Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says she wants to make Canada’s trade negotiations more “transparent,” by agreeing to proposals from the New Democrats to provide more details of future deals.
Freeland offers that view in a Wednesday letter to the New Democrats, a promise that secured the party’s support for a speedier ratification of the new North American Free Trade Deal (NAFTA), which is still before Parliament.
In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press, Freeland makes clear she is agreeing to the NDP proposals to get support for ratifying the new continental trade agreement among Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Freeland maintains that the 13 months of acrimonious negotiation among the three countries was open and transparent because the government consulted widely with stakeholders.
NDP trade critic Daniel Blaikie disagrees, saying the actual negotiations were held in secret, and the government provided inadequate analysis of the economic consequences of the deal to Canadians.
Freeland says the government will provide the House of Commons with an economic-impact assessment at the same time the legislation to ratify a trade deal is tabled.
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