PEI

U.S. consul general praises controversial trade agreement during visit to P.E.I.

U.S. Consult General for Atlantic Canada Kevin Skillin praised the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement during a visit to P.E.I. Thursday.

'It really will serve as a model for the U.S. and for others around the world'

U.S. Consul General for Atlantic Canada Kevin Skillin was the keynote speaker at a P.E.I. Eastern Chamber of Commerce event Thursday. (Ken Linton/CBC)

U.S. Consul General Kevin Skillin praised the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement during a visit to P.E.I. Thursday.

Skillin is the consul general for the Atlantic region and is based in Halifax. He was invited by the Eastern P.E.I. Chamber of Commerce to be the keynote speaker at its annual Explore Economics East event in Brudendell.

"It really will serve as a model for the U.S. and for others around the world," Skillin said of the new NAFTA agreement. "It modernizes and transforms our trading relationship."

He spoke about the value of trade between the United States and P.E.I., noting about 80,000 Americans visit the Island every year and sometimes settle on the Island.

Skillin said called the CUSMA agreement "a real win-win-win," despite protests by P.E.I. and Candian dairy farmers over access the agreement grants U.S. milk producers to the Canadian domestic dairy market.

"I think it provides a firm foundation for the expansion of trade investment in the innovative products and services that make up the modern economy now that the agreement is signed," he said.

'Opens up new areas of co-operations'

Skillin said the agreement reinforces the deep economic relationship between the U.S. and Canada.

"It opens up new areas of co-operations and provides real protection in some new areas that weren't even around whenever we negotiated NAFTA back in the early 1990's," including e-commerce and digital trade, he said. 

Skillin said the consulate has taken notice of P.E.I.'s "booming" economy, and that the U.S. wants to see it continue and expand.

"If we can play a part in that, we welcome the ideas and the opportunities that you may bring to our attention that we can help push forward."

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