Winnipeg, January 29, 2018 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is encouraged by the renewed sense of optimism following the latest round of NAFTA negotiations concluded today in Montreal.
At a press conference this morning, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland — along with her American and Mexican counterparts — announced the conclusion of a new chapter on anti-corruption and signalled significant progress on chapters relating to telecommunications and digital trade. The seventh and eighth round of talks are slated for February and March in Mexico and Washington.
“While it’s clear that the trade partners still have some difficult issues to work through, it is encouraging to see that there has been some positive developments over the past week,” said Dan Kelly, President at CFIB. “We’re especially pleased that talks to revamp the NAFTA trade deal will continue.”
Small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada are key stakeholders in the tri-lateral pact which helps to facilitate approximately US$1 trillion in trade between Canada, the United States and Mexico. Data from Industry Canada shows that, of all the exporting firms in Canada, more than 90 per cent are considered small businesses.
“We commend the federal government for their efforts in trying to seek resolutions to difficult and challenging issues and continuing to emphasize the importance of NAFTA to all three countries,” added Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB’s Senior Vice-President, National Affairs.