moved that Bill , be read the second time and referred to a committee.
She said: Mr. Speaker, it is very appropriate that we should be beginning this debate following our discussion of the private member's motion that celebrates the close and historic connections between Canada and Germany. As we have just heard, Germany has indeed been one of the driving forces in getting this historic agreement signed.
I am delighted to rise in the House today in support of legislation to implement the Canada-EU comprehensive economic and trade agreement, CETA.
This is a historic day for everyone, a moment that I know very many hon. members of the House have worked hard to achieve. CETA is the most progressive trade agreement ever negotiated. It will help redefine what trade can and should be. It will lead to increased prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, create well-paying middle-class jobs, which I will speak to further in a moment.
Our government believes strongly in an open global economy, and we will continue to champion the open society and open global trade. However, we cannot ignore the reality that, today, we are living in the most protectionist environment I have experienced in my lifetime, probably the most protectionist environment since the Second World War.
There is a reason for that. Many people simply feel that 21st century global capitalism is not working for them. This anxiety is manifesting itself, among other things, in a powerful backlash against globalization. For those of us who support the open society, and I hope and believe that includes all members of the House, it is incredibly important for us not to be in denial about the importance of these sentiments that are sweeping so much of the western industrialized world.
This is real. It is tempting for us to say that if only we could explain to people how positive the open society is, how valuable trade is, how costly protectionism is, if only we could find better words, everything would resolve itself. However, that is not going to be enough. We need to look more deeply than that and understand that this powerful wave of populist anti-globalization sentiment is based in the very real, very concrete experience of so many people in western industrialized countries, including our own. The answer has to be in more than trade deals, because the anxiety is about more than trade deals. It is about the impact of 21st century global capitalism.
The concerns people have, the economic concerns, the concerns they have for themselves, for their retirement, and for their children, are very real, and we need to address them. That is why our government is very proud to have cut taxes for the middle class. We are proud to have raised taxes on those who can afford them, the 1%. We are very proud to have created the Canada child benefit for the families most in need, and have boosted CPP for our seniors.
We are making essential investments every day that strengthen and support our middle class. We know and believe that that is why we can still proudly say in Canada that we have broad public support for the open society and globalization.
It is also why CETA is all the more important. Canada is raising the bar with CETA and establishing more inclusive trade and higher standards for how global economies must function in the 21st century. This agreement that we are debating today cements the paramount right of democratically elected governments to regulate in the interest of our citizens, to regulate the environment, labour standards, and in defence of the public sector.
We are proud to have made these changes to CETA since coming into office. We will continue to champion aggressive trade policies. As the said about CETA:
That leadership that we were able to show between Canada and Europe is not just something that will reassure our own citizens but should be an example to the world of how we can move forward on trade deals that do genuinely benefit everyone.
I must say, having just returned at five o'clock this morning from Lima, Peru, from the APEC trade summit of Asia Pacific countries, CETA was much discussed and seen as an example of how it is possible, even in 2016, to do progressive trade deals.
Most importantly, CETA will benefit Canadians. It will give benefits to consumers through lower prices and more choice; it will help workers with better-quality jobs, because we know that jobs in export-oriented sectors pay 50% more; and it will help small and medium-sized businesses by lowering the tariff barriers their products face.
CETA sets new standards for trade in goods and services, non-tariff barriers, investment, and government procurement in addition to its very high labour and environmental standards.
CETA offers Canada, Canadian workers, and Canadian businesses preferential access to a dynamic market of more than half a billion people. This is the world's second-largest market for goods. In fact, the EU's annual imports alone are worth more than Canada's entire GDP.
Of the EU's more than 9,000 tariff lines, approximately 98% will be duty-free for Canadian goods the moment CETA comes into force, and almost all of the remaining tariff lines will be eliminated when the agreement is fully implemented. This will translate into better market opportunities and more jobs for Canadian businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and in every part of the country.
Consider Guelph's Linamar, a Canadian manufacturing success story with operations in Europe, which now stands to be even more competitive in the EU market as tariff barriers on products like its Skyjacks go down to zero; and Northland Power, with its clean and green power projects, which can expand even further into Europe; or one of my favourites, Manitoba Mukluks, a Métis-founded business, whose mukluks and moccasins are currently subject to a 17% tariff in Europe. That tariff will go down to zero when CETA enters into force.
Whether it is technology and software, aerospace, telecoms, clean tech, life sciences, agriculture, or infrastructure, Canadians working across our economy stand to benefit from this deal. This is great news for our middle class and those working hard to join it.
My hon. colleagues know, though, that trade today is about more than just tangible goods. It also includes services. In Canada and the EU, the service sector is responsible for most of our economies—more than 70% in both cases. CETA, a gold standard, modern agreement, recognizes the increasingly important role services play in global trade and creates a wealth of new business opportunities for Canadian service providers.
CETA offers Canadian businesses new opportunities to access EU government procurement contracts, which are estimated to be worth $3.3 trillion. In addition to increased access to markets, CETA also includes many other important benefits.
CETA is the first bilateral trade agreement in which Canada has included an entire chapter on regulatory co-operation. It includes a conformity assessment protocol, which will allow Canadian businesses in certain sectors to sell their products tested and certified in Canada without the European Union having to duplicate those testing and certification requirements.
CETA also includes a detailed framework for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, which is a key factor for labour mobility.
CETA is a progressive and modem trade agreement that fully integrates labour rights and environmental standards. It emphasizes the role played by public services and the right of states to pass regulations.
Our common objective is to ensure that globalization is a positive force based on our shared values and high aspirations. That is this agreement's raison d'être and why it is so important.
I will now address some of CETA's more progressive elements. CETA's preamble recognizes that the agreement's provisions reaffirm the parties’ right to regulate within their respective territories to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of public health, safety, the environment, public morals, and the promotion and protection of cultural diversity.
Article 8.9 of the chapter on investment makes it clear that the parties to the agreement preserve the right to regulate in order to achieve legitimate policy objectives.
Changes were made to the investor dispute settlement provisions to include more detailed commitments on the independence and ethical behaviour of members of the tribunal, as well as establish a revised process for selecting members of the tribunal and an appeal mechanism.
Nothing in CETA prevents governments from regulating in the public interest, including by granting preferential treatment to indigenous peoples or adopting measures to protect or promote Canadian culture.
CETA will not necessarily lead to the privatization of public services. Canada has a great deal of experience using the negative list approach and is sure that CETA will give it free rein when it comes to policy making.
