Free Trade Will Create Jobs and Growth: Hudak
22 October 2012
TORONTO: Ontario will lead Canada in job creation again, but to get there we need to knock down barriers to free and open markets, as proposed in our latest policy discussion paper, Paths to Prosperity: An Agenda for Growth, Tim Hudak said today outside of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
“Ontario’s economy has thrived as a result of free and open markets, from the 1960s Auto Pact to the North American Free Trade Agreement,” Hudak said. “We need to protect those gains and strengthen our relationship with the U.S and this means aggressively opposing protectionist Buy American policies.”
Believe it or not, significant barriers to trade still exist within Canada, costing Ontario’s economy $6 billion a year in lost commerce. Hudak said domestic free trade agreements – such as the New West Trade Partnership Agreement (NWTPA) between British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan – eliminate artificial barriers to competition by harmonizing regulations, streamlining certification and opening up new opportunities for businesses to bid on work. “Simply put, Ontario needs to join the NWTPA. The result will be more jobs, higher profits and new opportunities for Ontario job creators.”
Deputy Leader Christine Elliott said, “The current government has failed to take action to eliminate trade barriers and open new markets for Ontario firms and workers.” The reason the current government has not played a major role in trade deals is because it has not prioritized free trade’s role in job creation. “All they have done is negotiate one weak arrangement with Quebec, and thrown up new barriers to job creation with their cap and trade agreement with California, which will create new costs to do business.”
Hudak said I believe Ontario should embrace the economic opportunities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. “In order to get out of this made-in-Ontario jobs mess, we must play an active role in negotiating international free trade agreements and increasing the access of Ontario firms to markets in other provinces. I would proudly put Ontario workers and entrepreneurs up against any in the world,” Hudak concluded.
An Agenda for Growth proposes new and transformative ideas to remove trade barriers: Specifically:
- Enter into the New West Trade Partnership Agreement to ensure Ontario businesses can sell their products and services to more customers.
- Take an active role negotiating international free trade agreements so Ontario businesses can compete on a level playing field.
To read An Agenda for Growth visit: OntarioPC.com.