Scotiabank CEO in support of free trade but wants governments to address concerns

Scotiabank CEO calls for new free trade rules

TORONTO — Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter is calling for an updated North American trade agreement that includes provisions on services, electronic commerce and intellectual property.

Speaking during the bank’s annual shareholder meeting, Porter said there must be “positive public dialogue” on the benefits of free trade as policymakers look to renegotiate the terms of NAFTA.

The North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico has been in force since early 1994 and some observers have said it doesn’t adequately address newer technologies.

Porter says Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) supports the free movement of goods and services throughout the continent.

He says business leaders and politicians must address the concerns of people who feel that their livelihoods have been threatened by open markets.

For example, Porter says there should be training opportunities to help displaced workers get back into the workforce.

Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter.

The Canadian Press

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