Articles 23.2 and 23.4 under the labour and trade chapter address labour rights and recognize the right of Canada and the European Union to set their own labour priorities and protections and stipulate that it is inappropriate to encourage trade or investment by weakening or reducing the levels of protection afforded in their labour law and standards.
In the chapter of CETA on trade and the environment, Canada and the European Union also reaffirm that environmental standards cannot be lowered in order to promote trade or attract investment. Those are two very important points for both us and the European Union.
CETA also recognizes the European Union's and Canada's right to define their own environmental priorities and levels of environmental protection and to pass or amend their own laws and policies accordingly.
What is more, CETA includes a commitment to co-operate on trade-related environmental issues of common interest, such as environmental assessments, climate change, and the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Our government has been tireless since the day we assumed office, pushing this deal forward and leaving no stone unturned. I would like now to recognize some of the people who have worked so hard on this historic agreement.
I would like to start, of course, with my , whose relentless advocacy, in public and in private, whose work directly with Europe's leaders, and whose work at home and abroad, were essential in getting to where we are today. I thank him for his leadership on CETA, and more generally for his voice in Canada and the world in speaking for the open society.
Many of my cabinet colleagues, as well as my exceptional parliamentary secretary, have worked extremely hard on this agreement, both in Canada and in Europe. Their engagement has been absolutely essential. In fact, my parliamentary secretary and our CETA envoy have spent a great deal of time over the past weeks and months across Canada, and particularly working with our partners in Europe.
Hon. members in this House, and particularly our Quebec caucus, worked very hard in the final days before the signing of CETA, personally reaching out to our European partners, to legislators in Europe in national and subnational assemblies, explaining to them how important this agreement was, and speaking about the shared values between Canada and Europe, including our shared membership of La Francophonie.
I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues for this absolutely critical work.
Our provincial and territorial partners have been extremely engaged in working on CETA. I am very proud to say that when we were in Europe a few weeks ago to sign CETA, the Europeans pointed to Canada as an example of effective federalism, of federalism that works. The degree of co-operation between the provinces and the federal government on this essential deal has been outstanding, and I would like to strongly thank the trade ministers of Canada's provinces and territories and their chief negotiators, who worked so hard on the agreement.
I would like to single out the role that Quebec has played in working on the agreement. The leadership of Quebec, including strong advocacy for CETA in Europe, was very important, and played a particular role in securing the support of francophone Europe for this deal.
I would like to thank my Quebec colleagues.
I would like to very warmly recognize and thank the exceptional work of our public service. We in Canada are extremely lucky to have outstanding public servants, and, as trade minister, I say our trade negotiators are the best of the best. They have done an outstanding deal on CETA.
I would like to personally recognize Steve Verheul, our chief negotiator for CETA. I would like to thank him for his years of dedicated work to ensuring that we as a country could conclude negotiations on this progressive gold standard agreement. It will serve as an international standard and also offer tremendous specific, concrete benefits to Canadian workers and Canadian businesses.
I would also like to recognize the hard work of the previous government on getting this deal done. Canada's strength is when we can work together across party lines, across this aisle, and pass the ball from one government to another and finally get it over the finish line. I would like to personally recognize the leadership of the former prime minister, Stephen Harper, on this issue.
CETA will set the bar for future trade agreements, and it forms the cornerstone of our government's progressive trade agenda. This is an agenda linked to our government's core focus here at home on reducing income inequality and enhancing inclusive growth that benefits all Canadians. CETA sends a clear signal, at an essential moment, to the whole world, that we in Canada believe in an open society. We believe in a society that welcomes immigrants and welcomes investments, and believes that by doing that we have more jobs and more growth. After all, at our core, we are a trading nation, a nation of immigrants, and we are very proud of that.
CETA sends a message to the world that Canada and the EU reject protectionism and we are committed to a freer and more open global economy. At a time when so much of the world is saying no to trade and no to the global economy, I am very proud that on Canada's behalf, and through CETA, we can resoundingly say yes.
We are sending an unmistakable signal to the rest of the world that even now, at a time of some uncertainty, Canada believes in building bridges, not walls. Now is the time to embrace stronger partnerships with our friends around the world. Now is the time to pursue prosperity and economic growth with a progressive trade agenda, built from the ground up, to help strengthen the middle class here at home.
I welcome this week's debate on CETA, and I hope all members will support this important agreement.
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to stand in the House today to speak to Bill , the culmination of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the EU, or CETA as it has become well known.
This landmark and progressive trade agreement, as the minister commented, is the result of years of hard work from 2009 to 2014 when we signed the agreement in principle. I welcome the opportunity to bring this deal that we struck as a government into force here today.
I congratulate the current for taking the next steps with this agreement, but I do wish she would do the same for the TPP. It is as progressive as, if not more so than, CETA. We would like to see it on the agenda soon as well.
The commented that she had just gotten back from Lima at five this morning. I just got back from Russia a little before that, so I have had maybe an hour's more sleep than she has. I do wish I could tell her that it is going to get easier, that the time away from family and so on will be made up for in the deals that we strike and the work we do on behalf of Canadians. However, it does not. We are in opposition, but there are still those international functions that we have to attend to continue that work to benefit Canadians and make sure that our future is bright.
I would also be remiss if I did not mention her , the long-suffering gentleman that he is. Having said that, he is a tremendous resource for us on the committee. He does a great job there. He is very stable, calm, and collected. Although he does not take part in much in the day-to-day operations, he is there as a resource when we go in camera and so on. I have had the opportunity to sit on a number of media panels with him, as well. He is a gentleman. Having been a trade professor for a number of years on trade, he understands the importance of trade to Canada's economic prosperity.
CETA at the time was cutting edge and one of the most ambitious trade agendas we had ever seen. That is why the Liberals have begun calling it the “gold standard”, which of course is true for other agreements that we did, like the TPP.
In the previous government, under the leadership of the Right Hon. Stephen Harper, my colleague and friend, the minister, the member for , and I were able to negotiate, together with a number of our cabinet colleagues and a number of people from what is now called Global Affairs Canada, agreements with 46 different countries. That was unprecedented in this country's history. I am proud to have been a big part of those successes and for the role that my staff played in that as well.
None of that could have been possible without all of the people who work with and for us, right from front to back benches, side to side, people of all stripes. At the end of the day, I would be remiss if I did not mention someone like Steve Verheul . I got to know Steve some 10 years ago, when he was our long-suffering representative at the WTO, carrying that sort of schizophrenic trade agenda that we had, protecting these portions and putting them up for trade agreements. Steve did a fantastic job. He is one of those soft-spoken, quiet gentlemen who always had his finger on the pulse of what was going on.
