September 21, 2020

77% of Canadians support the new North American trade agreement



77% of Canadians support the new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada, known as T-MEC and which was signed by the three countries on December 12, according to a survey released Thursday.

The survey, conducted by the firm Abacus, indicates that the trade agreement, which the three countries began to negotiate in May 2017, is mostly supported by Canadians who identify with the left of the political spectrum as well as the most conservative.

According to Abacus, 73% of left-wing Canadians support the trade agreement, a figure that increases to 78% among those on the right.

Regionally, the agreement has more support in the province of British Columbia, on the Canadian Pacific coast, with 80% approval. The province where the T-MEC has less support is Quebec, where 74% of the inhabitants of the Francophone province are in favor of the trade agreement.

The survey was conducted between December 13 and 19 with interviews with 2,137 Canadians and has a margin of error of 1.8%.

The final version of the T-MEC was signed by the three countries on December 10 in Mexico City after the agreement was modified to allow its approval by the Democratic majority of the House of Representatives of the US Congress.

Although the House of Representatives ratified the T-MEC on December 19, the trade agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in force since 1994, has yet to be approved by the US Senate to be ratified For that nation.

Canada has not yet ratified the T-MEC although the Canadian Government has indicated that it will do so as soon as the United States completes its approval process.

Following the signing of the agreement, the Business Council of Canada, which groups the main companies in the country, expressed satisfaction in a statement in which its president, Goldy Hyder, said that the T-MEC “strengthens the vital economic ties” between The three countries.

“We hope to review the text in detail but after years of uncertainty, it seems that a modernized and improved North American trade agreement is finally ready for Parliament. We congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.” Hyder

The leftist Council of Canadians, a social action organization that has usually opposed free trade agreements, said that although the new trade pact has flaws, it is better than the NAFTA that it replaces, so it approved the changes signed by The three countries.

The Mexican Senate already endorsed the agreement on December 12, but the T-MEC will not enter into force until the three signatory countries have ratified it.

The T-MEC maintains the NAFTA free trade philosophy but updated to pick up new realities, such as the growth of sales through the internet, and to protect jobs in the manufacturing sector in the United States and Canada.

One of the sectors most affected by the T-MEC will be that of the automobile since, for example, it requires that 75% of the content of the cars produced in North America have to come from the region to avoid customs tariffs. With NAFTA this figure was 64%.

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