Good morning, everybody, and welcome to the trade committee.
This is a very active trade committee. We have lots on our plate. We're dealing with softwood lumber, finishing up the European agreement, but our main focus is on the TPP. Our committee has been travelling across the country. We have done the western provinces and Ontario and Quebec. We have Atlantic Canada and the territories left.
We have also been listening to Canadians. We had open mike at many of the sessions, and we've also had many stakeholders here. We also have submissions coming in from the general public until the end of June, and if MPs are doing town halls, we're going to take their submissions at the end of July.
It's good to see everybody here.
The way we're doing it is a little different. We usually have two sets. We used to split it up, but we're keeping all the witnesses together. It's just because it's June in Ottawa, and you never know what's going to happen here, but our main focus is hearing from you and starting the dialogue. It doesn't look like we have any votes this morning, so we should be able to run right through probably until 10:30 a.m.
We're going to start with witnesses.
We have quite a group here. We have Canada's Building Trades Unions. We have the Canadian Council on Food Sovereignty and Health. We have the Canadian Seed Trade Association. We have the Grain Growers of Canada. We have the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. We have Teamsters Canada.
Folks, each group will have five minutes, and try to keep it to five minutes. If it's shorter, that's fine, too. When you're coming to the end of five minutes, if you're going a little too long, I'm going to tell you to wrap it up. Then we'll have dialogue with the MPs.
Without further ado, we're going to start off with Christopher Smillie from Canada's Building Trades Unions.
Thanks very much. I feel like I've joined the opposition ranks sitting over here today.
An hon. member: They're good ranks to be in.
Mr. Christopher Smillie: Good morning, committee members, chair, and fellow witnesses.
CBT represent 500,000 skilled trades workers all across Canada in most trades, from bricklaying to welding, to carpentry, to crane operators, to electricians. Our members work in all sectors of construction, but mainly infrastructure, institutional, commercial, and energy-related construction.
Canada is part of a global economy and must continue to participate in trade deals that enable growth and serve Canadian interests. That leads to the question, how does TPP serve the interests of Canada and specifically Canada's labour market?
As the TPP was being negotiated, we all read the headlines on the impact to agriculture, manufacturing, and pharma. Milk was spilled on Wellington Street—I think there's more coming today—and there were angry discussions about intellectual property regimes.
For my members, these are not the most significant measures in the deal. The most striking element of the TPP for my members is the access afforded foreign workers to middle-class jobs in the Canadian labour market. This is something new for Canada in trade deals. Never before have hands-on workers like people in the building trades been directly named or affected in a Canadian trade deal. No one understands how the immigration provisions in the TPP will impact the Canadian worker. No one knows how many Japanese or Chilean construction contracting companies will come with their own workforce. No one knows because Canada has never tried this before.
My members are concerned. We're concerned that Canadian companies and Canadian workers could be displaced from our own economy by this deal. We are concerned about the long-term impact on the Canadian workforce, especially chapter 12 and the irreversible nature of the labour mobility provisions through side letters with Japan, Chile, Australia, Mexico, and Peru.
Specifically, we're concerned as the TPP enables the entry of foreign nationals for employment purposes in the skilled trades with no examination of local labour market conditions before this work permit is issued. We are concerned that TPP grants access to foreign workers without providing clear reciprocal access for Canadian workers. We are concerned that there is no reliable mechanism for foreign credential recognition federally or provincially in Canada. This responsibility should not be up to CBSA to decide at the border.
Finally, we are concerned with the link to the national and subnational government procurement process. Access to government procurement is nothing new in trade deals, but the ability to staff up Canadian projects without examining local labour markets conditions first is very new. We thought the infrastructure projects in Ontario, about $120 billion, and across Canada, about $100 billion, were entirely focused on stimulating Canada's economy.
As it stands right now, while foreign companies can win and build projects here, a Canadian workforce must actually be used to build it. The TPP changes that. Under the TPP provisions, when a foreign company wins a bid, workers in Ontario or other provinces have no guarantee that they will have access to those jobs, and the public infrastructure funding, from Canadian taxpayers by the way, goes overseas, not back into our own economy.
