Originally apeared on BNN.ca June 9, 2017.
Canada is better off if its North American Free Trade Agreement partners believe re-writing the deal will harm the country, according to David Rosenberg.
The Chief Economist and Global Strategist at Gluskin Sheff + Associates told BNN that Canada’s best play may be to act like it doesn’t want to renegotiate.
“I think this is The Art of the Deal … we’re playing it [like] we’re a deer in the headlights,” Rosenberg told BNN in an interview on Tuesday. “That’s just great. That we’re actually putting on the appearance that re-writing NAFTA is going to be awful for Canada.”
“So I actually like this, you know, the government’s getting Brian Mulroney, who’s apparently golfing buddies with Donald Trump and has a place nearby in Florida. “
These comments come the same day Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has promised a “major announcement” in the House of Commons, which is expected to include Canada’s road map for global policy and trade priorities, including NAFTA.
Rosenberg stressed that U.S. imports statistics show the deal is better for Mexico than for Canada.
“We got dragged into NAFTA,” Rosenberg told BNN. “Nobody in Canada wanted Mexico [as] part of the agreement. We got dragged into it.”
“If you’re taking a look at what our share of the U.S. market for imports has done, since NAFTA was signed, it’s a straight line down. Mexico’s share of the U.S. market: straight line up.”
While Rosenberg acknowledged that re-working the deal may not be in the best interests of the service sector, he said that renegotiating could only help Canada’s manufacturing and exports.
“Part of re-writing NAFTA might include that we might have to invite foreign competition into the service sector in this country. That’d actually be a good thing for Canadian consumers when you consider the oligopoly here in the service sector,” Rosenberg said.
“But for manufacturing and exports? Re-writing NAFTA? I say bring it on.”