I remember a number of instances in Geneva over the years at the WTO, when the leadership at that time loved to take five major countries, sort of the same ones that have a veto at the UN, into a little, dark room at midnight to try to hammer out a deal that the rest of us would then accept. None of that ever worked.
It was amazing to be with Steve during those clandestine meetings that the director general called at that time. His BlackBerry was always lighting up with messages, “China said this; Russia said that; or America said this, how should I handle it?” Steve always had the answer, always had the way forward. If anyone was the arbitrator or mediator of what kept the WTO alive for a lot of years, it was Steve Verheul with his hand on the lever. We cannot say enough good things about Steve. He's world class. I am not sure what he will do for an encore after CETA. It has cost him some personal time and a tremendous amount of energy. As I said, I am sure he will land on his feet and continue to be as well-respected as he is.
Even when the work is done, it is not complete. We saw this over this past year, as the minister stirred the pot and everyone told her not to do it. Our chamber of commerce told her not to renegotiate. I know that people from global affairs said do not do this. I will not say who they are because they could get fired. Also, the European business councils that I continue to be in touch with said not to do this.
We covered off all of these little warts and blemishes when we signed the agreement in principle some two years ago, and all of this was not swept under the rug but adjudicated and addressed at that point. With the minister going back in and sort of ripping the scab off, opening Pandora's box, it created the crisis we saw in Wallonia. At the end of the day, we have escaped with a deal that is more or less intact. It is pretty much, I would say 99.9%, exactly what we signed in principle over two years ago.
Since that time, it was not a stalled deal, as the Liberals like to say, but it was moving forward with a legal scrub and translation into a myriad of different languages and texts. Members know how important that is to do.
We see that here. A lot of times when we scrutinize our regs, one word in French will not correlate with a word in English, and we go back and change something that has been written incorrectly for years. A lot of work goes into the legal scrub with that many languages and different legal systems in the EU, the same as we have in Canada with civil law and common law. The European Union has a myriad of different legal options as well.
It is so important that we get this deal right. It was done right. We have 99.9% of it going forward. We do have a vacuum when it comes to the adjudication of future ISDS claims, and there is no doubt in my mind that there will be some. The NDP and some of its cohorts who came before committee, mostly on the TPP, love to say that Canada is the most sued country in the world. While that might be technically true, the reality is that out of several trillion dollars worth of economic activity, we have paid out $170 million in legal costs, and well over two-thirds of that is due to one little misstep by former premier Danny Williams when he took back an American company, saying that he did not like what it was doing and that he would nationalize it, which he did. Under NAFTA, WTO standards and so on, we paid out some $130 million for that. Canada is sued like every other country, but very few claims come to fruition and get paid out. As I said, that is out of more than several trillion dollars worth of economic activity. CETA is a little different from that, in that we have written guidelines.
We will see the elimination of some 94% of the agricultural tariff lines, and that will allow us to export our goods into a $20 trillion economy.
The European Union is a mature market, unlike the TPP, which is an advancing market. We need both. I often call the CETA agreement the “family reunification trade agreement” because a lot of areas in Canada were settled by Europeans almost a century ago.
I see my friend, the chair of the committee, nodding his head. His family came across and took advantage of the Canadian opportunity. CETA will enable us to work with our cousins at home to bring in different products and facilitate that. I am sure we will be able to get a lot more Scottish, Irish, and English products, all of that good stuff that my colleague's family grew up on. We look forward to that.
We have done an economic agenda. The minister made a nod toward that some years ago. That agenda showed that this agreement would return about $1,000 per middle class family and 80,000 new jobs. That is almost enough to make up for what the Liberals lost this past year. The sooner we get this done the sooner we will be back to zero and can move forward with TPP and start to recoup what we lost and gain what is available in that regard.
It is a unique investment. It is a unique opportunity, in that the European Union has a number of trade agreements with countries around the world, but this is the first one that addresses some subsets of labour standards and environmental standards. It provides the EU with a proper way to negotiate new access to some of our GM products. It is a regulatory package that will allow our beef and pork producers to export their produce using different types of wash facilities and so on. There are still some details to be worked out with respect to that, but at least there are guidelines to move forward with the European Union in a timely way so things are not tied up for months and years.
We will see immediate results once CETA is implemented. Our process here is a bit more arcane than some of the Europeans' processes. They will have to work through all of their 28 member states, as we will with the provinces. The minister also pointed out that when we were negotiating this agreement, my friend and colleague from , and of course Steve Verheul, sat down every time it was required with the provinces and territories that were there, along with industry, which had signed non-disclosure agreements. We had some of the biggest fan clubs. The number of those fan clubs for the CETA deal almost measured up to the number of people the Liberals take along with them on environmental deals. These people were there to get the work done and to make sure that the provinces were looked after. I do not see any type of push-back. Some negotiations are still going on with Newfoundland and Labrador on the payments that will be required. That province has stipulated that a certain amount of fish caught in our waters has to be processed in Canada. There will be some changes in that regard.
Kathy Dunderdale, who was the premier at the time, said that all of the $250 million belongs to her province, which was never true. It is for all of Atlantic Canada to drive efficiency and effectiveness in our fish processing system. The Liberals have that one to work out yet before they will get Newfoundland and Labrador onside, but it is certainly in the works.
It is important that we look at trade writ large. We are fully in favour of CETA. In our view, we could not have done any better. A few steps at the end had our heart in our mouths, but in the end it has all worked out, other than for the vacuum we are going to see in the adjudication of any ISDS claims. There is still work to be done in that regard.
The important part of all these trade agreements is that we take more and more eggs out of that American basket. We rely on the Americans for 75% of our overall trade, 98% when we talk about energy products and, depending on what the issue is, we are very much tied to their economic value. As they pull back on the TPP, there is no reason to believe that we cannot join the other six countries that are gung-ho guaranteed to move forward on it, that we cannot join them and rewrite TPP without the Americans. Let us get it done.
Why would we wait for President Obama to decide whether his legacy will be bad or not? He has gone from being in a lame duck session to a dead duck session, so we have to start moving forward, get this done, join Mexico, Japan, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. All of them have got it working through their parliaments right now. We have to look at trade writ large. We need that diversity to move away from those holdings in the American market.