The TPP will enable the entry of foreign nationals for employment purposes in our trades with no examination of local labour market conditions before a work permit is issued. That means, Mississauga, or Chatham, or London, or New Brunswick could be experiencing high unemployment, and foreign nationals would be permitted to enter that labour market without examination or consideration for that labour market. There is a fairly rigorous system in place currently under the temporary foreign worker program. An assessment is conducted on local labour markets by ESDC and CIC before a foreign national is permitted to take up work in Canada.
Essentially, under TPP, unrestricted access is granted to chapter 12 countries with no consideration for local employment conditions. Let me repeat and let me be clear that we're not anti-trade and we're not anti-foreign worker, but we want to put Canadian workers first. Our members and future members just want a fair first shot at jobs in their own country. Under the TFW program, before seeking foreign workers, employers are required to attempt to do at least some training of Canadians first, a condition that is completely absent under TPP.
In the TPP, Canada agreed to temporary entry for technicians, and the agreement specifically outlines a number of trades.
While I've been assured that Canada would not negotiate an agreement that was not 100% reciprocal, in fact, upon reading the commitments to these other countries, it's not entirely clear to me or us—
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and honourable committee members.
I speak on behalf of the Canadian Council on Food Sovereignty and Health. This is a group that serves the Canadian public.
Paramount in every trade agreement is the SPS clause, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, that cannot be overridden by any trade agreement. We have already been compromising that clause under NAFTA, and if TPP passes, this will be horrible for the Canadian public, Canadian food sovereignty, our farmers, and our farmers' jobs.
The first casualty will be the milk industry where, according to this agreement, we have already agreed to open 3.75% of our dairy industry to the United States. That means that BGH that was not approved in this country will now be coming liberally into this country. That will be the death of our dairy industry.
It's not only one product. There are five other products in our food supply. Those are other hormones, antibiotics, slaughterhouse waste, genetically modified organisms, and pesticides. I worked at Health Canada for 35 years. I was the one who got rBGH stopped. This book is called Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. It's available to the committee members on DVD to take home. A shorter version of that is called “The Five Pillars of Food Safety” that I'm talking about. That article is here also. I will submit it before I leave.
Now we come to the actual TPP. Government websites are declaring openly and repeatedly that Canadian food sovereignty, Canadian food safety, will never be compromised. We consider that to be an untrue and false statement, because we are continuing to approve these five products, these five sets of products, by Health Canada contrary to the Food and Drug Act and regulations. This should not be permitted.
Mr. Lametti and I spoke about it in Guelph together on the same panel, and it is recognized we have to fix our home turf first. We have to make sure our food safety standards are never compromised. They are already being compromised. Before we move into any further trade agreement, we have to sort that out.
I'll be available for further questions to elaborate on this matter as to exactly how that is happening. There could be public litigation on that matter.
Thank you, sir.
On behalf of the Canadian Seed Trade Association, CSTA for short, I would like to thank the committee for the invitation to discuss our perspective on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
My name is Dan Wright and I serve as the second vice-president on the board of directors of CSTA. I will be sharing my time today with Dave Carey, CSTA's manager of government affairs and policy.
CSTA is the national voice of the Canadian seed trade association. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit association that brings together 125 member companies engaged in all aspects of seed, including research, development, plant breeding, production, marketing, and sales, both domestically and internationally. Seed is the start of the agriculture value chain. Nine in ten bites of food around the world start with the planting of a seed.
Our members work with over 50 different crop kinds and serve the needs of their customers by developing and providing seed produced through various methods, including organic, conventional, and biotechnology. Our members range from single-family farm units to multinational companies.
CSTA members are proud to be vital contributors to the national economy and to the health and well-being of Canadian and international consumers. Our members are united in their support of CSTA's mission statement: to foster seed industry innovation and trade. Given our mandate, CSTA is in support of the TPP and any effort by the Canadian government to increase opportunities by addressing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. CSTA's first strategic priority is the unrestricted trade of seed around the world. The TPP provides our industry with better access to a $28-trillion market.
