Masse demands National Auto Policy instead of Unfair Korean trade deal

Ottawa, ON— Today in the House of Commons, Brian Masse, Member of Parliament for Windsor West, and NDP Industry and Border critic demanded the Minister of Industry reign in the Minister of International Trade and put to an end the current negotiations with South Korea. Economic studies by industry and the C.A.W. have all concluded that a trade agreement with that country would have significant negative consequences for employment in the auto sector.

“It has taken more than 9 months for the Minister of Industry to call a meeting of the auto sector. The delays and inaction are apparent for all to see in the recent Ford Motor company announcement of closures in Windsor and St.Thomas and thousands of other auto jobs that have been lost. When the Minister meets with them, will he at long last, present a national auto policy that actually produces jobs rather than eliminates them?,” Masse exclaimed.

Minister Emerson stated that it has been five years since a free trade agreement was signed while Minister Bernier said consultations are about to begin with the auto sector.

“The Minister of Industry must assure the thousands of autoworkers and Canadian manufacturers in London and Windsor and across the country that the devastation exemplified in the Softwood sell-out by his party swapping trade minister will not be inflicted on this sector. That the pursuit of the unfair Korean trade deal, which dumps Korean cars into Canada is over once and for all,” Masse declared.

“I don’t think the Minister understands that there are non-trading tariff barriers that are a problem for Canadian manufacturers and deny us access to the market. Korea has promised in the past to remove them, but has yet to do so,” Masse stated. “Look at the Minister’s track record, Canadians were sold out on the softwood lumber deal, is this really what we want for our automobile sector?”

Canada's bilateral trade deficit with South Korea is already $2.6 billion, resulting in the destruction of some 15,000 jobs. In 2005 130,000 Korean made vehicles were sold in Canada while only 400 Canadian made vehicles were sold in South Korea. While the ratio of trade between South Korea and Canada stand at 2 to 1 in South Korea’s favour in the auto sector the ratio is 150 to 1.