. The police who hunt down online predators right the environment that they're using no we didn't we didn't make it. They made hunting moorhead ahead. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Katie I want to touch on another development yesterday. China hinted that the two Canadians who have been detained for a year. Michael Covert and Michael are detained in China. They could face trial. What could did this mean for the fate of them? Well it certainly. It's IT IT'S A. It's a significant development in this whole process. Remember these two men. These two Canadians have. I've been held in a detention centre with little information about what's going on no access to a lawyer and and really no certainty or no clarity about what's going on now there or a couple of scenarios here in some cases in China when things go to trial there have been situations where okay You know They can he moved through the legal process. And and and perhaps This China's justice system isn't like the Canadian justice system and things can sort of be dropped here and there as they go or or you. Can you can sort of look at it in another way. And that is another serious debt. Moving forward any sort of development involving the two michaels a massive concern for the government but China has made it abundantly clear. Nothing is going to change in the Canada China relationship. It is going to be difficult until the Canadians unless the Canadians released Mung Wong. Joe The wall way executive. She was arrested by Canadian. Authorities at the request of the Americans on an extradition request and and the Chinese have made aided directly abundantly clear until she is let go trying to pressure pressure pressure Ottawa. To make that happen The Canada China relationship is going to be difficult. Donald they of course in retaliation it's widely seen as retaliation. They arrested the two michaels Michael. Covert the former diplomat and Michael savage the former or he is an the An entrepreneur in China of course canola dispute China stopping purchasing large swath of Canadian canola and there was the the meat dispute and the only only reason that China had to relent on that is because China had a I believe it was a swine flu epidemic and they were running out of port and they just badly needed pork for the Chinese people for the Chinese people so they had to relent on not because anything's actually changed in the relationship but because they really had no choice so this situation is going to remain bad until there is some sort of development on the Mung Joe Front and Really Canada has dug in its ground saying we are a rule of law country. We are not going to just release this person because You are pressuring us. We're going to go through the legal channels. We are going to continue with this process. And so whatever is happening sitting over in China with the two michaels. It's always going to relate back to what's going on in Canada. We have about a minute left and that actually leads me into my next question. which is the government suffered? Its first defeat if you will yesterday. When the opposition parties passed a motion to set up a special committee to review all aspects of the candidate China relationship? What's at stake? There are two things going on there. One was minority government politics. I think the opposition parties You found something. They landed on something that they could agree on and wanted to flex their muscle and remind the government. Right away. That I in a nonthreatening way. And that you know this doesn't trigger an election or anything But by setting up this committee that they have the power to to do you know to to At least express themselves in this in this new configuration. But I think it's also reflective of the broader public that there's a restlessness in a great frustration in dealing with China. There's a you know a pressure to to find a solution and if there is no obvious solution it's so complicated But you know the Conservatives have been pushing for to be tougher on China The business community has been Over having meetings in in in China There's a restlessness of like. Please can we just be on this. Find a way to get out of this. So that we can increase our trade the trade the trade volumes back and forth forth with Canada and China or down quite a bit this year compared to last year. And I think you know where people are really starting to get You know they want to see some progress on that all right we will leave it there. Katie Simpson is a senior reporter with ABC News and in the New Year. She's taking up a new post in Washington. DC So we'll try to get to their global affairs Kennel Panel Katie. Thank you thanks have. This field is an economics columnist for the Toronto Star. She's an Ottawa and Kelly. Kreider man is a Calgary based reporter for the Globe and Mail. Thanks all of you thanks. Thank you for more see podcasts. Go to C._B._C.. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts.

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