The economic impact of the seed industry is $5.61 billion annually, employing more than 57,000 Canadians and generating more than $450 million in exports. Exports are a very important part of the Canadian seed trade. Exports to member countries of the TPP account for over 70% of total exports or over $315 million annually. Canada's top TPP export markets for seed include the U.S., Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, but our members are always looking for new ways to access new markets.
Given our experience with liberalizing trade agreements, we expect that the exports to TPP countries would increase significantly over time after ratification.
Thank you, and I will now turn my remaining time over to Dave Carey.
Thank you, Dan, and my thanks to the committee for having us here today.
Seed generally trades with zero or very low tariffs, and many of the TPP countries do not bind or apply any tariffs on seed for sowing. While this is an advantage for our commodity type, we experience issues with non-tariff trade barriers, such as variations in customs procedures at borders. Issues with exports of seed are much easier for us as a trade association to resolve for our members when there is a bilateral or multilateral trade agreement in place.
CSTA is a strong proponent of science-based decision-making and supports the provisions in the TPP that would commit signatory countries to science, transparency, and incorporating the concept of equivalence. These principles are critical when it comes to sanitary and phytosanitary requirements and the testing and sampling required for seed exports.
CSTA is pleased that Canada has secured provisions on products of biotechnology in the agreement. Canadian farmers are early adopters of new technology that improves productivity, provides health and environmental solutions, and enhances competitiveness.
The provisions of the TPP that require countries to make their science-based approval processes for biotechnology traits more transparent is a big step forward. It provides a greater sense of predictability and will foster increased investment and innovation.
The TPP also contains provisions on low-level presence, LLP, and it is the first agreement to do so. This provision essentially establishes a process to address instances where low-level presence occurs, which will significantly reduce trade disruptions and increase transparency.
Canada is a trading nation and agriculture is a global industry. As such, a multilateral agreement like the TPP that seeks to establish rules-based trade among major export markets is extremely important to the Canadian seed industry. It will be much more effective than a series of bilaterals.
To conclude, congratulations on the good work being done to study the TPP. We believe its ratification will be a significant achievement for our industry.
CSTA members, their farmer customers, and Canadians will benefit from reductions in tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers on seed exports, and we will see many positive gains from access to new markets and agricultural innovations.
Dan and I welcome any questions you have today.
Good morning. Thank you for having us.
I'm Phil Benson, lobbyist, and Mr. Froelich is the director of our Teamsters Canada dairy division. We'll be splitting our time.
The TPP is a flawed agreement, giving little benefit and great potential loss to Canadians. The TPP was negotiated in secret with government and business—no unions or NGOs allowed. I heard one proponent say, “these types of agreements could never be negotiated in public”, which is not glowing support for democracy.
We would urge the committee to take the same focus on the TPP as the government did in the last budget for the middle class. Budget documents recognize that worker and middle-class wages have been stagnant for 30 years, a result of globalization spurred on by trade deals and technological change. Seventy per cent of the economy is consumer driven, and with stagnant wages and record debt, a single-minded focus on what is good for business may result in killing the goose that laid the golden egg: no consumers, no business, and no government revenue.
Proponents claim the TPP will increase GDP by $5 billion to $10 billion, a rounding error in a $2-trillion economy. Studies have shown a decline in employment: fearmongering that we're better in than out? Already, 98% of trade under the TPP is “free”, and studies from various groups, including the C.D. Howe Institute, show that the effect of not signing the TPP would be negligible on the economy.
The extension of protection on intellectual property will do little more than stifle research and competition while increasing costs to consumers. The investor protection provisions are odious. Bad enough the creation of a secret court without public oversight and participation—I thought we got rid of star courts for good reasons—worse is the chilling effect on government and Parliament. Being sued is one thing; being afraid to stop product sales to protect the environment and public safety is much worse.
For labour, the TPP sales and service provisions will produce a temporary foreign worker program on steroids. We assume that the TPP drafters thought reducing Canadian wages through globalization and trade deals was not sufficient: let's just open the doors and let them take our jobs.