We see that when the Americans arbitrarily bring forward things like country-of-origin labelling. There are whispers down there right now again that they will reinvent that. They cannot. We won that fight at the WTO. They would have to change it considerably to bring back anything that looked like Buy America or country-of-origin labelling. As much as that raises red flags, they are only at half-mast, because we did win that particular fight, and we would certainly take up that fight again. We would from the opposition side, I can guarantee that.
At the end of the day it was a good win, but it takes time and there is trade hurt when that is done, so having regulatory packages built in to things like CETA and TPP that really nip those types of negative movements in the bud are very important to take advantage of, and we intend to make sure those are there.
Having both CETA and the TPP in our park would give us access to 80% of the world's GDP, almost a billion consumers who are willing to buy. The difference between CETA and the TPP is that CETA is a mature market. It has been around for a long time. It has trillions of dollars in market potential for us. All we have to do is double or triple a couple of things that we have the capacity to do and we are talking a huge win on both sectors.
The thing with the TPP is it is an emerging market. We are talking middle classes that are growing, their palate is changing, and they are asking for more types of westernized cuisine. In some cases, God help them, but in other cases, it is good for our exports. We will ship them all the burgers and beer they can handle and make money doing it.
It is in our best interests to have that diversity in our trade portfolio, having both the mature markets that take certain cuts of the beef and having the opening markets to take other cuts. We have countries in that Pacific Rim that will make use of a lot of products that we do not when it comes to a livestock animal or when it comes to grain products and pork products and so on. It then adds to the value of that product here in Canada. It changes our processing somewhat. We have to learn to sell what they want, not what we have, but that is just an educational thing that the market will take care of.
It is one of consistency. Canada has been a trading nation since beaver pelts were currency. We are going back a long time. Having said that, trade is still currency. It is still what drives our economy. The little discussion that the minister and I had was on moving forward on trade, setting the standard, and the social side of it that we have to talk to people about. There is a lot of angst out there on media websites and so on about what could go wrong, but there is very little on what goes right in these types of agreements, driving our economic agenda.
We have seen in the last few days our roll over and say, “Sure, we will sit down and renegotiate NAFTA, why wouldn't we?” but at the end of the day we do not start with a position of surrender to having any kind of positive drive on that. Certainly, NAFTA is 20-some years old. There are things in there that need to be modernized. There are things happening now that were not even discussed 20-some years ago, the digital age and all of those things that need to be addressed.
Yes, there are certain things that we need to look at, certain things we need to get on top of, and if we can roll in irritants like the softwood lumber agreement into a new, improved, long-term NAFTA agreement, everybody would benefit. We would not have these legal fights that cost billions of dollars and hurt our industry overall.
Before the sidelines our economic activity by saying we will take whatever the Americans give us, we should be negotiating from a power position. We have resources the Americans are envious of and require. Keystone XL is a case in point. We saw the president of the day in the U.S. veto it, not based on science or on his economic standards, because it has passed all of that, but based on the fact that his major fundraisers were against it.
Hopefully with the new president, who really does not require the same fundraising, we will see some movement on that. He has already been very positive in that regard, but if the Americans are to take that sector of our energy and our resources, then they have to take our energy and our resource sector writ large. What is very important in renegotiating things like NAFTA is to set the standards of what it is we will not take less than, rather than just saying, “Hey, let us do this” and leave it open-ended.
We are seeing a lot of the TPP countries questioning what the Americans have up their sleeve when it comes to trade and when they start talking about renegotiating NAFTA. It is one thing to do it during a political cycle when one is campaigning hard. At that time, we saw Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and president wannabe Bill Clinton both decry NAFTA. They said they would never sign it, they would tear it up, that it would never be in their best interests. Within months, both of them signed it and never looked back. However, they all took credit for it stating, “Look at what wonderful things we did.”
NAFTA was a negotiation by the Conservative government of the day, which faced the wrath of Canadians at the election at one point. That was one of many issues that led to its downfall. However, to be progressive and to have an open society we have to do what we are good at. We are good at trade. We are good at producing grapple grommets. The one thing we have never come to grips with is doing some value-added to the grapple grommets before we ship them out of the country and get that side agreement on labour standards, and so on.
We have already seen major changes in our automotive sector. As a political neophyte, I remember during the NAFTA discussions thinking that our wine industry would be decimated before it even got up and running, and yet it has become an international success story. We cannot go anywhere in the world without seeing some Canadian wines on display. We take international awards every year for the great quality products that we ship out. Therefore, there is from trade that underlying driver of efficiencies and innovation, which make us even stronger and better. Certainly, there are transition times required. We have seen that with our dairy industry and the compensation package that has been offered for the 17,000 tonnes of cheese that will be coming in on an annual basis. However, that will not grow. It is a static number. At the same time, we have unlimited access back into the European market once our guys figure out how to do that with a global cost-pricing structure. They have done it for pizza kits here in Canada, so we know they can do it moving forward.
At the last Paris show that I was involved in, there were 30-something Canadian groups there marketing their products. That was a tremendous opportunity. Although maple syrup is well known, many of them were winning awards for their fine cheeses. Therefore, we know we are world class. We know we can step up and provide whatever is required by the world. We know we can grow our trade. However, we need a government that is ready, willing, and able to take those steps. We are seeing some final steps here, such as getting to the podium to accept the medal after the relay race is done. I was happy to be part of that relay race. However, at the end of the day, there is a lot more trade that needs to be looked at and moved on expeditiously, including the trans-Pacific partnership. We hope we will see these types of actions moving forward on the TPP soon.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today as we debate Bill , the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement implementation act.
This agreement, which we refer to as CETA, is indeed comprehensive. It includes 33 chapters, ranging from traditional trade topics, such as trade remedies, tariffs, and trade facilitation, to less traditional areas, such as investor court provisions, intellectual property, financial services, and government procurement.
I will begin my remarks by discussing the deal and how Canada got to this point. Next, I will discuss some of the outstanding concerns with the agreement and how the Liberal government has neglected to listen to these concerns. Finally, I will conclude by talking about how the New Democratic Party thinks that the government should proceed.
CETA faces a long road ahead before its full ratification, with likely opportunities for improvement. Trade with Europe is deeply important to Canada's economic prosperity. By addressing outstanding concerns with this comprehensive agreement, Canada can forge deeper trading relations with our friends in the European Union, while ensuring Canada's interests and sovereignty are protected.
Canada and the European Union first entered into negotiations back in 2009 under Stephen Harper's Conservative government. In 2010, Canada signalled that the negotiations could soon be finished but concerns persisted. In 2013, Canada and the EU announced a deal in principle, and the then prime minister, Stephen Harper, flew to Brussels for a signing ceremony. In 2014, another signing ceremony took place, this time in Ottawa.
