Ontario’s auto, agri-food sectors need funds to survive Pacific trade deal: Kathleen Wynne

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TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province’s automotive and agri-food sectors will need billions in funding from the federal government to survive the impact of the recently rebooted Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Wynne, who spoke Thursday to the Toronto Region Board of Trade, says Ottawa should only ratify the 11-country Pacific Rim trade deal once it has allocated transitional funding to protect jobs in the those sectors.

She says since the United States pulled out of TPP – now known by the acronym CPTPP – the dynamics have changed and require further analysis.

READ MORE: Final version of Trans-Pacific trade deal released, U.S. provisions nixed

Wynne says during initial negotiations in 2015, Ottawa committed to help the auto sectors through an innovation fund, and announced similar assistance for agricultural businesses that are supply managed.

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The premier, who spoke to the board of trade before heading to Washington for the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, says the funding promises came when the federal government calculated that the deal would reduce investment to the Canadian auto sector by two per cent and have similar consequences for agriculture.

She says over the next 10 years, the auto sector will need $1.26 billion and agri-food will need $1.4 billion.

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