The House resumed from September 17 consideration of the motion that Bill , an act to implement the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.
Mr. Speaker, as I have the opportunity to speak to Bill today, I would like to extend my best wishes to people in Edmonton Centre, who are braving the snow and looking forward to a sunny fall before the snow actually stays for the winter.
I will be sharing my time with my esteemed colleague from . We are beginning the debate on Bill .
Our government strongly believes that the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, or CPTPP, is the best deal for Canadians and for our economy. The CPTPP is a historic new agreement between Canada and 10 other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, namely Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Once it comes into effect, the CPTPP will constitute one of the largest trading blocs in the world, representing close to 500 million people and 13.5% of global GDP. The agreement will generate major economic benefits for Canada thanks to trade with countries like Japan, our fourth-largest trading partner and top source of investment from Asia, and with fast-growing economies like Malaysia and Vietnam.
Today, I would like to speak to how the CPTPP will facilitate foreign investment into Canada and provide protections for Canadians looking to invest in CPTPP markets. Investment at home and abroad is vital for the Canadian economy. Foreign investment contributes to job creation across the country. It also promotes trade by facilitating integration into global value chains, improving access to new technologies and enhancing our competitiveness.
According to economic modelling by Global Affairs Canada, the CPTPP will spur an additional 810 million dollars' worth of investment into Canada, and will encourage increased and diversified Canadian investment throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It will achieve this by creating a predictable investment environment to ensure that investors are treated in a fair and equitable manner in all CPTPP markets. If a company is going to invest its capital abroad, it needs to know that capital is safe and secure and is going to provide a return on investment.
The CPTPP will establish a comprehensive and enforceable set of investment protection provisions. It will provide new, more robust obligations on non-discriminatory treatment of CPTPP businesses and investors. These will benefit Canadian businesses through better protection from expropriation or nationalization without compensation, elimination of unfair requirements on foreign investments that favour domestic industries, and easier transfer of capital and profits to and from the host country.
To ensure that these obligations are observed by all member countries, the CPTPP also introduces and includes a fair and impartial mechanism for the resolution of disputes. Investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, is an important component of international trade and investment agreements. With an ISDS mechanism in place, Canadian investors will have greater confidence that they will be treated in a fair and transparent manner in other CPTPP markets. It will also provide an impartial means to resolve any investment-related disputes in the event that specific obligations under the CPTPP are breached by a government. Such protections will help facilitate two-way investment by providing a transparent and predictable investment-friendly environment.
The agreement, once implemented, will encourage Canadian companies to look to fast-growing markets across the CPTPP region to grow their businesses. It will encourage investment in Canada and CPTPP countries. It will also connect Canadians with partner investors and businesses in new markets, and help our businesses further integrate into global supply chains. In doing so, it will create new opportunities and generate jobs for Canada.
It is important to emphasize that while the CPTPP's ISDS rules will help protect Canadian investors abroad and serve to attract foreign investment to Canada, the rules outlined in the CPTPP will also preserve the Government of Canada's right to regulate to achieve legitimate policy objectives. Under the CPTPP, Canada has taken certain exemptions to CPTPP obligations that allow continued policy flexibility to regulate in the public interest in sensitive areas such as health, education, indigenous affairs, culture, fisheries and certain transportation services.
Foreign investors in Canada and all the other CPTPP nations will be required to follow the same laws and regulations as Canadian investors, including laws and regulations aimed at protecting the environment and maintaining high workplace health and safety standards.
The investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, or ISDS, gives investors a way to resolve disputes without resorting to the national justice system of the host nation, but it is not a blank cheque. Damages could only be recovered if specific requirements under the agreement were violated. The ISDS tribunals would never have the power to nullify government decisions or laws. They would only be authorized to grant investors compensation for damages resulting from violations of the treaty.
By suspending certain ISDS provisions that were included in the original TPP, the CPTPP ensures that the ISDS complies with Canada's standard, balanced approach to investment obligations in free trade agreements.
This reflects the concerns that were heard from Canadians through extensive consultations, and I am proud to say that the CPTPP gets ISDS right.
