September 21, 2018 10:03 am

How would Scheer make a NAFTA deal? Tory leader silent on key sticking points

WATCH ABOVE: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer joined The Morning Show on Friday and said he believes a NAFTA deal would be done already if he was PM

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Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Canada would already have a replacement deal for NAFTA if he were prime minister.

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But during an interview with The Morning Show on Friday, he made no mention of how he would approach some of the key sticking points holding up the negotiations right now, whether it be negotiating to maintain dispute resolution, cultural protections, or allowing any changes to the level of dairy market access offered to American farmers.

READ MORE: NAFTA talks: Freeland says Canada has a ‘talent for compromise,’ American officials don’t agree

Instead, Scheer said only that his focus on cutting taxes so as to lure greater American investment north would’ve put Canada in a stronger position at the negotiating table, despite data from Statistics Canada that suggests foreign direct investment rose by 1.9 per cent last year.

“We would have kept Canada as a competitive place to invest. We would have lowered taxes,” he said.

“Right now under this Liberal government and their tax changes, their tax hikes, people are pulling their money out of Canada,” he said. “Foreign direct investment is going down.”

WATCH BELOW: The latest on NAFTA negotiations

The stock of foreign direct investment in Canada increased by 1.9 per cent last year to $824 billion, according to data from Statistics Canada.

U.S. investments rose by 4.2 per cent to $404.5 billion over 2016. Growth in the wholesale trade industry offset a drop in oil and gas investment, according to the data.

READ MORE: Trump says Canada not in a ‘good trade position’ as NAFTA talks drag on

NAFTA has been in U.S. President Donald Trump’s crosshairs since before his election; on the campaign trail, he called the trade deal the “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed, anywhere” and vowed to rip it up.

WATCH: Trump calls NAFTA ‘the worst trade deal maybe ever signed, anywhere’ 

The trade deal’s three partner countries have been locked in negotiations for over a year, attempting to hammer out a revamped deal.

Canada has been under increased pressure to make concessions since the announcement by Trump that the U.S. and Mexico agreed to a new trade deal. Trump urged Canada to agree to that deal, but negotiations have continued to drag on.

U.S. officials are pushing to get a deal done by the end of the month so that it can be approved by Congress before the U.S. midterm elections.

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