The North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA deal, which was meant to be within three countries, have been majorly going on between the United States and Mexico, while the third country Canada was not included.
While the discussions between the other two countries were proceeding, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrytia Freeland have been repeatedly stressing on their preference, saying they would rather decide to have no deal, instead of agreeing on a bad one.
On the other hand, speculations are being made based on the parameters that were set by Freeland during the initial phase of the deal, which say that the deal Canada will eventually accept is more likely to be a bad one.
According to Peter Glossop, “It would be worse not to have a deal at all.” He specializes in competition and foreign investment law at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, which is a Toronto-based law firm. He also said, “The price of no deal could be losing the existing NAFTA.”
Mark Papic, the chief geopolitical strategist at BCA Research, which provides businesses with investment advice, also agreed to Glossop, saying “Even a bad NAFTA deal would be better than no deal.”
Canada is being suggested to consider a bad deal over a bad deal is because the businesses in the country must have a duty-free access to the US market. Papic pointed out, “An astounding 28 per cent of Canada’s GDP is sourced through exports to the US.”
Last week, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, regarding the paradox Canadian negotiators are facing, said, “We cannot move forward with a bad deal. I’m not certain we can move forward with no deal either.”
However, there will be no wins, because even Mexicans clearly decided that an imperfect NAFTA was better than no deal at all. Their officials too admitted that they agreed on the deal to ensure their country would retain a high level of preferential access to the US market.
Hence, for Canada too, the cost of peace will be the same. Will Trudeau and Freeland agree to the deal, despite it not being acceptable according to their set parameters?