To the Editor:
Kootenay Columbia voters should be worried there are candidates running for office who don’t understand the giant benefit of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The Elk Valley yields metallurgical coal. BC production generates over $3.2 billion in economic activity each year and around $715 million in public revenues. Candidates who believe there’s a money tree somewhere won’t acknowledge that fifty percent of government services like health care, social services, education and roads come from Canada’s exports.
We are a trading nation! If we don’t negotiate international trade agreements, American or Australian competitors will have tariff advantage over Canada. It could be game over for Canadian exports.
Bill Bennett correctly observed, “If Canada had not signed the TPP, nations like Australia that also supply Asia with metallurgical coal could have sought penalties with the agreement partners against Canada for our met coal exports,”
In fact, Australia has already completed a free trade agreement with China giving the Aussies a 3% advantage over Elk Valley product in new contracts. 20% of coal produced in the Elk Valley goes to China.
That's 11 weeks production. It substantially supports over 25,000 jobs in mining, transport, equipment and other related sectors. Our local economy, our communities, our jobs depend on international markets.
Without a Green money tree how would we replace public revenue for healthcare and social services?
Is it fear mongering to note there are candidates who don’t comprehend trade?