Letter from Minister Freeland
Dear Mr. Ortega and Ms. Mayorga:
Thank you for your engagement in the consultation process for the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The views and perspectives you shared were an important factor in informing the government’s positions and proposals in these negotiations. Between February 2017 and November 2018, the Government of Canada interacted directly with over 1,200 stakeholders and received over 47,000 submissions from Canadians. The government heard about the need to defend and promote Canadian domestic interests, including preserving key elements of NAFTA as well as modernizing the agreement to reflect modern-day trade realities.
The new NAFTA deal reaffirms the importance of our mutual trade relationship, provides key outcomes for Canadian businesses, workers and communities, and reinforces the security and stability of market access into the United States and Mexico.
In particular, Canada’s preferential access into the U.S. and Mexican markets under NAFTA has been preserved. Other key outcomes include dispute settlement and the exception for cultural industries—the latter being integral to our national identity as Canadians. The new agreement improves on existing NAFTA commitments by facilitating the engagement of small and medium-sized enterprises in trade, and by better reflecting the interests of society and Indigenous peoples. The agreement also helps ensure that economic development is harmonized with strong environmental and labour protections. Moreover, in this era of uncertainty, the deal preserves the integrity of the North American automotive supply chain and provides predictability and stability for Canada’s auto and auto parts sectors.
It is because of the efforts of Team Canada members like you that the government was able to truly get a good deal.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I value your contribution to the consultation process as it enhances my ability to position Canada as a leader in promoting open trade, attracting investment and fostering innovation.
Once again, thank you for your participation and your valuable input.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.