Foreign workers issue delays trade deals

The higher-end of Temporary Foreign Workers. But given that one of the original cases was in relation to foreign IT workers displacing Canadian IT workers at the Royal Bank, not an easy issue for the Government. Particularly given that in contrast to NAFTA and the upcoming CETA, India is a low-cost supplier of IT services:

While discussions have also been delayed in part because of India’s lengthy election cycle, the fact that foreign workers have emerged as a potential stumbling block has implications for other lucrative trade agreements that Canada hopes to realize. It remains to be seen whether the resounding victory by Narendra Modi, a pro-business Hindu nationalist who heads the Bharatiya Janata Party, will help Canada overcome the impasse.

Rentala Chandrashekhar, the president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), which represents India’s IT community, recently visited Ottawa to stress the negative impact Canada’s reforms are having on trade and the potential that further changes could make things worse for both economies.

Mr. Chandrashekhar, a former senior public servant with the Indian government, met with Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, senior officials with Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s department and Don Stephenson, the chief trade negotiator for the Canada-India talks.

“Most important is perception, the perception that the Canadian economy is becoming more closed,” Mr. Chandrashekhar told the Globe. “The perception that walls are being put up … [This] is not something that is very conductive to the kind of environment that you need for pushing forward the idea of a freer trade regime.”

Foreign workers issue delays trade deals – The Globe and Mail.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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