Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
“It’s not helpful when down in the States there are serious presidential candidates who are talking about building a wall between Canada and the United States. Trade barriers are just another kind of wall,” Clark said in an interview with Chris Hall on CBC Radio’s The House.
The comments come as Canada and the U.S. are still haggling over a new softwood lumber trade agreement. Clark said Friday that she’s hopeful the two sides can craft a deal by summer’s end before presidential politics heat up further.
“We need to see a little bit more movement from the folks south of the border,” she said. “Whenever the softwood lumber deal doesn’t work out, it poisons all the trade relationships between our two countries. American presidential candidates on both sides of the political spectrum are talking about putting up more trade barriers, reverting back to protectionism, that’s going to be just terrible for Canadian jobs, and American jobs.”
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has also struck an anti-trade tone in recent months. She came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement after being pushed to the left by her opponent, Bernie Sanders, in the primary.
Clark, for her part, has been a vocal defender of the TPP, urging Canada to sign the deal or be “shut out” of foreign trade.
Freeland, and her U.S. counterpart, Michael Froman, have said there will be a “structure” of a softwood deal by the end of June, in time for President Barack Obama’s visit to Ottawa for a Three Amigos summit with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
The original deal to revoke U.S. trade barriers against Canadian lumber was signed in 2006 and renewed in 2012, after years of dispute at the World Trade Organization and an estimated 9,000 to 10,000 job losses for the Canadian industry.
More than $ 4.5 billion in tariffs were eventually returned to Canadian exporters. Since then, export charges have been levied on Canadian products when the lumber price dropped below a certain amount.
The B.C. premier also took aim at the federal environment assessment process for delays around the Pacific Northwest LNG pipeline, which will be designed, built and owned by TransCanada. If constructed, the pipeline would transport natural gas from the Interior to a processing terminal near Prince Rupert for export to Asia. The project’s biggest proponent is Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned oil and gas company.
“Imagine: you want to make the biggest single investment in Canada — largest private sector investment in the history of Canada — and you can’t get out of the environmental process,” Clark said of the $ 36-billion project. “We had a provincial environmental process that approved it with conditions. It took 180 days. The federal process has taken a thousand days.”
Follow CBC Radio’s The House on Twitter @CBCTheHouse. Follow John Paul Tasker on Twitter @JPTasker