Communication to London City Council on NAFTA

There as an item on the London City Council agenda for this coming Tuesday July 25, 2017. It includes a recommendation from the Corporate Services Committee (22nd Report, Item #13):

“That the Government of Canada BE SUPPORTED by the City of London by providing information, data, and analysis to inform any trade negotiations with the United States of America, and the City of London’s municipal, community and business partners BE ENCOURAGED to participate in this important endeavor.”

While I am happy to see the City Council address this issue, I am suggesting that the resolution will be more effective if it is broadened a bit to ask the government to publish its negotiation objectives,  for a further briefing and for the opportunity to provide further feedback. . .

To:       Mayor Brown, Councillors Hubert, Helmer, Morgan, Park, Usher, Armstrong, Cassidy,   Hopkins, Ridley, Salih, Squire, Turner, van Holst, Zaifman
From    Samuel E. Trosow <strosow@uwo.ca>
Re:       Added Communication for July 25, 2017, 22nd Corporate Services Committee, #13 (NAFTA)

This communication concerns the response from the City of London to the Government of Canada about the current renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) scheduled to begin next month. I would like to thank Councillors Helmer and Morgan for adding this item to the Corporate Services Committee agenda of July 18, 2017.

NAFTA is an important issue for Canadian municipalities. It is deserving of Council’s attention not only because of its impact on the operations of the Corporation itself, but also because of its significant and potentially adverse effects on the broader community including the agriculture, manufacturing, computer services, healthcare, research, cultural and educational sectors.

As the Council would benefit by understanding Canada’s negotiation objectives, along with a briefing and the opportunity for additional feedback, I believe the resolution would be more effective if it is expanded to read:

“Recognizing that the federal government has the jurisdiction to negotiate trade agreements, and that the NAFTA renegotiations may have substantial impacts on the City of London and the broader Southwestern Ontario region, the London Municipal Council resolves that:

  • The Government of Canada BE REQUESTED to publicize its negotiating objectives for the upcoming NAFTA negotiations and to provide London City Council with a briefing on the negotiations; 
  • the Government of Canada BE REQUESTED to engage in further consultation with the City of London and the broader public on the agreement before its approval; 
  • the City of London engage in this process with the Government of Canada by providing information, data, and analysis to inform its NAFTA negotiations with the United States and Mexico; and that 
  • the City of London encourages its residents and stakeholders from the business, labour, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, computer services, research, cultural and educational communities to participate in this important endeavor.”

Thank you for your attention to this important issue, and I hope you find these suggestions helpful.

Samuel  E. Trosow

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