The Canadian government on Tuesday managed to accelerate the process of ratification of the new North American free trade agreement, known as T-MEC, by obtaining the support of one of the opposition parties to limit the study of the agreement.
The Prime Minister’s government, the liberal Justin Trudeau, managed to avoid a new obstacle in the materialization of the trade agreement, which began to be negotiated in 2017 on the orders of the US president, Donald Trump, by getting the support of the Social Democratic New Party Democratic (NPD).
Thanks to the support of the NPD, the Commerce Committee of the House of Commons will terminate its hearings on February 28, which will open the door for ratification of the agreement.
Mexico and the United States have already ratified the T-MEC that will only come into force when the Canadian Parliament gives its approval.
Although the agreement has the support in principle of all parliamentary groups, the Conservative Party (PC), the main opposition group, on Tuesday tried to slow down the ratification process by requesting that six committees of the House of Commons study the text.
The conservatives, against the wishes of the Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, also requested that the parliamentary committees send their amendments to the text before April 2, which would delay the ratification of the agreement that has to replace the Free Trade Agreement of North America (NAFTA).
The PC spokesman, Deputy Randy Hoback, justified the decision as the need to ask “fair questions that need to be answered before moving forward” and listen to those who will be harmed by the new trade agreement.
But Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who negotiated the agreement when she held the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs, criticized the tactics of the conservatives.
“It will be a surprise for many Canadians who voted for conservatives in October to learn that their deputies support less free trade and the economic certainty of Canada’s relationship with the United States than the NPD,” Freeland said.
The Deputy Prime Minister added that “the conservatives explain why they believe that partisan fights are more important than a support to the national interest.”