Though the TPP would affect many sectors, we will focus on the dairy sector. The allotment of quota for dairy products from butter and cheese to ice cream could affect many Teamsters in the supply chain who are delivering products from dairies to business and consumers. The effect will be known only when the quotas are awarded. Teamsters Canada has repeatedly asked to be included in those consultations and meetings, and we hope the promised participation will occur.
The Teamsters Canada dairy division represents workers in dairies from Vancouver Island to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Teamsters pick up milk from the farm gate, work to produce milk and dairy products and deliver them to retail, and prepare shipments to wholesale clients.
The TPP allotment of quota will permanently disrupt Canada's dairy supply management system. The TPP quota limit has been given as 3.25% of the total market; however, that number is for year five. Given the incremental 1% increase of quota each year, the final impact will reach 4.35% of the total market, or about 400 TMT. Depending upon the product, the TPP's impact appears to be from 5% to 10% of the market for dairy product.
The TPP will not affect IREP, the program that allows dairies to import milk to process for export. That's about 54 TMT and worth about $90 million. We understand that all the TPP quota and IREP allotments will be filled. It's double-dipping, but it shows the cumulative effect of the programs. On CETA, which deals with cheese, our questions about the cumulative effect were met with “it's only cheese”, so we have not factored that into the numbers.
Eighty-five per cent of the 56.9 TMT liquid milk quota will be reserved for dairies. It's a positive for dairy workers; however, our expectation is that most of this milk will come from the United States.
Only 83% of U.S. liquid milk is hormone free, while Canadian farmers must follow Canadian regulations regarding no hormones. Will consumers in Canada be protected? From our consultations on the purity in the imports and on the commitments between dairies and U.S. suppliers, there would be no requirements on direct U.S. importation of liquid milk on the shelf. We hope concerns about the hormone-free status of milk will not erode the market for milk and milk products in Canada or abroad. If environmentalists in Europe were to claim that Canadian cheese was tainted, how much cheese do you think would be sold there?
Currently, imports of dairy products exceed exports by a 70% to 30% margin, about $250 million, mostly ice cream, cheese, and whey. In our consultations, the best answer we could get about decreasing this margin was that the TPP would create opportunity. If the TPP is really going to increase export opportunity, then we must assume that the billions of dollars the previous government was extending the industry were unneeded.
We understand why dairy farmers may need to be compensated for actual and opportunity loss. We have a hard time understanding why dairies require taxpayer funds, and we do not support it. If the TPP is good for business, we must assume that the private sector would be chewing at the bit to invest.
We believe that if processor modernization compensation is to be given to the industry because of the TPP, then workers in the industry should be included in the compensation package, for example, with money to help bridge older workers to retirement, training to find new work beyond existing programs, and training for new technologies that may be introduced on the job.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, for the invitation to appear today.
The Grain Growers of Canada strongly support the ratification of the TPP agreement by Canada, and we would like to tell you why from the perspective of the individual farmer.
Our organization acts as a national voice for over 50,000 farmers from across Canada who actively grow and care for a variety of crops, including wheat, durum, barley, canola, oats, corn, soybean, peas, and lentils. We do this by bringing together provincial and regional grower groups to advocate for a federal policy environment that maximizes global competitive advantages and opportunities for Canadian farmers.
I am one of those farmers. My name is Margaret Hansen, and I am a third-generation farmer from Langbank, Saskatchewan, where I grow canola, wheat, barley, and oats with my brother and cousin.
You have already heard excellent comments from many agricultural organizations, and the Grain Growers of Canada believe that the importance of this trade deal cannot be emphasized enough. It is important for the future of farming and families across Canada. On a very personal note, trade is absolutely the future for my family and my community.
Canada is a major exporter of cereals, pulses, and oilseeds, and many of Canada's key, high-value markets are contained within the TPP zone. For example, Canada exports 90% of the canola and 75% of the wheat we farmers grow. The TPP region represents an impressive 65% of Canadian agricultural export markets, and at the same time encompasses some of Canada's key export competitors, including the U.S., Australia, and Mexico. You can clearly see why this agreement is so important to Canadian grain growers.
