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article imageMore Canadians disappointed with USMCA the new NAFTA than pleased

By Ken Hanly     Oct 24, 2018 in Politics
More Canadians say they are disappointed with the USMCA, the US, Mexico, Canada Agreement that replaces NAFTA than pleased with the new agreement.
Poll taken by Angus Reid
Just three weeks after the new NAFTA deal renamed the USMCA who rejected to the old name, Canadians are split on their feelings about the pact. The latest poll by Angus Reid shows that more Canadians are disappointed by the deal than pleased.
The attitudes are split along party lines with supporters of the ruling Liberal party having a more favorable view. Those supporting the Liberals are twice as likely to have a favorable view of the agreement as are either the right-leaning Conservative party supporters or those of the leftist New Democratic Party.
Half of Canadians think that Canada's negotiating team were too soft in dealing with their US counterparts, and they gave up too much to get a deal. Just over a third, 35 percent, felt that the agreement reached was better than nothing. About the same number, 34 percent, felt it would be worse.
Canadian view of US becoming more negative
The survey found that Canadians are feeling more negative about the US than in almost 40 years. 49 percent of Canadians say they have a very favorable or mostly favorable view of the US. That's a big drop from their views in June 2016 when 62 percent had a favorable view and the lowest since 1980. Previously, 59 per cent represented the low-mark, during the turmoil of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq.
Quebec province least favorable towards the new deal
Regionally, residents of Quebec had the least favorable view of the USMCA, no doubt because the Liberals sold out on their promise not to touch the Canadian supply managed markets for dairy poultry, and eggs. The US has now increased access to Canadian markets. While many of the largest dairy farms are in Quebec producers in other provinces as well were angry that Trudeau broke his promise not to touch the area.
Trump viewed negatively
After the USMCA was signed, half of Canadians view of Trump and Co. was negative, while only 11 percent have a very positive view. 64 percent of Canadians viewed the Trump administration negatively. In contrast to the declining view of the US, the favorable view of Mexico by Canadians is up 7 percent with almost 6 in 10 Canadians saying they have a favorable view of Mexico.
USMCA still a deal to advance global corporate interests
A recent Digital Journal article points out that in spite of some significant improvements compared to the original NAFTA the entire deal is still in the interests of global corporations and there are even new negative features including more access to Canadian markets where there is supply management.
An article in Rabble also points out a new negative feature: "In Article 32.10 Canada agreed not to negotiate commercial agreements with non-market countries. That would be China. Should Canada decide to sign a trade agreement with China, the non-market country, it would be booted out of USMCA. For trade expert Peter Clark this amounts to Canada being treated as a vassal state by the U.S". This provision is discussed on the appended video.
Crown corporations have been one of the key instruments in economic development in Canada. Now they are defined as State-Owned Enterprises. Their activities must be restricted to non-competition with private sector companies. There are even penalties spelled out for non-compliance. This is just one of many provisions that protect private corporations and their profits.
The new deal also provides a two year extension to patents on biologic drugs. This will prevent lower cost generic drugs from entering the market. This will make it difficult for Liberals to keep their promise of a national pharmacare program as it will now be said to be too expensive.
More about USMCA, poll of Canadians on USMCA, Canada US relations
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