Canada’s Premiers discussed the importance of international trade to Canada’s prosperity. They highlighted the importance of Canada’s continued relationship with our largest trading partner the United States (US). Premiers urged both federal governments to move quickly to negotiate a new agreement on softwood lumber that is fair and equitable and will allow stability for our lumber industries and communities that depend upon them. Today, Premiers wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau asking the Government of Canada to refute the unfair and inaccurate allegations of lumber subsidies by American interests and remain firm in its resolve to maximize Canadian access to the United States market as Canada continues to negotiate a new agreement.
Premiers called for the federal government to work with the world’s second largest economy, the European Union (EU), to bring the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) into force as soon as possible.
Premiers continue to support our close business and trade relationships in both the United Kingdom and EU. Premiers agreed to undertake a trade mission to Europe in 2017 to demonstrate support for CETA and highlight the importance of Canadian business relationships within Europe.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an important opportunity to improve Canadian access to 40% of the global economy, contributing to job growth and other economic benefits. The federal government must affirm its support for TPP and work with its key TPP partners to ratify the agreement in a timely manner. When the TPP enters into force, it would become the world’s largest free trade zone, spanning four continents and 800 million people. TPP countries have a combined GDP of $28 trillion.
Premiers emphasized that government and the private sector can both play a role in ensuring that Canadian industries adapt successfully to changing trade environments. Premiers expect the federal government to deliver on its promises of compensation associated with recent trade agreements.
Asia continues to grow in importance to Canada. Premiers called for more free trade agreements in the Asia Pacific region. They reiterated the need for provincial and territorial participation in international trade negotiations affecting areas under their jurisdiction.
Premiers discussed the need for efficient and effective transportation systems that support market access. They called for more federal infrastructure investment on Canada’s trade gateways and corridors. The federal government must work with provinces and territories, and stakeholders, including through the Canada Transportation Act Review, to develop a long-term vision for Canada’s transportation systems.
Immigration is a key economic driver and an integral part of the fabric of Canadian society. This is a shared responsibility and provinces and territories are well placed to define and shape Canada’s immigration system in partnership with the federal government. Provinces and territories understand best how the needs of their economies and labour markets can be addressed through immigration. Premiers call on the federal government for an increase in overall economic immigration levels including raising the caps on the provincial and territorial nominee programs in order to enable jurisdictions to respond to local labour market needs.