One of our major benefits is Government Advocacy. Representing CAMM this morning in Ottawa at the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology hearing on the CUSMA agreement is our Director of Foreign Affairs, Jonathon Azzopardi.
All parties make valid points but if you would like to skip to Jon he speaks 4th at 8:23.08. Questions proceed.
If you would prefer to read, here is Jon’s written speech and points.
As past chair and now director or international affairs for the Canadian association of mould makers and President of LAVAL a mould and part manufacturer we were pleased to be able to address the committee today to pledge our support for the ratification of the CUSMA to our Government.
We are proud to represent in our association over 100 members and over 230 associate members and our mfg sector which is over 1400 companies just in southwestern Ontario alone, 216 Mould manufacturers who employ over 14,000 skilled workers.
I dont admire the position of this Committee as it is tasked with building the infrastructure around an already negotiated agreement. I would like to emphasize that what is accomplished during this phase will determine the success of the agreement and should not overlooked.
To be a manufacturer in the Canada although its a privilege it does not come without its challenges. It is an important point to make that we have been in this uncertainty around our trading relationship with the US for almost 5 years and comes at the time when our industry and sector are already under pressure from a less than fair trading relationship with our largest trading partner the United States which is over 85% of our GDP and has adopted a made America mentality while also under the pressure to compete with low costs country who have costs a fraction of our own.
We feel blessed that the negotiations of the CUSMA were efficient and although it is heavy handed to provide protection to our US trading partner we believe that it actually opens more doors than it closes and it would be a shame to drag out rectification.
Main points for Consideration:
1.) Ratification is needed to dispel the Uncertainty caused by this lack of clarity which has damaged relationships starting back in 2015 and until this agreement is ratified and we will continue to lose opportunities everyday that the CUSMA is not rectified.
2.) Advantage of the agreement for future investment for Canada is in the tier 1, 2 & 3 companies who want access to the US market from Canada. This is probably is the largest opportunity for our sector. A true example is that a typical automotive part will cross the US, Canadian border potentially 7 times before being assembled on a vehicle. This is all done between tier 1,2, and 3 suppliers inside the supply chain
When an investment in the US happens in a new assembly facility the further down the supply chain you go the less likely a Canadian Manufacturer has to be in the US to be able take advantage of that that selling opportunity in the US. Canadian Tier 1,2 & 3 will be able to use with this agreement to be able to sell product to all US Manufacturers and OEM’s. Our Mould Manufacturers sector are tier 1 & 2 suppliers and therefore prime to be able to sell to the US once this agreement is in place and the uncertainty is no more. Second critical point the US has taken further action to protect its vulnerable sectors and deemed at this time that the mould maker sector as a critical sector and warrants protectionist measure against China by instilling a 25% Tariff on moulds entering the US from China. I implore on this Government to adopt similar trading policies with China mirroring the US. If Canada does not we open up ourselves to illegal dumping into Canada. Your second step immediately after ratification is to adopt similar trading policies as the US on steel, aluminum and on Moulds coming from China. Not adopting similar trading policies as the US leaves the door wide open for our manufacturing sector to be hollowed out from the inside.
3.) The vulnerability that was set by CPTPP without the new CUMSA agreement is a disaster waiting to happen. CPTPP by itself has no apparent value to the Canadian Mfg Sector without CUSMA and the US. The RVC values within CUSMA protect against dumping in Canada to gain access into the US and sets a standard for anyone wanting to use Canada as an entry point to the US. If the Canada adopts good strong RVC policies it could be a great opportunity for oversees production needing North American content.
Our conclusion is that Canada needs to rectify CUSMA and adopt similar protective measures to the US to protect against outside low costs countries trying to gain unfair access to the US markets.
Expanding list of products and strengthening the method by which we are calculating RVC and mirroring our trade policies with the US are two ways that we can protect our manufacturing sector at home.
CAMM is happy to actively participate in helping this government in any way we can during this ratification and implementation phase.