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Local Leaders testify to Parliament on CUSMA
By Brian Masse
Member of Parliament

Local Leaders testify to Parliament on CUSMA

Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Science, Economic Development and Auto Critic and members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry heard testimony concerning the local impact of the Canada-US-Mexico (CUSMA) trade deal from Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy and Canadian Association of Moldmakers Chairman John Azzopardi.

PHOTO CREDIT - BrianMasse.ca


Ottawa - Feb. 25, 2020:
Today, Brian Masse M.P. (Windsor West), NDP Innovation, Science, Economic Development and Auto Critic and members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry heard testimony concerning the local impact of the Canada-US-Mexico (CUSMA) trade deal from Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy and Canadian Association of Moldmakers Chairman John Azzopardi.

“Automotive issues are a major part of CUSMA and I was pleased to represent Unifor and Local 444 at the committee hearings today. It allowed me an opportunity, on behalf of Canadian autoworkers, to remind MPs that the automotive industry in Canada has been damaged by the old NAFTA and we want to ensure that we are treated more equally under CUSMA. More importantly, I reminded them that what we really need is a National Automotive Policy,” stated Dave Cassidy. “We can’t afford to sit around and take this industry for granted and the time for action for our workers is now,” Cassidy said.

Legislation needed to implement CUSMA has been introduced in the House of Commons and as part of the process different standing committees are having hearings on the sections of CUSMA that impact their areas of jurisdiction. CUSMA has been recently modified due to negotiations between the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the administration’s Office of the United States Trade Representative.

“It is an important point to make that we have been in this uncertainty around our trading relationship with the US for almost 5 years and comes at the time when our industry and sector are already under pressure from a less than fair trading relationship with our largest trading partner the United States which is over 85% of our GDP and has adopted a made America mentality while also under the pressure to compete with low costs country who have costs a fraction of our own,” stated John Azzopardi. “Ratification is needed to dispel the uncertainty caused by this lack of clarity which has damaged relationships starting back in 2015 and until this agreement is ratified and we will continue to lose opportunities everyday that the CUSMA is not ratified,” Azzopardi said.

“Now that the trade deal is done we still have a lot work left to do. The government needs a national auto strategy to ensure the long term growth of the sector which is our largest export earner. In Detroit alone there are billions of dollars of new investments in the sector adapting it to next stage of development in electrification and automation. Over ten thousand new direct jobs and countless spinoffs. With the uncertainty lifted our Canadian supply chain can seize these opportunities,” Masse stated.


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