VANCOUVER – A day before a summit between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his counterparts from the US and Mexico is set to begin in Ottawa, a survey finds few of us support the North American Free Trade Agreement.
It’s been more than 20 years since NAFTA was ratified and trade rules were loosened between the three countries, but today, support for the deal is rather weak.
“Only one in four Canadians actually sees NAFTA as having had a benefit to the country,” says Shachi Kurl with the Angus Reid Institute.
She points out the poll shows a quarter believe NAFTA has hurt Canada and a third of respondents want to see the deal re-negotiated.
“If you were to look at trade as a drawbridge — it’s not as though Canadians want to blow up that bridge, but they are questioning the benefits of having that bridge lowered.”
Kurl says this may be part of a growing trend of trade skepticism.
“These numbers come in the wake of the Brexit vote. We’re starting to hear more protectionists rattling from presidential candidates south of the border.
Both NAFTA and Brexit will be discussed at the ‘Three Amigos Summit’ on Wednesday.