However, behind the pomp and circumstance, concerns over CETA's controversial investor-court dispute settlement mechanism, or ISDS, continued to simmer both in Europe and in Canada. Investor-state provisions empower companies to sue governments for regulating in the public interest. Under NAFTA, chapter 11, Canada is the most sued country.
Critics point out that both Canada and the EU have sophisticated legal systems that are fully equipped to handle complaints from companies. Thus, it is not necessary to grant special privileges to foreign companies beyond those that exist for domestic companies. Despite continued opposition to ISDS, Canada insisted on the inclusion of ISDS in CETA.
As CETA's legal scrubbing phase continued into 2016, the newly elected Liberal government announced that the controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism would be revamped as an investor court system, or ICS. However, critics of ISDS, including the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Council of Canadians, and Canadian labour unions clearly stated that replacing the ISDS arbitration system with a new court system failed to address their concerns.
In October, we saw more changes around CETA, but not to the actual text itself. Canada and the EU signed a joint interpretative declaration, now called a joint interpretative instrument, which was intended to allay concerns that investor-court provisions empowered foreign companies to sue government for regulating in the public interest. However, the declaration is outside of the CETA agreement and therefore does not carry full legal weight.
Canada's Trade Justice Network issued a strong rebuttal stating, “in a display of arrogant condescension, the Declaration simply reiterates and clarifies what is already in the agreement, as if the various legitimate concerns that it purports to respond to have neither merit nor substance.”
Later in October, the Belgian regional government of Wallonia blocked Belgium and therefore the EU Parliament from signing onto CETA. Eventually, Wallonia agreed to sign the treaty if it could maintain its right to refuse to give its consent to Belgium to ratify CETA unless controversial investor-state provisions were significantly changed or removed from the agreement, exactly what many Canadians are calling for.
On October 30, the signed CETA at an EU-Canada leader summit. Two days earlier, the Liberal government put implementing legislation, Bill , on the Notice Paper, and the Liberals introduced the legislation on October 31.
This rushed process violated the government's own policy on the tabling of treaties in Parliament, which requires the government to table a copy of the treaty, along with an explanatory memorandum, outlining key components of the treaty at least 21 sitting days before legislation is presented. The Liberals also neglected to table a mandatory final environmental assessment of the FTA, as per the 1999 cabinet directive on the environmental assessment policy plan and program proposals.
Where is the commitment to protecting the environment?
I stood in this place on a question of privilege, challenging the government on its own omissions and failures to adhere to its policies. I questioned the necessity of the government granting itself an exemption on the explanatory memorandum, given that CETA was first signed back in 2013. Between the Liberals and the Conservatives, they had three years to draft this memorandum, which is intended to assist parliamentarians in analyzing the treaty.
Furthermore, given CETA's significant potential environmental impacts, the government must follow though on its requirement to complete a final environmental assessment.
CETA is not yet a done deal. Parliament should take its time in carefully considering the legislation before us today. We know that Canada and the EU intend to provisionally apply approximately 98% of the treaty in early 2017. The European Council decided that provisional application would not include investor-state dispute settlement, portfolio investment, and criminal sanctions for intellectual property crimes. These are the areas of member state jurisdiction.
Before CETA can be ratified, each of the 28 EU member states will have to vote on the deal in their respective legislatures. This process could take between two to five years. If just one of the 28 EU countries decides against ratifying CETA, as we saw with Belgium last month, the entire agreement could fall apart.
Bill would enable the government to fully ratify CETA, including investor-state provisions that Wallonia has already stated it will refuse to accept. Bill C-30 would provide the strokes for an investor-court system, but would leave out key pieces of information, such as details on an appellate mechanism or how panellists would be selected.
Going through the intellectual property provisions, we see that much of the patent law changes would be done through regulations. These changes would have significant impacts upon the availability of generic drugs to Canadians and therefore the overall cost of prescription drugs.
Greater parliamentary oversight is needed. The Liberal government is essentially asking parliamentarians to sign a blank cheque that it will fill in after.
Over the past year, we have seen a series of actions intended to address the concerns of Europeans with CETA. At every turn, I have risen in this place, as the New Democratic critic for international trade, and have called on the government to truly improve this deal. Yet, every time the government dismissed the concerns of Canadians and focused on making CETA palatable to Europeans.
I would like to now discuss in greater detail outstanding concerns of Canadians with CETA.
We discussed the investor-court system. The changes to ISDS provisions were supposed to improve transparency and strengthen measures to combat conflicts of interest of arbitrators. However, the new system will still allow foreign investors to seek compensation from any level of government over policy decisions they feel impact their profits.
At the end of the day, foreign companies will have to access a special court system to challenge Canadian laws, without going through domestic courts.
As I have mentioned, Canada is already one of the most sued countries in the world under ISDS. Canadian companies have won only three of 39 cases against foreign governments. The Canadian government has lost many NAFTA cases, while continuing to be the subject of ongoing complaints seeking billions of dollars in damages.
Existing ISDS measures have also contributed to a regulatory chill where governments fail to take actions in the public interest that they fear may trigger an investor claim.
The Liberals have not explained how they would ensure environmental and health and safety regulations would be protected from foreign challenges. It is now clear that the deal will not pass in Europe without the removal of or significant changes to investor-state provisions.
In trade deals, there are always winners and losers. With CETA, there is no doubt that some Canadian sectors will be negatively impacted by this agreement, including supply managed sectors and Newfoundland and Labrador's fish processors.
When the Conservatives were still in office, they acknowledged the significant losses dairy farmers would incur in both CETA and TPP. They promised a $4.3-billion compensation package, intended to offset the long-term perpetual losses.
For one year, the Liberal government refused to comment on whether it too would compensate dairy farmers. It required an extraordinary level of patience from Canadian dairy farmers. On diafiltered milk, the government continues to drag its heels. It is promising a solution, but refusing to provide any sense of timeline. The trade committee heard from the on this file. His lackadaisical attitude was incredibly frustrating to listen to.
Dairy farmers are also frustrated with the government's inaction on tightening on the duty deferral program. These are serious trade issues that the government must address.
In this context, let us look at the government's recent announcement to invest in Canadian dairy farms and producers. It never admits the funds are compensation, only an investment package. The Liberals announced a $350 million package for Canada's dairy sector, which indeed is a welcome investment. However, the sector anticipates CETA will cost it $116 million per year in perpetual lost profits. The Liberals' funding announcement is for $350 million over five years. This falls far short of compensating dairy for the losses it will incur under CETA.
