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Canada’s Green Goals Can Be Met in New NAFTA

Canada’s Green Goals Can Be Met in New NAFTACanada’s Green Goals Can Be Met in New NAFTA

Despite Canada’s different view on climate change from that of the United States—namely, that it is real—Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is optimistic that progress can be made on the government’s goal of bringing tough environmental rules into the heart of a new North American Free Trade Agreement.

McKenna struck the hopeful note on the eve of the third round of talks to reform the trade agreement signed by Canada, the US and Mexico, as union demonstrators marched past Parliament Hill and a blimp bearing the message “NAFTA hijacks democracy” floated in the sky.

“We’re going to be pushing hard for strong environmental standards. We actually think that’s good for North America,” McKenna told reporters on Friday, after she met with the government’s NAFTA advisory council for environmental issues.

“I think we can always find solutions so we will have good discussions and I think the negotiations are going pretty well,” she added.

Ottawa will host the third round of talks over the next five days on the North American free trade deal, which is being renegotiated at the behest of US President Donald Trump, who has called the accord the worst “in history” and last month cast doubt that ongoing efforts to revamp the deal can be successful.

The three countries are trying to stick to an aggressive timeline and want negotiations to wrap up by the end of the year.

The US government has argued the deal has killed hundreds of thousands of jobs in their country. On Friday, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote in the Washington Post that content rules for auto parts—a key component of NAFTA—is putting American manufacturing jobs at risk, and repeated his government’s call for new regulations that require more US-made content in cars made on the continent.

 

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