Quebec Member of Parliament (MP) and founder of the new People’s Party of Canada Maxime Bernier said Canada is failing dismally to secure a free trade with the United States in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller.
Bernier, former foreign affairs minister in the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper, said the Trudeau government is doing “everything” wrong in its negotiation tactics with its American counterparts.
“They can have a deal tomorrow if they put the cartel of supply management on the table,” Bernier told The Daily Caller, referring to the Canadian policy of protecting its dairy industry with high tariffs and severely restricting the supply of dairy products. “That would be good for Canadians consumers. We would be able to have a deal.”
“When you start a negotiation for free trade, you want to have less regulation and more freedom for goods and services that will cross the border,” Bernier said.
But he notes that Trudeau wanted to talk about other things: “Gender equality was very important for them; climate change was important for them. The right to work [legislation] that they have in the United States — they wanted the Americans to get rid of that. You are having a discussion about free trade. Why are you speaking about that?” Bernier asked.
Bernier says that “President Trump may say a lot of things, but on supply management for the last six months, he has been asking the Canadians to get rid of the tariff of 300 percent … Why not give him that? It would be a win-win for Canadian consumers and also the producers would be able to export.”
Bernier says he hopes Trudeau isn’t deliberately trying to sabotage the NAFTA talks so that he can run in the next election on an anti-Trump platform: “I hope that they’re not playing politics.”
Bernier left the Conservative Party of Canada over ideological differences in August.
More of the interview will be featured Tuesday in The Daily Caller.