The Liberals also have not explained whether and how they will compensate Newfoundland and Labrador for giving up its minimum processing requirements. In 2013, the Conservatives included a $400 million fisheries renewal fund, with the federal government contributing $280 million and the provincial government contributing $120 million. However, in 2014, Newfoundland and Labrador believed the Conservative government was signalling its intention to renege on the deal. The leader of the Liberal Party made clear commitments that he would follow through on compensating Newfoundland and Labrador. How can the government consider CETA a done deal without addressing its commitment to Newfoundland and Labrador?
I am also deeply concerned under CETA about changes to intellectual property rules for pharmaceuticals, which will increase drug costs by more than $850 million every year. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions has also warned that CETA could make it more difficult to bring down prices through a national pharmacare program.
I find this deeply disturbing. Canadians already pay some of the highest drug costs in the OECD. CETA's patent provisions are not a concern to the EU. It already grants brand name pharmaceutical companies longer patent protection, but Europeans also pay much less for their prescription drugs than we do in Canada.
People in my riding of Essex already struggle with the high costs of prescription medications. Yet the Liberal government is cutting health care transfers to the provinces and has given no indication that it will take action on a national pharmacare program.
Under CETA, Canadians will pay even higher drug costs, while the federal government shows no concern or even acknowledgement of this reality. When the Liberals were in opposition, they demanded that the Conservatives present a study on the financial impacts on provincial and territorial health care systems and prescription drug costs. In government, they are telling the provinces that they will cut health care transfers, while pursuing agreements that risk increasing drug costs for the provinces.
At every opportunity it would seem the Liberal government has refused to provide greater analysis of CETA. In June, the world watched as the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. This raised immediate concerns about the impact of Brexit on CETA. In fact, the U.K. is Canada's biggest trading partner in the EU. Forty-two per cent of Canadian exports to the EU go to the U.K. Canadian concessions in CETA were based on the premise that the U.K. would be part of CETA. Yet the Liberal government has provided, again, no analysis re-evaluating the net benefits of CETA without the U.K.
In consultations with indigenous people, the Liberal government made a clear commitment to nation-to-nation relationships, which includes a commitment to consulting on international trade deals. The Liberals have given no indication that they have fulfilled their duty to consult. We know they have not fulfilled this duty with the TPP.
Also in CETA there are provisions stating that above a certain threshold, minimum local content policies will be outlawed, even in municipal and provincial government procurements. We also see provisions granting companies an expanded ability to use temporary workers without a study of impact on Canadians.
I have also heard significant concerns over the ability of all levels of Canadian governments to protect public services. These are all important issues that warrant greater study than what the government has offered.
Many of the concerns we are discussing today were consistently raised in two studies conducted by the Standing Committee on International Trade. The studies, undertaken in 2012 and 2014, were deemed by the Liberals and the New Democratic Party as interim or pre-studies, as both took place before the final text of CETA was made available to parliamentarians.
In the Liberals' 2012 dissenting report, they called for further consultation with Canadians on CETA. They highlighted that while the committee's work was a good start, further consultation was required. However, now that the Liberals are in government, they have completely changed their tune. They are no longer concerned by the lack of consultation, the inclusion of investor-state provisions, or the impact of increased drug prices for Canadians.
Today, the Liberal-dominated trade committee has made it clear that it only wants to hear from groups that will benefit from CETA. It has gone to extraordinary lengths to restrict its brief study of CETA from receiving input from Canadians, by passing a motion that restricts the committee from accepting written submissions except for those from the handful of witnesses who are selected to appear.
On the other hand, the committee held dozens of meetings on the TPP, travelling to every province in Canada, and holding video conferences with witnesses from the territories. We heard from over 400 witnesses, and received written submissions from approximately 60,000 Canadians. With 95% of submissions critical of the TPP, it is no wonder that the government does not want to hear from Canadians on CETA. After spending half a million dollars on this study, not to mention the time and money spent by the minister and her parliamentary secretary on their own consultations, the Liberal government still has no position on the TPP.
As a first-time MP, I find the Liberals' disregard for due process on CETA deeply disturbing. It makes me wonder what they are trying to hide by pushing through this comprehensive agreement without proper memorandums, consultations, compensation, or analysis. I reference the two previous committee studies. In both studies, the NDP made clear its concerns but also its hopes that these concerns would be addressed and CETA would be fixed. The NDP has long argued for better trade with Europe. This will help diversify our markets, particularly as we face the uncertainties raised by the election of Mr. Trump.
However, Canada should not ratify the biggest trade deal since NAFTA as merely a reactionary or symbolic gesture. As I have outlined, significant concerns and unanswered questions remain about the proposed deal for many Canadians. Trade with Europe is too important to get wrong. The government should work to fix problems with the current deal rather than settling for a flawed agreement.
New Democrats support trade deals that reduce tariffs and boost exports while remaining firm that components like investor-state provisions that threaten sovereignty have no place in a trade deal. In our view, the job of the government is to pursue better trade, trade that boosts human rights and labour standards, protects the environment, and protects Canadians jobs. I am deeply suspicious of the Liberal claim of having a progressive trade agenda. This is a party that supported free trade agreements with Honduras and the controversial FIPA with China.
A final trade deal must be judged on its net costs and benefits. New Democrats have always been clear on this, and we have opposed deals in the past that would have net negative impact on Canadians, including Honduras and the China FIPA. Furthermore, better trade must also involve a better process. Far too often, Canadians have been kept in the dark during backroom talks by successive Liberal and Conservative governments. We saw this with the TPP, and Canadians rejected this.
In 2014, the hon. made the following statement in this place:
Mr. Speaker, on CETA, we in the Liberal Party are adults and we understand and respect the fact that, if trade agreements are going to be done, they need to be done behind closed doors.
The Liberals promised greater transparency, but given the minister's own attitudes, it is clear they have no intention on delivering on this promise. New Democrats cannot accept this position. We will continue pushing for greater transparency in trade negotiations, and meaningful, honest discussions with Canadians on all the potential impacts of any trade deal.
Europe is an ideal trade partner, and deepening trade relations with the EU has always been an aim that New Democrats support. Today, we have an agreement before us, and there are specific measures that raise significant concerns. As the progressive opposition, it is the job of New Democrats to uphold Canada's interest in this process.
