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Ben Fraser is a centre-right student in Journalism at Concordia University.

Trudeau’s approach to the TPP is a good sign for Canada

Negotiating a deal that would secure fair trade with 11 nations, including some of the world’s biggest economies, is not easy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, after taking his time to announce any progress with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has declined to sign an agreement in principal to finalize the TPP, according to several sources.

Trudeau has come under intense scrutiny, from media at home and abroad, for not showing up to a meeting about the TPP in Vietnam and delaying the TPP talks further. Trudeau nonetheless maintains that it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. Despite the reaction from most people, and his stubbornness, I agree with how Trudeau has handled the situation.

In a deal that is as far-reaching, and because of how much of Canada’s economy will be effected in this deal, Trudeau should be focused on what is best for Canada.

If being stubborn on the terms, and missing out on a meeting, secures Canada a better deal, the negative press is worth it. There have already been changes made to the deal regarding the automotive sector—a vital part of Canada’s economy. I find that Canada has been far too timid in past economic deals, and it is refreshing to see a Prime-Minister, especially one in the Liberal party, take a stand for the well-being of Canada’s economic future.

I like Trudeau’s firm stance on the TPP for one specific reason, and it actually goes beyond the reach of the TPP.

With ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks becoming increasingly difficult, this can serve as practice for when Trudeau must eventually come to terms with U.S President Donald Trump. Trump has chosen to remove the United States from the agreement, prompting re-negotiations. The NAFTA agreement, should it be reinstated, will effect cross-boarder relations with the United States, both economically and politically, for better or for worse.

It is up to Trudeau’s government to work with Trump, and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, to work out a fair deal for Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Canada and Mexico, both members of the TPP agreement, can also make up lost time in the ongoing NAFTA talks. Trudeau’s attempt to make Canada a priority in the TPP deal is a good sign for how he will deal with much tougher political opponents.

Although it may affect diplomatic relations with other nations, I would like Canada to become more aggressive on the world stage, and build on Trudeau’s display in Vietnam. It is an opportunity that the Liberal government cannot pass up. With the Trump administration’s lack of popularity, Canada has the chance to grab some more attention from world powers, and hopefully, move into markets that have been opened by the aforementioned U.S split from the TPP.