N.S. Premier heading to U.S. to discuss free trade

by Charles Mandel

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is on his way to Washington, D.C. on July 30, to discuss the importance of free trade between the U.S. and Canada.

The premier will meet with senior officials with the U.S. Department of Commerce, to discuss the United States national security investigation on automobiles and auto parts.

"This is a critical issue for Nova Scotia. Michelin and Neocon International are good Nova Scotia examples of the highly-integrated auto sector in North America," McNeil said in a media advisory issued July 26.

"I think it is important that we take the opportunity to meet with U.S. decision-makers to advocate on behalf of the industry."

Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell has previously expressed concern over the deterioration in relations between the two North American countries.

"It should concern all of us when free trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has greatly benefited workers and companies on both sides of the border, is put at risk," Mitchell said in a statement on June 11,

Bridgewater has been home to a Michelin North America facility for more than 35 years, the mayor noted, and new tariffs resulting from the deterioration in the free trade relationship between Canada and the United States could have profound consequences.

Following the G7 summit in Quebec, U.S. President Donald Trump went on a Twitter rampage, attacking Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "meek and mild," and very dishonest and weak."

At issue is what Trump has characterized as " long-time unfair trade" practices.

"We have put up with 'Trade Abuse' for many decades," the U.S. president Tweeted, adding "Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal."

In 2017, $3.5 billion in goods were exported from Nova Scotia to the U.S. This is 65 per cent of the total international goods exported from the province.

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