The Liberals have missed key opportunities to fix CETA, but the deal is still not done. It faces a lengthy complex ratification process in the European Union. Wallonia has said it will not accept a CETA that includes investor-court provisions. I call on the Liberal government to remove investor-court provisions from CETA and this legislation, address the increased drug costs, and give Bill due process at the committee.
Without these key elements, I cannot in good conscience advise my caucus colleagues to support this agreement. New Democrats will vote no to Bill , and we will continue pushing the government for an agreement that provides a stronger net benefit for all Canadians.
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for .
I will first address free trade in general by way of introduction and then address the comprehensive economic trade agreement in particular.
In properly managed economies, free trade regimes result in increased prosperity for all partners. This is uncontroversial economic theory and practice. This increased shared prosperity results from efficient economic specialization; each partner does what it does best, and this results in more efficient production within partner economies. More efficient production means increased net wealth for free-trading partnerships. Properly devised free trade results in a net increase in jobs and decreased prices for consumers. More employment and lower prices combine to increase the wealth available for free-trading societies.
This legislation would implement such a properly devised, progressive free trade agreement.
However, we have seen skepticism about free trade around the world lately. Why is there legitimate worldwide concern about free trade? There is such concern because governments have not always properly addressed the broader implications of free trade. With this fair and responsible agreement, our government will do so.
What are the often ignored implications of free trade? They are basically twofold. Governments have not always properly recognized that free trade hurts some citizens, despite the general increase in prosperity. Governments have not always helped sufficiently those negatively impacted. Such assistance can include measures for retraining; assistance to shift to new sectors, markets, or products; and measures to deal with unemployment and economic disruption. Our government will take the necessary measures to assist those negatively impacted by this agreement.
A further legitimate concern is that governments have not always had the wisdom and willingness to ensure that the general prosperity resulting from free trade is equitably shared throughout society. Many governments have been content to see the economic benefits flow disproportionately to the very few. Our government will take measures to ensure that any general increase in prosperity, including that flowing from increased free trade, will be shared in an inclusive manner, including especially the middle class and those working hard to join it.
After consulting and listening to Canadians, and guided by our principles, we are addressing these two areas. We are pursuing free trade in a fair and responsible way. Our free trade will reduce inequality and enhance inclusive growth.
There are other less valid reasons to oppose free trade. Some opposition to free trade flows from xenophobia, a fear of and unwillingness to deal with foreigners. When people struggle economically, they can become fearful and susceptible to calls for protectionist measures. The world saw this phenomenon in the years preceding World War II. Such inward turning contributed to the start of that horrific conflict.
We reject xenophobia. We will keep Canada open to and engaged in the world.
This is the right thing to do. It is also Canada's surest route to continuing inclusive prosperity.
History has useful lessons to consider. What was the world reaction to the Great Depression of the 1930s? There was a general protectionist response by the world's economies. Countries erected trade barriers. Countries pulled back from free trade. Did these fear-based responses help these countries and the world? The answer is no, they did not. In fact, these measures exacerbated the problem. They prolonged the Great Depression and caused more economic disruption.
These economic lessons were so clear that after World War II, the international community signed GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, in 1947, which is now the World Trade Organization. This reaction was specifically designed to combat self-destructive trade protectionism. The free trade effects of that regime were largely responsible for the unprecedented, prolonged post-war prosperity.
How should we respond to our great recession of 2008, under which shadow we still live? Should we make the same mistakes our ancestors made in the 1930s? Should we retreat from free trade? Should we become more protectionist? Will becoming less open to international trade help us? The clear answer is no.
Now I wish to deal specifically with the free trade agreement before us, the comprehensive economic trade agreement. CETA is an ideal complement to our current trading arrangements with the world's largest market, the United States, with whom, with Mexico, we are now linked in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
We came to this agreement only after extensive consultation with stakeholders, and only after listening to interested Canadians. CETA will now link us to the world's second-largest market, the European Union. Acknowledging the long-standing, mutually beneficial effects of NAFTA does not prevent us from duplicating the benefits of that arrangement with other countries. We can now forge a new and exciting free trade relationship with Europe.
Canadians can only benefit from diversifying our trading markets and supply sources to the broadest possible number of countries in the world. Free trade links us with a broad range of countries, grows our economy, and protects us from the inevitable ups and downs in different countries' and different regions' economic and political cycles.
In addition to the benefits of the size of Europe's markets, Europe has the further advantage of sharing with Canada much history and culture. There is a natural affinity between Europe and Canada.
While free trade does not require a similarity of outlook, such similarities make all relationships, including economic relationships, that much easier.
We have much in common with Europe. We share approaches to the rule of law, democratic government, workers' rights, investment, research, and even government regulations. All these linkages will ease our interactions with Europe on multiple levels. Examples of these similar views in CETA are its provisions recognizing labour protection and priorities. In addition, each partner has the right to set distinct environmental priorities.
Many Canadians can trace their roots back to Europe. Many Canadians still have links with Europe. Canada and Europe can use those linkages for our mutual benefit.
Canadians of Dutch heritage will help us sell to the Netherlands. Canadians of Portuguese ancestry can help us invest in Portugal, and Polish Canadians can help forge economic links with Poland.
Let us consider snapshots of some likely effects of CETA. Bombardier will be able to strengthen and grow its European market, keeping good jobs here in Ontario and Quebec. Clearwater Seafoods in Atlantic Canada is well positioned to take advantage of this trade agreement to provide Canada with more exports and Atlantic Canada with more jobs.
The Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance applauds the government for signing CETA. Its members, including cow producers and soy and canola farmers, many in Canada's prairie provinces, are eager for this agreement, because they will sell more products to Europe, bringing back profits and keeping jobs in Canada.
Canada's forest products companies will be able to sell more to Europe. We are currently only 11th as a supplier of such products to Europe. Tariffs on forestry products will drop from 10% to 2% to 0%. This means more jobs and prosperity in British Columbia and elsewhere across Canada.
For these reasons, this agreement has extensive support from our business community. They see opportunity. CETA will provide direct benefits to Canadians, who will find temporary access to Europe enhanced under its provisions for the increasingly important service sectors. Not only will they take Canadian ideas and approaches to Europe, they will bring European ideas and approaches back to Canada. This will vastly increase the ability of the Canadian organizations to which they belong to compete, innovate, and thrive around the world.
The comprehensive economic trade agreement is one of those rare golden opportunities for Canada to live up to its progressive principles and for Canada, along with its European partners, to reap economic benefits and an increase in generally inclusive prosperity. We are standing by our ideas of openness and engagement. We are also pursuing inclusive and enduring prosperity for all Canadians.