To reiterate, CPTPP will not prevent Canada from protecting the environment or maintaining or enhancing labour, health, and safety standards. In short, it will allow us to continue promoting the values that Canadians cherish, which are the values that make us Canadian.
I would like to highlight for residents of Edmonton Centre, and for all Albertans, that this CPTPP is one of the most comprehensive trade agreements that our country will enter into. It comprises 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Once approved, it will open up a market of an additional 500 million consumers, resulting in 40% of the world economy being able to trade with us when we add in CETA, NAFTA and South Korea. This demonstrates our commitment to opening up new markets. It is an important agreement because it will eliminate over 95% of tariff lines, representing over 98% of total trade and over 99% of Canada's exports.
I want to highlight the importance of this for Alberta industry and Edmonton companies. Let us take a look at the agriculture provision.
When CPTPP enters into force, more than three-quarters of agriculture and agri-food products will benefit from immediate duty-free treatment, with tariffs on many other products to be phased out gradually. This means new market access opportunities for Canadian pork, beef, pulses, fruit and vegetables, malt, grains, cereals, animal feeds, maple syrup, wines and spirits, and then processed grain and pulse products as well. All of these products hail from my province of Alberta.
Let us take a look at industrial goods. Under the agreement, 100% of tariffs on industrial goods and consumer products will be eliminated. The majority of Canadian industrial goods exported to CPTPP countries will be duty-free immediately upon the entry into force of the agreement, with most remaining tariffs on industrial goods to be eliminated within 10 years. That is also good for Alberta and Edmonton businesses.
On forestry and value-added wood products, CPTPP will eliminate tariffs on all Canadian exports of forestry and value-added wood products. Many will enter into force immediately, while others will be phased out over 15 years.
With regard to services, our economy is diversifying in Alberta. Many companies in my own city of Edmonton will love the provision in CPTPP that will provide more secure access through greater transparency and predictability in the dynamic CPTPP region.
I would like us to think about professional sectors like engineering, architecture and those related to environment and mining. My riding of Edmonton Centre alone is headquarters to the seventh-largest engineering and design firm in the world, Stantec, and one of the world's largest construction companies, Poole Construction Limited, known as PCL. This is the kind of free trade deal that allows these companies, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, to continue expanding around the world.
In terms of government procurement, this agreement will provide more transparency and opportunity for companies in my hometown of Morinville, in St. Albert and in Edmonton to compete on the global stage. It is what we promised Canadians during the campaign. It is what our government has been doing. It is what we will continue to do: opening up markets, creating jobs, and growing the Canadian economy.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today as the proud member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
The trans-Pacific partnership is a very important agreement. As the member for said earlier, Bill is historically significant. It opens up a new market of 500 million consumers. This will help SMEs and create jobs for the middle class. It is something that is very important to me.
For two and a half years I was a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade, where we studied this agreement. We visited this country from coast to coast, meeting people in many towns and cities in every province. We wanted to give everyone a chance to have their say on this very important matter. We also met with many representatives from the labour movement, civil society, business associations and chambers of commerce. We were also the first committee to have open-mike meetings so that everyone would have a chance to speak, and we certainly took their comments into consideration.
Let us think about it: eleven countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam managed to come together to reach such an important agreement. We are opening up access to these markets and that is very important. We already have a free trade agreement with Europe, we will have one with Asia-Pacific countries, and we are currently negotiating to open up markets. With all these free trade agreements, Canada will be well positioned to grow the middle class and create good jobs for our SMEs.
I am very pleased to talk about the CPTPP and the positive impact it will have on businesses in Canada's industrial and manufacturing sectors.
My riding is a suburb north of Montreal with a huge number of SMEs and businesses that work in the aerospace, agri-food, and food processing sectors. These sectors produce a wide range of products across the country from cars to medical equipment, metals, chemical products and plastics. They are key components of our country's economy that employ 1.7 million highly qualified Canadians full time and account for nearly 11% of Canada's GDP.
Our government firmly believes that the CPTPP is an ideal agreement for Canadians and for our economy. This is a top-notch trade agreement that will help increase Canadian exports.
