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Interventions in the House of Commons
Interventions in Committee
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Right Hon. Justin Trudeau - 14:27
Mr. Speaker, it is not only Australia and Japan who are upset with the Prime Minister for his bizarre actions in Asia.
Can the Prime Minister assure us that with his recent behaviour in China, his begging for a free trade agreement at all costs, he has not compromised our position at the NAFTA negotiating table and the millions of jobs today that depend on free trade between Canada, the United States, and Mexico?
Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives demonstrate that they still do not understand anything about getting a good trade deal for Canadians. Wherever we go around the world, we will be demanding a good deal for Canada. We are not going to follow the Conservative Harper doctrine of “any deal”, and capitulation, as a trade strategy.
We are going to demand good outcomes for Canadians, on the environment, on labour issues, on a broad range of issues, because that is what Canadians elected us to do.
Guy Caron - 14:28
Hon. John McKay - 10:05
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on International Trade, entitled “Priorities of Canadian Stakeholders Having an Interest in Bilateral and Trilateral Trade in North America, Between Canada, United States and Mexico”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109 the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
I would like to add that we have a wonderful committee. We work hard together on trade for Canadians. I would also like to thank our clerk and analysts, and the good people when we travel, those in our embassies and consulates in the United States.
Mr. Speaker, our committee was tasked with studying the trade priorities of Canadians, but recommendations from certain stakeholders were not reflected in the final report. The Conservative members of the Standing Committee on International Trade would like to offer this supplementary opinion, which includes testimony given by various stakeholders whose recommendations seem to have been overlooked.
We have included recommendations based on the evidence presented by various witnesses and stakeholders, and we encourage the Liberal government and the Minister of International Trade to read these recommendations and to actually listen to the trade priorities of all Canadians.
Hon. Peter Kent - 10:07
John Aldag - 14:17
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister went to China to launch free trade negotiations, but the Chinese regime had something else in mind, even though the Prime Minister did everything he could to appease China and speed up takeovers of Canadian companies by waiving security reviews. The Prime Minister clearly has zero credibility when it comes to China.
How are Canadians supposed to trust this Prime Minister to act in their best interest?
Mr. Speaker, I am looking forward to answering my colleague's questions, but first I would like to congratulate the four new members who were elected last night and who will be joining us here.
I also want to highlight the 24 people who stepped up across the country to put their names on ballots in the by-elections. All of us in this place know what it takes to put your name on a ballot. I congratulate all of them, and all of the volunteers who underpin the strength of our democracy.
I again look forward to congratulating the four new members when they arrive in this House. This was a good day for Canada, and a good day for our democracy.
Mr. Speaker, of course we congratulate all of those who presented their names in the by-elections, but it is interesting that the Prime Minister does not want to answer this question, because it is so embarrassing for him to have to come home empty-handed. He insulted Japan, Australia, and other trusted Asia-Pacific partners when he did not even bother to show up to meetings during the trans-Pacific partnership talks.
Now the message from our closest Asia-Pacific partners was clear: Canada has betrayed us. The Prime Minister's erratic behaviour has threatened Canadian jobs, hurt our credibility, and again showed his incompetence on the file. Why does the Prime Minister not come clean and admit that he just does not believe in free trade?
Mr. Speaker, this government has worked very hard to get trade deals that work for the good of Canadians. That is exactly what we focused on, in repairing the neglect that government had left the CETA deal in. We managed to close the deal by putting forward progressive elements that ensured that environmental rights, labour rights, and health standards will be respected. That is exactly what we are moving forward with NAFTA in ensuring that it will be good for Canadian workers and small businesses. This is why we are engaged in trade negotiations toward Asia, whether it is the CPTPP, whether it is China, whether—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Hon. Andrew Scheer - 14:21
Hon. Carla Qualtrough - 14:39
Mr. Speaker, two million families in Canada have jobs that rely on trade with the United States and Mexico. The Liberals' priorities for NAFTA announced this summer did not even mention the auto industry, the softwood lumber industry, and thousands of jobs in the agricultural sector. These sectors were ignored completely until midway through the rounds in the fall. With NAFTA on the brink of failure, how is the government now changing its strategy to protect these jobs dependent on trade?
Mr. Speaker, we are not changing our strategy one iota, because we entered the negotiations with a clear plan, and that plan is to defend the Canadian national interest with fact-based arguments. To defend the auto sector and to defend the natural resources sector, we are at the table this week in Washington putting forward fact-based arguments. We will always stand for the national interest and for Canadian values.
Mr. Speaker, the only clear plan we can see from the government is NAFTA failing. The only clear plan we see on TPP is Japan, Australia, and other countries furious with us. The only plan we see on China is a Hail Mary pass from that Prime Minister that came up many yards short.
When will the Prime Minister remove himself from Canada's trade file, get out of the way of the minister, and start standing up for the jobs that depend on trade?
Mr. Speaker, I am proud and privileged to work closely with our fine Prime Minister and our outstanding trade negotiators on this crucial issue. I would like to remind the member opposite that it was our government and our team that brought home CETA, the biggest trade deal Canada has done in two decades. We did that by working hard and by being tough where necessary, and that is the approach we are taking with NAFTA.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Hon. Geoff Regan - 14:42
Mr. Speaker, all free trade in Canada, including CETA, is an accomplishment of the former Conservative government.
The Liberal government is racking up failure after failure on international trade. NAFTA is falling apart, the trans-Pacific partnership is not being taken seriously since the Liberals do not even bother to attend important meetings, and while we still wait for a softwood lumber agreement, our industry has been penalized with countervailing duties for over a year now.
Will the Liberals stop behaving like amateurs and take action once and for all on all of these issues?
Mr. Speaker, I want to once again talk about our approach to international trade, particularly where NAFTA is concerned.
We have the best negotiators in the world, and I am very proud of their work. The national interest is Canada's top priority, and we will defend our national interest and our values at the negotiating table.
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister failed to get a deal on softwood lumber when he had a chance to with President Obama. He put TPP in jeopardy by failing to show up for a meeting, which was a slap in the face to our trading partners. Despite giving the Chinese free reign on purchasing Canadian companies, he still could not get a deal done with them. The current Liberal government has made mistake after mistake on trade. How can Canadians trust this Prime Minister to protect their interests?
Hon. Chrystia Freeland - 14:44