Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe vented frustration with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to mysteriously pause his trade talks with India.
Canada unexpectedly paused talks on a proposed Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) with India just before Trudeau left for his trip. This came just three months after the two nations said they were making progress on a deal.
After learning the PM did nothing to advance a trade agreement, and instead deliberately “paused” them, the Saskatchewan Premier blasted Trudeau for coming back empty handed.
“Does Trudeau even understand the damage he is doing to our trade relationship with India – one of our most important trading partners?” Moe stated on X.
Saskatchewan’s Trade and Export Development Minister, Jeremy Harrison, wrote to the federal Trade Minister on Friday to stress their disappointment with the feds.
Harrison told Ng about his province’s “deep displeasure” with the Liberal Party for not even giving them a heads up over their trade talk development.
“It is unacceptable to our Government that we first heard of a pause in the EPTA negotiations through the media one week ago and have received no explanation from the Government of Canada subsequent to that,” Harrison said.
He added: “We will continue to take care of our interests even if you do not.”
Sasketchewan’s exports to India are worth over $1 billion to the provincial economy and ranks first or second among all provinces in Canada, the letter stated.
Moe has been actively promoting closer ties between his province and India. In February, he led a trade and investment mission to India to strengthen the relationship between the two jurisdictions.
Instead of pursuing the EPTA with India, Trudeau used his platform in India to talk down to the country over the Modi government’s recent crackdowns over protesters and journalists.
Trudeau skipped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leaders’ dinner the night before the G20 summit over the weekend, and the two leaders did not have a bilateral meeting at the summit.
An awkward handshake between Trudeau and Modi also went viral on the weekend.
President Modi later condemned Trudeau over the Sikh protests taking place in Canada against India.