Tories offer Liberals a NAFTA olive branch — with strings attached

Monday, 04 September 2017, 08:00:34 AM. Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O'Toole says his party is willing to offer non-partisan support to the Liberal government during the continuing NAFTA renegotiation, but with a few specific conditions.
Attack mode, says the Conservative Party's new foreign affairs critic, will not be the opposition's first instinct when dealing with the Liberal government's renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Conservative MP Erin O'Toole says his party is willing to offer non-partisan support to the Liberal government during the continuing NAFTA renegotiation, which entered its second round this weekend in Mexico City. But only as long as the Liberals keep the focus on job creation, securing market access and levelling a playing field that he says has given Mexican labour an unfair advantage. Officials optimistic as 2nd round of NAFTA talks start in Mexico O'Toole said the Tories have no time for the "virtue signalling" on gender, Indigenous and environmental issues that the government has also raised as bargaining priorities. If the government takes those priorities too far, O'Toole said he will lead the Conservatives back into political battle. "For me, I don't always lead with the attack if I don't need to. I'm very capable and very effective at the attack if it comes to that," O'Toole said in an interview. 'What a tool' The Liberals, including Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, did not react kindly to O'Toole's comments, taking to social media on Sunday to denounce them. Message to Erin O'Toole & #CPC on why environmental protections in NAFTA is smart economics not "virtue-signalling" https://t.co/ZFgnXee5n7 — @cathmckenna Trudeau's Principal Secretary...Read more
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