As a cornerstone of our government's comprehensive effort to enhance Canada's engagement with the dynamic, fast growing and increasingly influential Asian markets, it is an important part of our commitment to diversify trade, grow our economy and strengthen our country's middle class. Trade and investment flows between Canada and Asian economies have increased significantly since the turn of the century. From 2014 to 2016, Canada's exports of industrial and manufactured goods to CPTPP countries accounted for an annual average of $22.4 billion.
By eliminating nearly 100% of tariffs on manufactured goods, including some tariffs that are as high as 85%, and creating mechanisms to address non-tariff barriers to trade, the CPTPP would create opportunities for world-class Canadian businesses to increase their sales. Once the agreement enters into force, it will enable Canadian exporters to access diverse and internationally integrated value chains. On day one of the agreement's coming into force, there will be no tariffs on over 87% of industrial tariff lines covering Canadian exports to CPTPP markets worth an annual average of $19.5 billion from 2015 to 2017.
What does this mean for our industries? Allow me to provide a few examples.
For Canada's multi-billion dollar chemicals and plastics industry, the CPTPP will provide opportunities for companies, from those in Ontario, the hub of Canada's plastics industry, to cutting-edge chemical facilities in Alberta. With improved market access from the elimination of tariffs of as high as 50%, this industry will increase its annual average of $1.1 billion in exports to CPTPP markets.
With respect to metals and minerals, a sector contributing nearly 600,000 jobs across Canada and exporting $5 billion in goods to CPTPP markets, the agreement will result in the elimination of all tariffs, some as high as 50%. As a result, highly sought-after Canadian aluminum, steel, iron, petroleum products and precious metals will become even more competitive in such markets as Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Canada's information and communication technologies sector, critical to major urban centres across Canada, is also well positioned under the CPTPP to meet growing needs within established and developing markets in the Asia-Pacific. In addition to eliminating tariffs, the agreement will protect companies from having to divulge their proprietary information in order to sell their products in CPTPP markets.
Our government listened to what Canadians had to say about the auto industry and made their concerns a priority. As part of the CPTPP negotiations, Canada obtained bilateral side letters from Australia and Malaysia in order to establish more liberal rules of origin, which would allow our automobile manufacturers to benefit from preferential tariff treatment on those markets without having to change their existing production models. We also reached bilateral agreements with Japan and Malaysia regarding standards and regulations in the automobile industry, a key demand of industry stakeholders.
Those are just a few examples of the industries that could benefit from the CPTPP. By making Canada's industrial and manufacturing exports more competitive and by cutting the red tape that hinders access to dynamic, growing markets, the CPTPP will give Canadian businesses significant opportunities to increase their profits and create new quality jobs for the middle class.
Beyond tariff reduction, another aspect of the CPTPP that stands to benefit Canadian companies in these sectors is in the area of intellectual property. The CPTPP's provisions on intellectual property cover virtually all areas of trade and IP, including copyright, patents, trademarks, geographical indication, industrial designs, domain names, and enforcement. Most importantly, the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights will help protect Canadian innovation and investment as our businesses trade abroad. For many Canadian businesses, one of the most significant barriers to trade in some markets is uncertainty over the protection of intellectual property, including whether their intellectual property rights will be respected and enforced.
As a result, innovative Canadian businesses will be better able to market their products on the established, rapidly expanding Asian markets.
Beyond tariff reduction and intellectual property rules, the CPTPP also addresses the costly non-tariff obstacles preventing Canadian companies from entering foreign markets. All CPTPP members have committed to eliminating restrictive red tape in sectors such as cosmetics, medical instruments, pharmaceuticals, and ICTs, and this will give Canadian manufacturing exporters greater certainty and predictability with the competitive advantages they have gained.
The CPTPP marks a very important step in the history of trade in Canada. This agreement will be instrumental in diversifying our markets and promoting economic prosperity here at home. By establishing an effective, transparent, rule-based trade system with one of the most dynamic and fastest growing regions in the world, the CPTPP will open up new possibilities for exporters in our industrial and manufacturing sectors.
I also want to point out that we secured a cultural exception, which is very important for Quebec and for official languages.
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has finally seen the light and understands how important it is to quickly ratify the CPTPP.
