On February 12, 2017, Justin Trudeau is traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet Donald Trump at the White House. What will they talk about? Hmmm – softwood lumber? Border adjustment tax? NAFTA renegotiation? Common interests? Jobs on both sides of the border? NEXUS Card revocations of Canadians and permanent residents of Canada? Supply management? Harmonization of regulations? Immigration changes? Canada’s plans for a free trade agreement with China?
There are many trade issues that will be discussed. Most of the issues can be discussed from the perspective of common interests. However, not all of Canada’s interests align with U.S. interests. So, during this first meeting, Prime Minister Trudeau should focus on the good trade topics and not try to stir the pot with the most contentious issues. Time will come for trade arguments and Canada-US trade tweets.
It is important to note that Prime Minister Trudeau will also be traveling to Europe next week for the ratification of the Canada-EU CETA in the EU Parliament. Canada’s Bill C-30 “An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures” was debated at third reading on February 8, 2017. After Bill C-30 passes third reading in the House of Commons, it will move to the Senate. Is should not be long before the Canada-EU CETA is ratified on both sides of the Atlantic and can come into effect. Canada is diversifying its trade options. Canadian businesses can pursue trade opportunities in/with Europe.
Next week can be a great trade news week – if only the discussion on Monday does not get off track.