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Rona Ambrose

October 26, 2017 by Speakers' Spotlight

An Insider’s Take on NAFTA Negotiations

A dynamic leader, a champion for the rights of women and girls, the former Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition in the House of Commons, and the former leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Rona Ambrose has an impressive list of accomplishments and she continues to add to it—now as part of Canada’s NAFTA negotiation team.

In a recent interview with CTV, she didn’t mince words around how talks were going:

“I’m hearing that people are extremely worried about where this is going, and people use language behind the scenes like ‘it looks like the Americans are driving towards a cliff on this, and Canada will have to follow.’

Here’s more from that CTV story (the entirety of which is found here):

“The American’s demands are completely unreasonable. They may not seem unreasonable for the Americans but they are definitely unreasonable for the Mexicans and Canadians, and they put NAFTA at risk,” said Ambrose, who prior to joining the NAFTA team was interim leader of the federal Conservatives.

The federal government is dispatching cabinet ministers and premiers to the United States to try to once again sell staying in the deal, The Canadian Press reported Oct. 19.

“I actually think it’s time for us to be worried, I think we are worried behind the scenes, and I think we have to start activating everyone who understands why it matters that this agreement cannot fall apart, and that means on both sides of the border,” Ambrose said.

She said that a week or so ago she would have chalked it up to typical trade rhetoric, but it’s clear now that they mean what they say and the Americans could be setting themselves up to sabotage the renegotiations.

“The truth is if you read what he says and you listen to what Lighthizer [United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer] is saying, it is very troubling,” said Ambrose.