Jaime Schmale is not overly pleased with Canada’s new trade deal.

“The deal, I think isn’t as terrible as many would’ve expected… I think the big winner in all of this is the United States,” said the Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was reached over the weekend.  It looks to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement that has been in place since 1994.

Schmale is thankful a deal got done but said “it was certainly a very challenging and difficult negotiation.” Schmale said that “hopefully, the countries ratifiy the deal in short order,” but he adds that “although this deal doesn’t cover any new items for Canada, we as a country are losing on a few issues such as access to our supply managed sectors, we’re losing in terms of drug costs, copyright extensions, and the Buy America provision still remains in effect.”

Schmale also pointed out that the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum are still in effect adding that there is no agreement on the softwood lumber disputes. Schmale said that locally, his district will “certainly” face concessions on the agricultural community, as well as dairy that will face American access of 3.6 per cent to the market. “It will have a bit of a ripple effect in terms of what our local producers are able to send to market,” says Schmale.

Schmale added that we are going to see some issues with drug costs due to the newly extended drug patent term that prevents companies from creating generic versions of pharmaceuticals until 10 years after its released to the public, which means higher drug costs until the generic drugs come on to the market.  Currently, the term is eight years.

“We were negotiating from a bit of a disadvantage,” was Schmale’s response when asked if he felt that the concessions Canada made were necessary to get the deal done.

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement will now have to be ratified by the governments of all three countries before taking effect.