Twenty years later, the free trade deal with the United States signed by Brian Mulroney in 1988 has been a monumental failure for all but the richest Canadians, says a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
“Its promoters said free trade would created more and better jobs but that promise was clearly hollow,” says CCPA director Bruce Campbell, the study’s author. “There are fewer jobs today in the traded goods sector than there was before free trade.”
The study, titled “20 Years Later”, found that between 1987 and 2006 the 41 companies’ combined revenue grew from $142 billion to $310 billion while they shrank their combined workforce by over 118,000
“This is hardly the new age of shared prosperity the Mulroney government forecast when the free trade deal was signed back in 1988,” Campbell said. “While large corporations and business elites have done spectacularly well, for a majority of Canadians the promise of prosperity has turned into an era of economic insecurity.”