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CIIT Committee Meeting

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Meeting No. 38
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Standing Committee on International Trade met at 9:05 a.m. this day, in Room 308, West Block, the Chair, Leon Benoit, presiding.


Members of the Committee present: Guy André, Leon Benoit, Ron Cannan, Serge Cardin, Hon. Mark Eyking, Helena Guergis, Peter Julian, John Maloney and Ted Menzies.


Acting Members present: Rick Casson for Pierre Lemieux and Roger Valley for Lui Temelkovski.


In attendance: Library of Parliament: Peter Berg, Analyst; Michael Holden, Analyst.


Witnesses: Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters: Carol Osmond, Senior Policy Advisor.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee resumed its study of the Canada's Trade Policy.

The witness made a statement and answered questions at 10:20 o'clock a.m..

The Committee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Committee business.

It was agreed, — That the Committee consider the Report of the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure.


It was agreed, — That the Study Plan prepared by the Library of Parliament dated November 23, 2006 be approved as follows:


In its meeting of 23 November 2006, the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on International Trade agreed to a work plan for the long term. The plan consists of a two-stage study, as well as a number of meetings on other subjects.


The Committee will study the challenges and issues facing Canadian international business development in Canada’s major trade and investment markets. It will identify problems and seek solutions on how to enhance the global competitiveness of Canadian businesses. This study will take place in two stages. Stage one will consider Canada’s major trade and investment markets other than North America. Stage two will examine trade and investment issues with North America.

A. Stage One: Trade and Investment Issues in Other Major Markets

Stage one of the study considers Canadian trade and investment issues in major markets outside the North American market. Hearings on this subject will conclude on 1 March and the Committee will aim to issue a report by 29 March.

Amongst areas to be considered are the Gulf States (Gulf Cooperation Council); South America (Brazil, Chile); and Russia.

B Stage Two: Canada-North America Trade and Investment Issues

The Committee will begin the portion of this study by examining the impact of free trade; specifically, what has been the effect of Canada-North America economic integration on the Canadian economy, industrial composition and the welfare and lives of Canadians? The remainder of the study will look at current issues that may impede Canadians’ ability to do business within North America.

A report will be presented to Parliament before the House rises for the summer


The Committee’s work plan is divided into three time periods, as described below:

A. 28 November to 14 December

• Tuesday, 28 November 2006: Trade Policy ; and Motions by Peter Julian.

• Tuesday, 5 December 2006: General trade issues

Proposed Witnesses:

Dairy Farmers of Canada

Canadian Federation of Agriculture

Canadian Canola Growers

Association Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance

If one of the above groups is not available, the Committee invite the Grain Growers of Canada

• Thursday 7 December and 12 December 2006:

Two-day seminar from 8 a.m. 10 a.m. entitled Trade Knowledge Networks for Parliamentarians hosted by the Inter Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, the Committee will hold a regular one hour meeting on each of these two days on the topic of textiles.

The Committee will also invite the Conference Board of Canada to appear before it when the Board unveils its major study on trade. (Date to be determined)

B. 30 January to 29 March

During this period, the Committee will conduct stage one of its study: an examination of the challenges and obstacles for Canadians doing business with the United States. Hearings on this subject will conclude on 1 March and the Committee will issue a report by 29 March.

The Committee will hold additional meetings, including the following:


• European Free Trade Agreement Committee.

C. 17 April through June

Stage two of the long-term study will begin following the Easter break.

The Committee proceeded to consider the motion of Peter Julian regarding textile industry.

Peter Julian moved, That the Committee calls on the government of Canada to stem the current market disruption, in specific categories, in the Canadian apparel industry, by immediately invoking Article 242 of China's accession protocol to the WTO and putting in place restrictions or safeguards on the growth of specific categories of apparel imports from China.

Guy André moved, That the motion be amended by removing all the words after “That” and replacing them with the following: “That the Committee report to the House of Commons urging the Government of Canada to counter disruption of trade in specific categories of Canada’s textile and clothing industries by immediately invoking clause 242 of China’s protocol to ascension to the WTO and by subjecting the increase of clothing and textile imports in specific categories from China to safeguards and restrictions.

These safeguards, which aim to give the industry time to adapt and modernize, should be accompanied by assistance measures, including:

• Improving the CANtex program and extending it to the clothing industry

• Introducing an income support program for older workers who cannot be reclassified

• Implementing measures to encourage the use of Canadian textiles.

In accordance with the desire of the House of Commons expressed on February 8, 2005 and October 15, 2005.

By unanimous consent, it was agreed, That the motion and amendment be stood until the committee hear further witnesses on the topic;

That members submit their proposed witnesses to the Chair; and

That the selection of the witnesses be, if necessary, at the discretion of the Chair.


At 10:59 a.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.


Normand Radford
Clerk of the Committee

2006/12/06 10:24 a.m.