Canada West Foundation’s Carlo Dade.—Image credit: CWF

Pro-Western think tank urges support for Trans Pacific Partnership

Canada West Foundation wants B.C. Liberal MPs to speak up at Kelowna caucus meeting

In a strongly worded opinion piece focusing on the federal Liberal caucus meeting in Kelowna in two weeks, the Canada West Foundation says a number of Western MPs, including Kelowna-Lake Country’s Stephen Fuhr, have been silent on what it calls an important international trade agreement that will determine this region’s future.

And it’s urging the Liberal MPs, especially those from B.C, to speak up in support of the deal.

The piece, written by the foundation’s trade and investment director Carlo Dade, says despite the U.S.’s withdrawal, the Trans Pacific Partnership is alive and well and needs the Liberal government’s attention as it will help regions like the Okanagan “catch up with the Australians and surge past the Americans” when it comes to trade with Asia.

Calling the TPP the “most important trade development to date,” and given that a trade agreement with China would likely take close to a decade to conclude, Dade said the TPP is the only opportunity for the foreseeable future. And he is calling on Canada to ratify the deal.

“Rather than killing the TPP, (U.S.) President (Donald) Trump’s withdrawal has strengthened the resolve of the remaining countries,” writes Dade.

“It has also made the agreement better for Canada. Economic modelling in a Canada West Foundation report shows that Canada does better in a TPP without the U.S. in the agreement with huge tariff and other advantages over American exporters in timber, wine, seafood, fruits and vegetables and business services – all important to the Central Okanagan, B.C. and the West.”

He says the advantages would continue for as long as it takes the Americans to catch up in signing trade agreements in Asia.

“Given the Trump administration’s record so far, this is a window that is open but needs to be seized as soon as possible.”

So he is urging Western Liberal MPs to “step up” and urge the federal government to commit to ratifying the TPP during their caucus meeting in Kelowna Sept. 5 to 7.

“In the West, we are watching and hoping,” writes Dade.

He says simply announcing 18 months of consultations on the TPP is not good enough.

The Canada West Foundation is a Calgary-based think tank that focuses on issues affecting Western provinces as well as issues of national significance.

Founded in 1970, the foundation has been linked in the past with the former Reform Party of Canada, which became the Canadian Alliance in 2000. In 2003, the Canadian Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form the current Conservative Party of Canada.

Reform Party stalwarts were influential in the Conservative Party, particularly under former prime minister Stephen Harper, a founding member of the Reform Party. It was under Harper’s Conservative government that Canada joined the TPP negotiations.

Just Posted

Nearly 200 new businesses for Greater Vernon in 2018: Chamber

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce signs on nearly 200 new businesses in 2018

Piles of debris hauled from Summerland rock slide site

Material removed from site would more than fill an Olympic swimming pool

Celtic Cara makes waves with Vernon performance

Tides of Life performance to take you on a journey to the Celtic Isles in time for St. Patrick’s Day

No gas in Falkland as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Developer makes an effort to help Okanagan students left homeless after flood

U-Two developer is making an effort to help university students who were left in a lurch

Shuswap facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

Most Read