For Immediate Release
October 1, 2018
VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade applauds the successful conclusion of negotiations that have produced a draft agreement to replace NAFTA: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
It will take time to study the text to understand the full implications of the USMCA, but in an immediate sense, it is good news to have the uncertainty surrounding the NAFTA negotiations behind us.
Iain Black, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade said, “As a small, open trading economy, British Columbia, and Canada as a whole, needs predictable access to our most critical markets. That means a reliable framework for free trade with two of our most important trading partners: the United States and Mexico. In particular, we are pleased to see that the text of the new Agreement appears to contain clauses that carry forward the dispute resolution mechanism from NAFTA — a priority for Canada.”
While it appears the tariffs on steel and aluminium have not been lifted, the new USMCA appears to set a more level playing field for many sectors of the economy, and should establish the conditions for growth of those clusters where Greater Vancouver has a comparative advantage.
The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade advocates not only for free trade in goods and services produced by our economy, but also for a robust, efficient Gateway. Canada’s Pacific Gateway facilitates trade and is a key economic sector in its own right.
“With growth approaching 20 per cent in both GDP and tax contributions to all levels of government over the past five years, the Gateway is a critical contributor within our region to the advancement of free trade with the United States and Mexico,” said Black. “The Gateway sector is well-positioned to leverage the new USMCA on behalf of businesses in Greater Vancouver, including many of our Members — small, medium and large — to strengthen trade and seek new opportunities with our North American partners.”
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.’s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.