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.
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.
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.
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.