At long last, Canada may soon ratify the agreement reached in 2015. We hope this will happen quickly. Members will recall that the CPTPP was one of the 's first missteps on the international stage. I would like to quote a few articles, including this one:
“ a no-show at meeting.”
I would like to give the House a quick reminder of what happened.
“Ten leaders from countries remaining in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were left “red-faced” by Canadian Prime Minister...when he did not turn up at a TPP-11 leaders meeting.”
Here is some of the reaction:
Shinzo Abe announced that “the signing was off” because the Prime Minister would not attend.
Steve Ciobo called it a 'disappointing development'.
Some ministers said that the Prime Minister got “cold feet” because of looming elections in Quebec.
What motivates this party's actions? Not the national economy. The answer is political trends and partisanship. Why do I think that? Because when the other countries reached an agreement last spring, we could have made short work of Bill here in the House. The government could have introduced Bill C-79 back in May, and we could have started working on it then. Had that been the case, we would already have ratified the agreement, and we would have been one of the first six countries to do so. However, the government sat on the bill until the last week before the break, at which point it was too late to start working on it.
The official opposition moved two motions for the unanimous consent of the House to get on with studying the bill quickly and adopting it as written. Obviously, that did not happen. Now the government says it is going to act fast. I just do not get it. This has all been such a disappointment. Anyway, if the past is any indication, we know that they do not always walk the talk.
I have a lot more to say about this, but I will not have enough time because I am sharing my time with the member for . He has a lot to say about Bill too.
Our leader, the , sent a letter to the this summer, asking him to act more quickly so that we would not miss the opportunity to be among the first six countries to sign the CPTPP.
I would now like to read a few excerpts from the letter our leader sent to the Prime Minister. I think it is important that Canadians know where we stood at the time and why we were asking him to act quickly.
These actions by the United States threaten the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Canadians. This is even more worrying given the U.S. government's repeated threats to impose 25% tariffs on the auto sector. On this file, Canada's Conservatives' most pressing priority is to protect Canadian jobs and industry by having tariffs removed from Canadian steel and aluminium and by stopping new tariffs from being imposed.
The same is true today. He also wrote:
Conservatives have always supported diversifying our trading relationships around the world, which is why the previous Conservative government had the foresight to conclude free trade negotiations and investment agreements with 53 countries, including the countries of the original trans-Pacific partnership and the 28 countries of CETA, which concluded in 2014.
Our leader continued:
...it is even more urgent that we act to expand and diversify our trading relationships.
That is why he called on the Prime Minister to:
...request that the Speaker recall the House of Commons pursuant to Standing Order 28(3) as soon as possible this summer [exceptionally] to debate and pass Bill C-79, the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership implementation act.
The leader cited the Peterson Institute for International Economics which:
...estimated that the original TPP, which was negotiated and concluded by the previous Conservative government, would boost Canadian income by $20 billion over the next decade.
This request was flatly rejected by the government. We do not understand why.
We were ready to get to work and spend part of the summer ensuring that this bill is passed as soon as possible. Why it is so important for us to be among the first six countries? It is simple. It is because after the first six signatures, after six countries enshrine the agreement, the CPTPP comes into effect within 60 days. If we are not there during that time, all the good agreements for exporting and importing with those countries will already have been concluded with the first six signatory countries. Canada will be left with crumbs.
The last one to arrive at the table in a large family gets whatever is left and often that is nothing at all. That is why we think it is absolutely urgent and necessary to ratify the CPTPP quickly.
We will obviously work with the government to adopt the CPTPP as quickly as possible, because it is important to our industry and to farmers. The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance held two press conferences. They held a press conference and send out a press release to explain why we must adopt the CPTPP as quickly as possible. According to research commissioned by the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, this trade pact could increase Canadian agri-food exports by nearly $2 billion annually for a variety of agriculture products including beef, pork, grains, canola, pulses, soybeans, barley, sugar, and processed foods.
That is the reality. We are talking about the economy. Canadian jobs will be in jeopardy if we do not move fast enough. We are deeply disappointed that the government took too long to finally grasp how important it was to sign the CPTPP as quickly as possible.
I hope the government finally gets it, for the sake of the people who produce these agriculture products, including beef, pork, grains, canola, pulses, soybeans, barley, sugar and processed foods.
