Trudeau uses pandemic-plagued supply chains for ASEAN free trade – .

Trudeau uses pandemic-plagued supply chains for ASEAN free trade – .

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the specter of knotty global supply chains in an offer Sunday to a bloc of Southeast Asian countries to convince them of a free trade deal.

Trudeau has long sought a trade deal with the 10-nation bloc, which includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma.

He said at a virtual trade summit hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that a free trade agreement with Canada would be a “win-win” for all parties, especially at the end of the pandemic.

Speaking in a pre-recorded message, Trudeau argued that a deal with ASEAN would help businesses and entrepreneurs build ties and business relationships around the world.

He also said that a pact would give investors more confidence to invest in international markets and protect supply chains from the uncertainties brought by COVID-19.

Trade bottlenecks across the world have been slower to recover than consumer demand for goods, and have been further slowed by COVID-19 outbreaks and ongoing public health measures.

All of this affects stocks of consumer goods in demand or the delivery of parts needed to build things like cars, and increases transportation costs which are passed on to consumers, which is reflected in higher inflation rates. .

“As we wrap up the fight against COVID-19, deepening our ties with ASEAN economies and diversifying trade across Asia-Pacific will play a crucial role in our recovery,” said Trudeau in his speech.

“My friends, a strong Canada-ASEAN relationship is a clear win-win for all of our businesses and employees.

The 10-nation bloc economies as a group represent Canada’s sixth largest trading partner, but the country already has access to four ASEAN members – Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam – through a pact. Pacific Rim commercial known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The Liberals’ election platform promised a new hub to help businesses take advantage of CPTPP opportunities, and a new Asia-Pacific strategy to deepen ties in the region, including new trade deals.

A preliminary analysis by ASEAN and the federal government on the merits of a free trade agreement estimated that Canadian exports of goods and services to the bloc could increase by 13.3%, valued at 2.67 billion of US dollars.

In his speech, Trudeau said both sides must also ensure that women, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ entrepreneurs, visible minorities and other under-represented business owners engage in and benefit from trade. .

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 24, 2021.


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