If Canada is left looking in from the outside, the missed opportunity of tariff reductions and increased market access are obvious, but in addition, our key competitors will gain an advantage over us, with preferential access into fast-growing TPP markets.
A typical Canadian grain farmer produces multiple types of crops within a growing cycle, including cereals, oilseeds, and pulses, all of which are exported to the TPP zone. In the canola industry, eliminating tariffs on value-added canola products could increase exports of canola oil and meal by up to $780 million per year. It could also bring new investment in canola processing to Canada and create jobs. The agreement will also keep Canadians competitive with Australian farmers who benefit from a $1.2-billion canola seed market in Japan.
TPP countries also represent growth opportunities for cereal exports as many growing markets reside within the TPP zone. Canadian wheat and barley exports will become more accessible through a reduction of state trading enterprise markups in Japan and tariff removal in Vietnam.
Equally important, Canadian farmers will remain competitive with Australia and the U.S. in key export markets. Australia holds a bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam. As both countries are included in the TPP, Canada would be put on a level playing field in this trading zone.
Closer to home, Canadian wheat will remain competitive in the major markets of Peru and Mexico. These markets are especially important to Canada as the U.S. is attempting to gain market share given its logistical advantage into these regions.
Pulse growers will see duties and tariffs eliminated within the TPP zone, which will allow pulse growers to have continuous, competitive access into markets such as Japan and Mexico.
An almost absolute certainty in the world of international trade is that tariff reductions give rise to the creation of all types of non-tariff barriers. Of particular concern to grain farmers are barriers to trade, such as maximum residue limits and low-level presence. The Grain Growers of Canada believe that non-tariff barriers need to be addressed and managed on a transparent, scientific basis as opposed to in the political arena. The TPP as written emphasizes these principles and includes a dispute resolution process to ensure that trade disputes are quickly addressed.
The value of the TPP agreement and the potential for Canada to remain competitive internationally are not only a benefit to growers but to the entire agriculture and agrifood industry, those along the supply chains, and communities across the country.
The deal includes countries with emerging markets that are seeing rapid population and income growth and will be importing additional higher quality food for years to come. Canadian farmers are extremely well positioned to meet this demand. To be left out of this historic agreement would be detrimental to the Canadian grain industry, and Canada cannot afford to remain on the sidelines and risk losing ground to our competitors in these markets.
For Canadian growers it is crucial to our livelihoods and our communities across the country that Canada not be left out of this agreement.
My name is Matt Wayland, as mentioned, and I'm here on behalf of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, or IBEW.
I would like to take the time to thank the committee on international trade for allowing us to present our concerns today on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In particular, I'll be focusing my presentation on the implications that chapter 12, temporary foreign entry for business persons, will have on the construction sector.
The IBEW represents 750,000 members in North America and over 70,000 right here in Canada. Our members are in every province and territory working in various sectors such as railroad, government, telecommunications, utility, and our two largest sectors being inside and outside construction.
I have the unique opportunity to not only represent members of the IBEW across Canada, but I, myself, am a Red Seal construction maintenance licensed electrician who has been through the apprenticeship system and spent many years working in the construction sector. IBEW's highly skilled members are building our country's largest infrastructure projects such as Site C in British Columbia, the Muskrat Falls project in Newfoundland and everything in between. We play a large part in the Canadian economy.
A Red Seal licensed electrician is recognized across the country, meaning that no matter which Canadian jurisdiction I am in, I'm able to work legally as an electrician. There are certain jurisdictions in Canada where electricians have received a licence in their home province but didn't meet the Red Seal criteria, which means they're not allowed to travel to other jurisdictions; they can only work in the one they're accredited in.
In each of your constituencies, there'll be a number of people, electricians and others in skilled trades like myself, who fit into that category and they too will be negatively impacted by chapter 12 of the TPP.
