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Yukon Chamber of Commerce, Suite #220, 2237 Second Avenue, Whitehorse, YT, Canada

Yukon Chamber of Commerce Observes that While the USMCA Signature is Welcome News, Major Obstacles Remain

December 3, 2018

3 December 2018 – The Yukon Chamber of Commerce (YCC) welcomes the news of last week’s signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The Chamber observes that while this is an important step toward greater economic certainty, significant work remains before Canadian businesses can be satisfied. The agreement generally maintains tariff-free access for Canadian products, retains the labour-mobility provisions, strengthens intellectual-property protections, and ensures that Canada continues to have access to the most crucial aspects of dispute settlement.

 

However, we will monitor the ratification process in the United States with great interest, as the November U.S. election results add an element of uncertainty to that process. The chamber movements of both Canada and the U.S., along with our federal government and Canadian and U.S. businesses, must continue making the case to U.S. legislators that speedy ratification is important for all three countries to ensure trade certainty.

YCC Chair Stanley Noel, who is also a Director with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, observed, “The United States’ illegal tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum remain a major concern for the Yukon Chamber of Commerce and its members, and are impacting finished goods prices in Canada, manufacturing costs in the U.S., and sales of products on both sides of the border. The recent announcement of auto-plant closures in Canada and the U.S. can be partially attributed to the cost of these tariffs. There have been recent reports that the tariffs have cost the auto industry alone more than a billion dollars since they were implemented by President Trump.”

He continued, “So, while the Yukon Chamber welcomes today’s agreement signing, the federal government must continue to press for an end to United States’ tariffs. These tariffs are harmful to Canadian competitiveness and weaken North American supply chains. Additionally, we continue to advocate for a path forward that ensures that we never again find ourselves in a position of being so reliant on a single trading partner.”

 

BACKGROUND

Incorporated in 1985, the Yukon Chamber of Commerce is the collective voice of Yukon's business community, working to create a climate conducive to a strong private-sector economy by providing leadership and representation on issues and projects affecting business. The Chamber works with over 750 Yukon businesses, through either direct or Community Chamber membership, as well as the five Community Chambers of Dawson City, Silver Trail, St. Elias, Watson Lake and Whitehorse.

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