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today and speak in favour of Bill and the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.
Canada is a trading nation. A trade agreement with the European Union is good business for Canada. The European Union market opens incredible opportunities for Canadian businesses. The EU is the world's second-largest economy and Canada's second-largest trading partner after the United States. It is also the world's second-largest importing market for goods.
CETA is a comprehensive trade agreement that would cover virtually all sectors and aspects of Canada-EU trade. Once implemented, approximately 98% of EU tariff lines on Canadian goods would be duty-free.
Canadian service providers would benefit from greater access to the EU, the world's largest importer of services.
CETA would also provide investors with greater stability, transparency, and protection for investments in the EU while significantly expanding Canadian access to EU government procurement contracts.
To make a specific case for CETA, I would like to reflect on the advantages of CETA to my community of Oakville. Oakville is home to many advanced manufacturing companies, which form a dynamic cluster of businesses supporting innovation and growth. Our manufacturing standouts include Ford Motor Company of Canada, UTC Aerospace Systems, GE Water & Process Technologies, and Dana Incorporated, an auto parts manufacturer.
With respect to the aerospace industry, CETA would offer tariff elimination, opening of government contracts, and regulatory co-operation.
With respect to automotive parts, given the integrated nature of Canada's automotive supply chain, it is important that there are rules of origin that accommodate significant levels of foreign value-added. CETA would allow Canadian passenger vehicles that meet a minimum percentage of domestic content to qualify for duty-free exchange.
For other manufacturers, the EU represents an unprecedented opportunity for Canadian businesses. Pre-Brexit, with its $22-trillion economy and more than 500 million consumers, the EU is the world's largest integrated market. The potential value of access to the EU is quantified in a 2008 study, which estimated that CETA could lead to a $12-billion increase to Canadian GDP and an increase in bilateral trade of over 20%.
A growing cluster of financial and professional service companies are taking advantage of Oakville's workforce capabilities to drive innovation and build sector leadership. In Oakville, there are 13,000 highly skilled and experienced knowledge workers. Also, Oakville is home to Sheridan College, one of the world's leading animation centres.
Oakville has the people, the partners, and the business knowledge to bring new technology to the world. For ICT workers, professionals, and businesses, CETA allows for tariff elimination, regulatory co-operation, temporary entry permits, and access to government procurement contracts.
CETA also has provisions for recognition of professional certifications, including legal, accounting, and architectural designations.
Ford Canada, located in my riding of Oakville, is very supportive of CETA. The EU market represents a significant global market for vehicles. In 2015, total vehicle sales in the EU countries were 15.5 million vehicles, ranking the EU as the third-largest vehicle market in the world behind, number one, China, with over 24 million units sold, and number two, the U.S., with over 17 million sales.
Access to this large new vehicle market for Canadian-produced vehicles would help diversity and grow Canadian exports of vehicles and our auto parts. Dianne Craig the president and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada, states that, “Ford is a global company built on free trade.... Ford has supported trade deals with trading partners that result in the opportunity to increase the two-way flow of trade.” That is what CETA does.
In 2016, Ford of Canada began exporting the Ford Edge, built in Oakville, to the EU. This includes building vehicles in Canada with right-hand drive and diesel engines designed for that market. Canada's decision to sign CETA contributed to Ford's decision to expand production of the Ford Edge in Oakville for export to the EU market.
Caroline Hughes, director of government relations at Ford states, “[W]e support a manufacturing-driven trade strategy that starts with the belief that Canadian manufacturing truly matters and that Canadian manufacturing can compete on a level playing field against the best competition from around the world.”
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has spoken out quite clearly in favour of this agreement.
Locally, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce has supported the ratification of CETA. John Sawyer, president of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce recently stated that:
CETA is an important agreement that would benefit Oakville businesses by reducing trade barriers with the world's large economy. It will offer more opportunities for exporters and lower prices for consumers.
I do need to say that several people and groups in Oakville have raised concerns with me. They say that some of our recent free trade agreements have surrendered the state's ability to regulate and to act in public interest in favour of multinational corporations' interests. This has been the result of complex investor-state conflict resolution processes.
I want to reassure residents of Oakville that CETA represents a significant break with the past, at two different levels.
First, it would include an explicit reference to the right of governments to regulate in the public interest. CETA makes clear from the outset that the EU and Canada preserve their right to regulate and to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as public health, safety, environment, public morals, social or consumer protection, and the promotion and protection of cultural diversity.
There is a clear instruction to the tribunal for the interpretation of investment provisions.
Second, CETA would create an independent investment court system, consisting of a permanent tribunal. Dispute settlement proceedings would be conducted in a transparent and impartial manner.
Contrary to the traditional investment dispute settlement agreements, the tribunal would be composed of 15 members nominated by the European Union and Canada, and not by the arbitrators nominated by the investor and the defending state.
It is also explicitly foreseen that governments could change their laws, including in a way that would affect investors' expectations of profit and that the application of law would not constitute a breach of investment protection standards.
It is worth repeating that CETA would explicitly safeguard health, safety, and environmental protections and that nothing in CETA would prevent governments from providing preferences to aboriginal peoples or from adopting measures to protect or promote Canadian culture.
As vice-president of the Canada-European Parliamentary Association, I have recently had the opportunity to speak about the advantages of CETA to our European parliamentary counterparts at meetings in Canada and in Europe.
There was general agreement that there were advantages for European countries to participate in this trade agreement, just as there are advantages for Canada.
I was part of panel that met with business owners in Bratislava, Slovakia, who were very excited about the opportunities opened up by the trade agreement with Canada.
I also have had the opportunity to tour auto parts manufacturing plants in Europe and to see a Volkswagen assembly plant creating VW Touaregs, Porsche Cayennes, and other luxury SUVs, many of which are destined for my community of Oakville. Just as currently exports the Ford Edge to Europe, we are importing European automobiles to Canada. This trade already exists. CETA would simplify the rules and make the products more affordable to consumers in both jurisdictions.
Like many communities across Canada, depends upon free trade and open global trade to maintain our high standard of living. This is a modern agreement, and an extremely positive one for the Canadian economy, which relies upon open markets and trade.
I have relatives in Germany, Poland, and Sweden. Many Canadians, like me, have family and friends who live in the European Union. This is a good trade relationship for people; this is a good trade agreement for and my town's businesses; and this is a good trade deal for Canada.
I hope every member of Parliament gets behind CETA and supports Bill .