Chapter 12, as mentioned earlier, essentially allows the free flow of construction workers between countries, and the text specifically indicates electricians and various other electrical workers and technicians. I've met with various other construction trade unions, subject matter experts, and so on, none of whom were ever consulted prior to or during the TPP negotiations. In fact, it wasn't until December 2015, months after the TPP was finalized, that we were able to meet with Canada's negotiators on the deal. If we had been included in those discussions or negotiations to any degree, we believe many of the pitfalls currently included in chapter 12 could have been avoided.
There are only seven other countries who have signed on to side agreements with Canada, as Mr. Smillie mentioned earlier in his remarks, and they include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, and Peru. One country that is noticeably missing from agreement, though, happens to be Canada's largest trading partner, the United States of America. Obviously, they saw no value in it for them, so what's in it for us?
Another caveat that's included in the text of chapter 12, under section B, Intra-corporate Transferees, and section D, Professionals and Technicians, depending on which one you look at, is the following statement:
Canada shall grant temporary entry and provide a work permit or authorisation to
intra-corporate transferees or professionals and technicians, again, depending on which section you are looking at
(a) require labour certification tests or other procedures of similar intent as a condition for temporary entry or
(b) impose or maintain any numerical restriction relating to temporary entry.
What does that mean exactly? It means that Canada is not allowed to place any restrictions on the number of entrants, regardless of how many plumbers, electricians, or Canadians are unemployed in that jurisdiction. We're not allowed a “hire a Canadian first” provision and certainly not allowed to test any individuals to see if they meet our Canadian standards.
It also means the TPP will allow foreign-owned companies, so in any of those seven TPP countries, to bid on Canadian infrastructure projects and, if successful, they can bring an entire workforce to Canada. Think about a company that brings over a crew of electricians from Malaysia or Mexico to perform work in your riding. Maybe it's an infrastructure project like a hospital that received taxpayer funding, and those workers aren't familiar with our installation methods, safe work practices, or even the electrical code. When there's an issue, how are you going to explain this to Canadians or constituents? What happens when someone is seriously injured, or worse, killed on a construction site? We see workers seriously injured or killed every single day in Canada. Loosening our laws and allowing anyone whose paperwork seems, to the border agent in Canada, to match up will only make constructions sites more dangerous for workers, not to mention the public.
One of our largest training centres in Canada, Local 353 in Toronto, has seen many unqualified workers from foreign countries come through on a regular basis. They come to the local looking for work with an electrical licence from China, Russia, or Mexico. When we take them into the training centre and show them the various training modules we have set up, they don't recognize whether it's industrial, commercial, institutional, or residential wiring. Those components and signage aren't familiar to them. They do recognize telephone and coaxial cable, though, 90% of the time. But they have a licence in their home country as an electrician, which under the TPP, will allow them to perform work here in Canada.
Do you want that individual wiring a hospital in your neighbourhood? How about wiring the oil sands projects where there are thousands of workers present on any given day and multi-billions of dollars' worth of investments made, or maybe the school your children go to?
Let me clear, IBEW is not against trade deals. In fact, we see the benefits of good trade deals all the time, as long as they're negotiated fairly and not in secret. The IBEW is not against immigration or foreign workers; however, we are against the exploitation of workers.
Let me be clear. The IBEW is not against trade deals. In fact, we can see the benefits of good trade deals all the time, as long as they are negotiated fairly and not in secret. The IBEW is not against immigration or foreign workers; however, we are against the exploitation of workers, these foreign workers who, at the end of the day, are just trying to go to work in a safe environment and provide for their families, much like our members and Canadians here.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank all the witnesses for being here.
It's interesting to listen to some of the comments, whether it's on agriculture or on international trade. I've been on both.
In a country that now has at least 44 free trade agreements, recognized as the best country in the world over the last 10 years in which to do business, we now have the wealthiest middle class in the world. There was the creation, through a recession, of more than a million net new jobs. Also we have one of the best, if not the best, safe food records in the world.
I always want to make sure that in my background in agriculture.... The foundation of everything we do is based on agriculture; then above agriculture come the significant areas that are important to people within Canada and within the countries we're negotiating with.
I'd like to go to the Grain Growers of Canada. Margaret, would you as a grain grower help me as a farmer and talk a little about the dispute resolution process and the significance of having it in place to shorten the term in which farmers have to deal with it?
