Ramsey sees positives, negatives in new USMCA trade deal


By Ron Giofu

With an trade agreement reached between the United States, Mexico and Canada, Essex MP Tracey Ramsey wants a closer look at it.

Ramsey, the NDP critic for International Trade and vice-chair of the Standing Committee on International Trade, said there is some good news for the auto sector that the USMCA trade deal has now been reached.

“I think a lot of people are relieved we have a deal,” said Ramsey. “The devil is in the details.”

The deal is a positive for the auto industry, Ramsey said, and noted it removes the 25 per cent auto tariff that had been bandied about by the Trump administration. However, the steel and aluminum tariffs still have to be contended with, she noted.

“For us in Essex County, this is a huge concern,” said Ramsey, noting the amount of jobs that are related to the industry.

One sector that is very concerned about the new trade deal is agriculture, the Essex MP pointed out.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (centre) spoke to the River Town Times recently about the new trade deal with the United States and Mexico. She is pictured with Windsor West MP Brian Masse and Windsor-Tecumseh MP Cheryl Hardcastle.

“Our farmers are very concerned. Once again, they made the sacrifices to get the deal,” she said. “This threatens family farms in Essex and our ability to have safe, local milk.”

There could be financial aid for farmers, she said, but that would be a short-term solution and not geared for the long-term.

“They need to make sure they can keep their family farms for future generations and this deal threatens it,” said Ramsey.

After a 60-day period to work on the text of the new trade deal, Ramsey said the public will be able to view it. Research is being done into the deal and Ramsey said it now gives the United States more power over Canada’s agreements with other countries. There is also concern Canada may have given up more than it gained in the new deal.

“As the details come out, we’ll be looking at how the deal affects us in our every day lives,” she said.

The future of the new deal also may hinge on U.S. mid-term elections, which are scheduled for next month. Ramsey said the U.S. Congress may look differently after early November.

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