Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Conservative Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement: “Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are in a last minute dash to salvage a NAFTA deal for Canada. After three months on the sidelines, Canada is now back at the table. Canada’s Conservatives hope that our professional negotiators, led by Steve Verheul, can forge a deal that protects jobs and wider Canadian interests that flow from trade. “Canada’s workers, innovators and supply chains are critical to American economic success. Since the 1960s our economies have been heavily integrated and that has helped the United States become a global economic power. American achievements have come from trade and engagement not from isolation and economic timidity. “Our collaboration on North American defence and military procurement has also secured the continent and led to generations of American servicemen and women serving alongside Canadians. A Canadian officer was on duty on 9/11 and a Canadian-born USAF General now commands both our countries in NORAD. It is hoped that this alliance and security partnership is not forgotten in the negotiations and at a time when tariffs are being applied under the guise of security. Canada has been and will always be the United States greatest trade and security partner. “If agricultural trade is part of the final round of negotiations, the United States needs to finally back up rhetoric with action. For decades, the U.S. has heavily subsidized its agricultural sectors. In fact, the U.S. treasury spends more on farm subsidies each year than Canada does on its military. Free and fair trade must be a two way street. “Reality has now descended on the Trudeau government. Left behind are the domestic political posturing points of their ‘progressive agenda’ and now the talks are focused exactly where they should have been all along. Market access, regulatory cooperation and mutual success should be the focus for exporters on both sides of the border. “While Canada’s Conservatives are profoundly concerned that the Liberals failed to take NAFTA modernization talks seriously over the last year, we remain optimistic that Canada, the United States and Mexico will negotiate in good faith to finalize an agreement that is a win for all of our countries and the millions of jobs that depend on free and fair trade.” -30- For more information: Office of the Hon. Erin O’Toole, MP Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Erin.O’[email protected] 613-992-2792