Thanks for the question.
Yes, on the LLP side it has been touched on, but essentially it spells out in article 2.27 on the trade of products in modern biotechnology, that there's a transparent process to deal with LLP issues, and that provides predictability.
We sometimes have members who make shipments of seed, and they can be reluctant to ship to markets for fear that it's going to arrive at the port of entry, where they will test it and say that they've found something. Then we go back to that country that we don't have an agreement with and we find that their testing method isn't true to ISTA, International Seed Testing Association, standards. That's a big issue.
This provides a clear process, and it also provides essentially a biotechnology working group, which is under the committee on agricultural trade. Those are two big pluses: predictability and transparency.
Concerning some of the less traditional non-tariff trade barriers, such as treatments, some countries will say that a shipment of seed entering the country has to be fumigated with a certain type of gas, whereas in Canada we don't allow that to happen; it's not a good practice. By having a bilateral trade agreement or multilateral trade agreement, our regulators have a point of contact to resolve that.
It is also big on seed treatments, whereby a lot of seed is shipped treated with a coating of either insecticide or fungicide for disease or pests. Some countries will say they want it treated with such and such a chemical, but that chemistry is not approved in Canada. That's a non-tariff trade barrier.
The last one is seed as a pathway. Most countries use seed as a low phytosanitary risk for disease and for pests because it is conditioned, and when it's harvested it goes through rigorous procedures to make sure that it has viability and vigour before planting. However, some countries view it as a high pathway, and this therefore becomes a non-tariff trade barrier. Mexico is the best example to show that.
Thank you, Mr. Dhaliwal.
When the initial text came out, it was stated that the total impact would be about 3.25% or something, but that was only to year five. When you take the incremental increases, it's about 4.35%, 400,000 tonnes or something. You have to look through the fine things to realize that the impact it has depends upon whether it's butter or ice cream or cheese.
One of the saddest things is this. I cut my teeth on NAFTA. For NAFTA, as a labourer I had access to the rolling draft of the negotiators and to modelling by StatsCan. We've asked repeatedly of the minister—we had private briefings with the negotiators and with Agriculture Canada—could you do modelling for us to let us know what the impact is.
As we look at it up and down the supply chain, we just see so many potentials: Teamsters pick up the milk at the gate; it goes to a dairy; from the dairy, at which we're present, it goes to wholesalers, and we are there; we take it to airports, and we are there. If you look at all of the impacts of the things, it affects all of those areas.
Up to this point, we have to look at the agreement and take it as a sad state of affairs until we have some modelling done.
Bovine growth hormone is just one of the hormones. Fortunately, it was not approved in Canada. We all know the history of what happened. A Senate committee prevented it, and I was the key witness there in how it was stopped in Canada.
Even though it was not approved in Canada, it was not banned. There's a big difference between those two. That means that dairy products from the U.S. continue to come in and are affecting the dairy industry adversely. That means all the dry milk, the cheese, the butter, and the ice cream are all coming in, and the same products are being made from the tainted milk coming from the United States.
The United States is the only country, not only in NAFTA but also in the TPP countries, where BGH remains approved. You can imagine what will happen if you allow the American milk to come in. Then some of our Canadian dairy industry may also want to do the same thing.
That's just one small problem with dairy farmers. I've heard it said that Canadian food products are the best or the safest in the world. I'll say it's exactly the opposite. Canadian food has become the most toxic on earth because we are breaking our own law.
I'll give you an example. Other beef hormones are being used in Canada and the United States, and these beef hormones—
I will start, and Mr. Froelich will finish.
Just on Mr. Chopra's point, and we raised it.... As people in Canada or our foreign partners, especially CETA partners, realize that our milk could be tainted, it may in fact affect sales.
For us, it is not just dairies; it is through the entire supply chain. We are not sure how.... For instance, is McDonald's going to get a quota? The answer is, they might. Is Walmart going to get a quota? The answer is, they might. That is why we have to be in those parties. It is not just dairy.