I would like to move on to another sector covered by the agreement that is raising some serious concerns. I am referring to the supply management sector. The agreement requires Canada to make concessions on supply management. Under the old agreement, the previous Conservative government foresaw that there would be consequences for producers in supply-managed sectors. That was why we instituted a 10-year compensation plan.
The compensation plan provided up to $4 billion for producers in supply-managed sectors. We created it because we felt it was important to recognize that even though we had succeeded in negotiating a global economic agreement that was good for Canada, we had had to sacrifice part of the supply management quota, and producers deserved to be compensated accordingly. We allocated $4 billion, including $450 million for facility upgrades.
The response of the current government has been to offer no compensation program whatsoever. No wonder people are worried today. No announcements have been made on this subject, and no empathy has been shown towards producers in supply-managed sectors, even though they have willingly sacrificed part of their quotas for the good of the Canadian economy.
The government created a little $350-million program to modernize farms and support processors. The Conservatives' plan allocated $450 million, in addition to more than $3 billion to protect quotas and offset the losses that supply-managed farmers could experience once the TPP is implemented.
In short, the official opposition will support ratifying the CPTPP as quickly as possible, because this agreement is important to our economy. Once again, I hope that the Liberal government will not screw this up come signing time, and I hope that everyone will be there. I hope that we do not end up being a laughingstock on the world stage.
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to debate Bill . I would like to thank the member for for the excellent work he did on this agreement during his tenure as the international trade minister under the previous Conservative government.
I would like to begin by underscoring how important this bill is to our farming communities. According to the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, passing this legislation could boost the value of Canada's agri-food exports by $1.84 billion. This agreement will open up a whole new market where Canadian farmers will be able to sell their products.
In addition, given the uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations, it is even more crucial that we pass this bill so that we can further diversify our trade. When the United States starts imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, Canada needs to find new markets for its products. When Canada loses access to a market and to thousands of jobs, it just makes sense to find a new market where we can sell the same products.
Furthermore, the countries that Canada will get access to through this agreement have a combined GDP of about $13 billion. These countries include Japan, which has the third-largest economy after the United States and China. This represents a market worth about three-quarters of the U.S. market. The CPTPP is an incredible opportunity to diversify Canada's trade and improve Canadians' economic well-being.
When we look at all the benefits that the CPTPP will have for Canada once we pass this bill, it is hard to understand why the Liberals chose to ignore the opposition leader's request to recall the House of Commons to pass Bill C-79. The Conservative Party leader made that request because the agreement will only come into force once it has been fully ratified by six different countries. Mexico, Japan and Singapore had already ratified it by the time the request was made, so only three other countries needed to sign on for the agreement to come into force.
If the Liberals had recalled the House to pass this bill during the summer, as we requested, Canada could have secured the earliest possible access to the new markets. Instead, they decided to take a chance that three other countries would ratify the agreement, costing Canada thousands of jobs. With NAFTA, the government sat on its hands while the other countries negotiated a free trade agreement, and it almost let the same thing happen with the CPTPP.
The Liberals had no reason not to recall the House to pass this bill. The fact that they ignored this request shows that they do not take Canadians' economic well-being seriously. In fact, this Liberal government seems almost determined to make life harder and harder for Canadians.
First, the Liberals are imposing a carbon tax, but they do not want to say how much it will cost Canadians.
This tax will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will only make Canadians' lives more difficult by encouraging investors to invest outside Canada, in countries with different environmental regulations.
Second, the Liberals are incapable of building pipelines like Trans Mountain and energy east. These pipelines would have brought new jobs to Canada and benefited all Canadians.
Finally, the Liberals refused to recall the House to guarantee that Canadians in every sector would have access to a larger market.
These three examples show that the Liberals are not fighting for the middle class and those seeking to join it. Instead, they show that the Liberals do not take Canadian jobs seriously. It seems that every time the Liberals announce a new policy, it discourages investment in Canada and stifles the creation of new jobs.
In closing, I would like to explain why I support the bill and free trade.
