Quebec needs to aggressively export abroad in Trump era: CAQ
Published Monday, January 23, 2017 12:47PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 23, 2017 6:53PM EST
Quebecers should be worried about Donald Trump, said CAQ leader François Legault, as the newly-minted U.S. president dominated discussions in the CAQ caucus Monday in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
The protectionist tendencies of the new head of the White House are causing concern for Canadians.
The United States is the largest export market for Canadian products, and Canada is the largest export market for a majority of states.
Trump moved to pull the United States out of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact Monday and has already had preliminary discussions about the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada.
Quebec exports $59 billion to the U.S. annually and imports $34 billion, creating a $25-billion trade surplus.
Legault argued that Quebec needs to be ready and more aggressive in developing more trade with Europe and Asia.
“It’s not enough to go once a year to Davis and think that the job is done. No, you have to take companies one by one and make sure that they increase their exportations to Europe and to Asia. We have to drastically change the way of doing business at Investissement Quebec. We have to be a lot more aggressive to expand and increase our exportations,” he said.
Meantime, Legault said one of his MNAs made a 'good faith error' when he claimed travel expenses he wasn’t entitled to.
Legault said he will keep Claude Surprenant on his team despite calls from the Liberals to temporarily toss his from the party.
Government Whip Stéphane Billette called for an investigation by the ethics commissioner and Surprenant’s suspension after the MNA admitted he had claimed travel expenses of close to $ 500 while carpooling to the National Assembly.