Just last week, I think, there was an announcement here in Ottawa that 100 dairy workers, Teamsters, are going to lose their jobs. We have had 400,000 manufacturing jobs lost since the trade deals came in. They haven't been replaced by the same kind of jobs.
Mr. Froelich, just direct for the workers.
Going back to NAFTA, that did not allow construction workers to come to Canada. Where I was working at the time, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get Americans and Mexicans, Americans mostly, out of the country. If you look at chapter 16, the business guide, there's an entire two pages on trades. I helped draft that. This is unprecedented. It's temporary foreign workers on steroids.
As for labour protection, side deals on labour, to be blunt about it, in trade deals they are worth nothing. We have these labour standards, etc., and they are all nice words. We have it in NAFTA for Mexico, and we have it in other trade deals for other countries, and not a darn thing has happened to elevate anything.
At the end of the day, with the other trade deals.... When their grain goes to market, I guarantee you it's a teamster taking it to market. But you have to look at the entirety of the deal. From other deals, there's 400,000 manufacturing jobs that have been lost over the last 30 years. Wages are stagnant. With all due respect, agriculture is a very small part of our economy. It does not employ a lot of people. I'm talking about total GDP. It's okay, and I totally support them, but to sign a trade deal that benefits that industry but hurts this one, this one, and this other one, that's a little problematic for us.
It's been a few years since I've been a permanent member of this committee, so it's good to be back.
I'm going to put my questions in the following context, partially because my job is to specialize in Canada-U.S. trade and Canada-U.S. issues. I was down in the Congress and talked to various congressmen there.
First of all, I think the Liberal government's consultations are about buying time to see what the U.S. is going to do if—hang on there, Sukh, I'm not scolding you guys—and they'll decide, one way or the other, based upon what's going on in the United States. Having talked with Republicans and Democrats, I personally would say that the U.S. probably has less than a 1% chance of ratifying the TPP.
In some respects, my questions are going to be looking forward, beyond the TPP, to what we would do if we would redo the TPP later on, if we would end up doing a bunch of bilaterals, let's say an independent bilateral with the United States, Japan, etc., and through the list.
I'm going to start with a friend from the natural resources committee in the past, Mr. Smillie, and then whoever else wants to jump in on this one can.
If we had to start this over again as far as looking for ways to increase labour mobility for Canadians going abroad goes, where would you start? I'm not asking about people coming in, but I'm saying let's figure out a way and figure out what we should negotiate, and how we should do it to get more Canadian welders to be able to work on projects in Mexico, Peru, Japan, Malaysia, etc. Where would you start?
I'm looking beyond the TPP. I'm talking about in the next round when we do this, since this has turned out to be a practice round, or I'm 99% sure of that. What would we do to enhance the ability of your members to go abroad and work on some really great projects?
I thought there was an automatic entry once you sign the agreement if enough parties sign it, so America and Japan, we're in. It might be whether you sign it or not....
As we've said, the C.D. Howe Institute has said it's negligible as to whether we sign it, as 98% of the stuff we deal is already free trade. For us, the only complaint we're getting from the farmers' groups is not being able to move enough grain to existing markets, so I don't think it would have a major impact whatsoever. The questions we have to ask are on the negatives that you've heard about: trademarks and food safety.
On food safety, a big issue that I've heard people talk about is the science. I know that Mr. Chopra, whom I really respect and have known for many years, is right, but even if he's wrong, as we know about pipelines and moving oil by pipeline, what the facts are is irrelevant. If people are convinced in Japan and elsewhere, especially in Europe, that the dairy we're trying to sell is somehow tainted, you aren't going to sell a lot. That's the aspect: how do we look after Canada?
My call to you was to look at this point of how many jobs, and not just jobs, but how the wages of the middle class and the workers are going to go up. How are we going to grow consumers for the economy if 17% is construction and 70% is services? When you work through it, there's not a lot left. How do we make sure they have enough money so that we can grow our economy?
That's exactly what your government did in the budget, and I hope it continues. Congratulations for doing that. It's the first one I've seen in 24 years that did that, so good for you.