World

People’s Party of Canada Leader Takes Credit For USMCA Breakthrough

(Photo: The Daily Caller/David Krayden)

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

People’s Party of Canada leader and Quebec Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier is taking some credit for the breakthrough that led to the creation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) Sunday night.

Bernier, a former foreign affairs minister in the previous Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told The Daily Caller Monday that he told the government repeatedly to stop protecting the “dairy cartel” with high tariffs. (RELATED Former Cabinet Minister Aims To Defeat Trudeau With New Party)

Those high tariffs of 300 percent were a constant source of trade irritation for President Donald Trump.

The Official Opposition Conservatives criticized the Trudeau government is in Monday’s Question Period for eroding Canada’s supply management system, which artificially controls the price of dairy products by restricting the supply.

“I take the credit because I pushed the government to put that on the table,” Bernier said.

Bernier, who only recently bolted the Conservatives to form his own libertarian-rooted party, says he expected it.

“I’m not surprised about that. I’m the only politician here in Ottawa who wants to fight for Canadian consumers. I said two years ago that we use put that on the negotiating table if we want to have a deal. At the end of the day they decided to put supply management on the table.

But Bernier cautions, “I think we don’t have the best deal.”

He says, “the government did not choose to abolish supply management … that would have been a very strong position.”

Bernier argues that half-measures are bad for all concerned. “It’s a bad deal for dairy producers — they cannot export — it’s a bad deal for consumers — they will have to pay twice the price for these products — and its a bad deal for taxpayers because they will have to pay compensation [to dairy producers],” Bernier told The Daily Caller.

Follow David on Twitter