Protecting cross-border labour tops Windsor-Essex list of recommendations for NAFTA
List of five recommendations has been sent to provincial and federal officials
Five recommendations for NAFTA negotiations that consider the unique needs of Windsor-Essex have been sent to government officials ahead of the eighth round of trade talks.
- Next round of NAFTA talks on hold as ministers meet in Washington
- Windsor steel company worried new NAFTA will be 'just as bad' as tariff threat
Workforce Windsor Essex and the NAFTA Working Group released the recommendations Thursday after conducting 151 local surveys and consulting with area stakeholders.
"There are a lot of big national issues out there that are being debated by national associations and experts from all three countries," said Justin Falconer, senior manager of public affairs with Workforce Windsor Essex. "What we wanted to do is present a report about our local perspective living on a border."
The recommendations include:
- Recognize the importance of Canada-U.S. trade interdependence
- Recognize Canada's automotive sector as a key priority throughout NAFTA renegotiations
- Protect existing mechanisms that promote cross-border labour mobility
- Increase opportunities for cross-border experiential learning
- Support the region's global economic competitiveness
Falconer said his priority based on the recommendations is to make sure the importance of cross-border labour is addressed.
"Labour mobility is going to be huge for us. We live on the border of one of the biggest marketplaces of anyone — one hour drive time, and there's a huge number of people, there's a economic opportunity for our people," he explained. "We want to make sure that Windsorites and people living in Essex can continue to cross that border and continue to show up for work everyday."
Five local governments have endorsed the resolutions highlighting the importance of Canada's automotive sector.
Essex County Warden Tom Bain and Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara were present when the reccomendations were announced.
Warden Tom Bain saying a few words. Agriculture is very important to the county. “It’s imperative that our Canadian government consider the 5 recommendations being made today. Essex County agrees with the recommendations” <a href="https://t.co/nocuau9WIL">pic.twitter.com/nocuau9WIL</a>—@MelNakhavoly
"There's tens of thousands of people employed in advanced manufacturing that are really dependent on the border and making sure products are moving at a timely fashion," said McNamara, adding agricultural businesses in the county ship 80 per cent of their products to the U.S.
The report has been sent to federal and provincial officials.