In general, free trade is a good thing. It certainly has played a role in major changes around the world. For example, free trade has resulted in the rate of extreme poverty dropping from 44% to less than 10% since the early 1980s. Free trade has increased the life expectancy at birth from 53 years in 1960 to 70 today. There are fewer wars around the world because of free trade. When countries trade, they become more dependent on one another economically. When countries trade, it is no longer profitable to be at war. It is much more advantageous to keep the peace so that we can reap the mutual benefits of trade between countries.
These are the many reasons why the previous Conservative government signed free trade agreements with many countries. It did so with Panama, South Korea, Honduras and many others. That is why the Conservative government negotiated the TPP and the free trade agreement with the European Union. On this side of the House, we support free trade for practical reasons and on principle.
Free trade also helps promote freedom. I have always advocated for human rights and freedom in my work here and elsewhere. Free trade is an essential form of freedom. Free trade implies that people have the right to buy and sell across borders as they see fit.
For all these reasons, I will vote in favour of this bill. Once again, I want to point out that my Conservative colleagues, like the member for and the former prime minister, worked hard to ensure Canada's prosperity.
Mr. Speaker, our government strongly believes that the comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership agreement, or CPTPP, will help increase and diversify Canada's trade and investment in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific markets and improve Canadians' economic prosperity. At the same time, the agreement will ensure that the benefits of trade are widely shared, in particular by making it easy for small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.
Exports are essential for the health and vitality of Canadian businesses and Canadian SMEs play a key role in increasing trade and economic growth in Canada. Indeed, SMEs are the backbone of the Canadian economy. They represent more than 99% of all businesses, 90% of all private sector jobs and 10.7 million workers and they generate nearly 40% of Canada's gross domestic product.
I forgot to mention, Mr. Speaker, that I will be sharing my time with the member for .
Only 11% of Canadian SMEs benefit from foreign markets, however, and our government is committed to helping increase that. Exports are vital to the growth of Canada's economy. That is why our government will help small businesses expand into new markets abroad by promoting exports through the negotiation and implementation of the free trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, between Canada and EU; and now the CPTPP.
The CPTPP will enable Canadian SMEs to enter the dynamic Asia-Pacific market through agreements that simplify the export process and increase SME participation in global supply chains. This agreement will strengthen our economic ties with some of our current free trade partners, such as Chile, Mexico, and Peru, while providing preferential market access to seven new free trade partners: Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei.
In addition, the CPTPP will eliminate tariffs and improve market access for Canadian companies, including SMEs. Upon implementation, 86% of signatory countries' tariffs will be instantly eliminated. This will apply to Canadian exports to CPTPP countries, with an average value of $28.3 billion per year between 2015 and 2017. Once the agreement is fully implemented, signatory countries would eliminate 99% of their tariffs. This will apply to exports to CPTPP countries that average $32 billion per year between 2015 and 2017. This increased market access will make our SMEs more competitive and position them for success. It will also create opportunities for Canadian SMEs to diversify their exports at a time when this is extremely important.
The agreement provides for enhanced market access agreements for our financial services and service sectors and a comprehensive set of investment protection provisions based on a strong dispute resolution mechanism for investments. These provisions will greatly benefit SMEs as they are disproportionately impacted by non-tariff barriers.
In addition, the CPTPP will be a first in Canada in terms of free trade agreements in that it contains a chapter that specifically guarantees that small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to take advantage of the opportunities it creates. This separate chapter highlights the importance of SMEs, which are the backbone of our economy and an engine of economic growth.
These provisions will ensure that our entrepreneurs and small businesses have access to information tailored to their needs, making it easy for Canadian companies to explore and navigate their way around CPTPP markets and prepare for their successful business ventures.
Through the efforts of the committee, as well as collaborative mechanisms, CPTPP signatories will be able to share best practices on how to support their businesses and to co-operate through seminars, workshops, and other capacity-building activities aimed at helping their businesses seize the opportunities created by the agreement.
The CPTPP will increase market opportunities for Canadian companies of all sizes and in all sectors and regions of the country. In the coming months, we will reach out to small and medium-sized enterprises across the country to ensure they have the knowledge and tools they need to take advantage of this historic agreement. At the same time, we will work to help Canadian SMEs to grow, expand their activities, increase their productivity and be innovative and export oriented so they can prosper and create good jobs for the middle class.
