Chamber responds to USMCA agreement

The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), describing it as a relief for Chambers members who have been searching for much-needed clarity and predictability in the relationship with Canada’s NAFTA partners. The Chamber does, however, register concern with the following areas of the agreement:

  • The new $150 de minimis limit for duty-free online purchases and $40 sales tax exemption that may create a competitive disadvantage for local retailers.
  • Changes to the allowance of United States dairy and poultry products in Canada, and the impact it has on the local industries.
  • The need for clarity on how the agreement addresses the existing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, as well as how it will ensure that tariffs and quotas upon Canada’s auto sector exports will be avoided.

The Chamber congratulates Minister Freeland and Canada’s negotiating team for delivering a tri-lateral agreement, however, urges that moving forward, Canada is not solely dependent on one trading partner. The Chamber recommends that the federal government look for ways to diversify Canada’s trading partnerships through agreements like CETA and CPTPP.

Given the breadth and scope of USMCA, the Chamber will continue to review this new agreement to determine its full impact on the local business community.