Asia is important to Canada and to our small and medium-sized enterprises. Indeed, that region's contribution to the global economy continues to grow and Asia's importance as a destination for Canadian exports has more than doubled.
The CPTPP is a cornerstone of our government's commitment to trade diversification. It will enable Canadian businesses to trade and invest in this dynamic and rapidly-growing region. Since Asia is a highly integrated and adaptable region, the benefits of CPTPP go well beyond access to new markets. This agreement will provide Canadian companies of all sizes with opportunities to enter into various regionally integrated value chains that are global in scope.
Ambitious agreements with high standards, such as the CPTPP, will help to strengthen the rules-based international system and its solid institutions, promoting global value chains and ensuring a level playing field that maximizes the benefits of trade for everyone.
By responsibly expanding our economic ties with our Asian partners, we are delivering on our promise to create economic growth opportunities that will benefit Canada's middle class. This agreement will create opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises to expand their activities, prosper and create good jobs for the middle class. We are here to help Canadians, to help them move forward, to grow and succeed abroad, while creating an environment conducive to sustainable and lasting growth for all.
[Member spoke in Cree]
I am pleased to have the opportunity today to talk about the significant benefits of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, or CPTPP. I want to talk specifically about the Canadian fish and seafood sector.
This agreement is extremely important not only for Canada, but also for Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It is also important for us to have access to those markets.
The Canadian fish and seafood sector is vital to our economy and essential to maintaining a solid employment base in a diverse economy. We are fortunate to have a very prosperous fish and seafood sector. It contributes more than $2 billion to Canada's GDP annually and provides more than 76,000 jobs for Canadians.
Regionally, this sector offers economic opportunities to countless communities both on the coasts and even in Canada's interior.
In the west, employment in British Columbia's fish and seafood industry accounts for approximately 12% of all jobs in this sector across Canada. In the Maritimes, more than two-thirds of the entire Canadian fish and seafood sector is employed across the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Fishing is also important in Quebec and our northern communities in Yukon and Nunavut, while freshwater fishing is notably important for Manitoba.
Commercial fishing is a valued industry in Manitoba. For over 100 years, Manitobans have been commercially fishing and harvesting fish. The majority of production comes from Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, but seven smaller lakes in the south and northern Manitoba are also fished. The resource is managed through the use of quotas, the mesh size of gillnets, by season, and by regulation of the number of licensed fishers. The management tools allow fish populations and the industry to remain viable. They also ensure that resources are shared equitably on all the lakes with not only non-indigenous people but also treaty indigenous people and Métis people. Since almost all of the commercial production is sold out of the country, the $30 million in annual sales represents a significant and important contribution to the livelihoods of Manitoba fishing families.
In Manitoba, it is also important to maintain high quality. Manitoba is the only jurisdiction in the western hemisphere with an eco certified freshwater market. We have achieved a Marine Stewardship Council certification and are very proud of that. Now, 85% of the total fish harvested in Manitoba is exported to other markets. There are 3,155 licenced fishermen in Manitoba and 83% of these are of indigenous descent. They help support many indigenous communities and help provide a good livelihood and support for many families. There are 46 communities and first nations who are involved in this fishery and 294 resulting direct jobs that have improved people's quality of life from their involvement in the fishery. Many Canadians' jobs and livelihood depend on this sector, which is the economic mainstay of approximately 1,500 communities in rural and coastal Canada.
I will now focus on why free trade agreements and the CPTPP in particular are necessary to sustain and develop Canada's fish and seafood industry.
Simply put, Canada's fisheries and aquaculture industries produce high-quality, sustainably sourced fish and seafood that help feed the world. The Canadian fish and seafood industry is export-oriented and depends on international markets. In Asia, increased demand from the region's growing middle class represents enormous potential for Canadian exporters of high-quality fish and seafood products.
Once the CPTPP enters into force, it will provide Canadian fish and seafood exporters with preferential access to one of the largest trading blocs in the world, representing close to 500 million people and 13.5% of global GDP. Altogether, Canadians exported an annual average of $732 million in fish and seafood products to CPTPP markets from 2015 to 2017.
Japan is one CPTPP market where Canadian companies can expect huge growth opportunities. Japan is the third-largest economy in the world and imports more than 60% of its food on a caloric basis, so its demand for imported foods is high.
Right now, Canada's ability to compete in the CPTPP markets is hindered by the high tariffs imposed on fish and seafood products like frozen snow crab, lobster, salmon, fish fillets, and oysters. These tariffs can range from 3.5% to 34% in CPTPP countries like Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
When the agreement enters into force, more than 90% of the fish and seafood tariff lines will immediately become duty-free for Canadian exports, which had an average annual value of $647 million between 2015 and 2017. The remaining 10% will be phased out within 15 years.
For example, close to 66% of Japan's fish and seafood tariff lines will be eliminated upon entry into force of the agreement, providing preferential market access for Canada's premium fish and seafood products, such as lobster, crab, shrimp, salmon, herring roe, sea urchins and halibut. Eighty-three per cent of Vietnam's fish and seafood tariff lines will become duty free upon entry into force, while all Canadian fish and seafood exports to Malaysia will become duty free on day one. Enhanced market access for Canadian companies through the CPTPP will create the conditions for increased exports and will contribute to the vitality of the sector and its greater long-term prosperity.
Additional rules for streamlined customs and administration procedures, as well as enhanced regulatory co-operation, will also help Canadian exporters and suppliers save time and money at the borders of CPTPP countries. With increased access and less red tape, these products will gain an advantage over those of competitors from countries that do not have preferential access to CPTPP markets. At the same time, each CPTPP party will maintain the right to take measures necessary for food safety and to protect against risks to animal or plant life or health while helping to ensure that market access gains are not undermined by unnecessary trade restrictions.
The CPTPP's clear rules on developing, adopting and implementing measures for food safety and the protection of animals, plant life and health ensure that any measures will be science based, risk based and transparent. Ultimately, these provisions will create a predictable training environment for CPTPP members, giving manufacturers and exporters a leg up in prospective markets. Consultations with the fish and seafood industry have been overwhelmingly positive. The feedback from Canadians making a living in this sector is that the fish and seafood industry stands to benefit from the elimination of tariffs, and they are excited about this agreement.
The CPTPP also includes an environment chapter that addresses a number of important global environmental challenges with binding commitments from CPTPP members to, among other things, combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and promote sustainable fisheries management, including through obligations to prohibit subsidies that negatively affect fish stocks. The environment chapter also establishes a framework for co-operation in areas of mutual interest. This includes, for example, working together to mitigate the impacts of climate change, promote and conserve biodiversity, address the illegal wildlife trade, combat invasive alien species and promote sustainable fisheries practices. By maintaining policy flexibility in areas, including fisheries and aquaculture, Canada will ensure the sustainability of our valuable fish resources now and into the future.
By increasing and diversifying Canada's presence in major seafood markets in the Asia-Pacific region, this trade agreement has the potential to provide significant benefits to thousands of Canadians. By providing duty-free access to this huge market, CPTPP will help put more of our country's world-class fish and seafood products on more dinner plates and tables around the world. The fish and seafood sector contributes greatly to Canada's economic prosperity and standard of living, especially our coastal regions, but also to indigenous communities in the interior like Manitoba, and is vital to long-term growth.
I am fully committed to supporting this sector and to ensuring that it remains a vibrant and integral part of Canada's culture and economy. That is why I encourage all members of the House to vote in support of this bill, to allow us to implement the CPTPP in order for Canadians, including indigenous fishermen and all fishermen in Manitoba, to reap its benefits.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be back in the House, to see my colleagues again, and particularly to participate in the debate on Bill . I would like to inform you that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for .
Yesterday, we began the debate about the ratification of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Yesterday, we spent five and a half hours debating this important bill. This morning, a time allocation motion was moved. The Liberal Party, the government, worked with the Conservative Party, the official opposition, to fast-track Bill C-79.
It is disappointing not to have time to rise to express the concerns of the people we represent concerning an important bill like the ratification of this agreement. It is frustrating and disappointing. I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise to express Canadians' fears and concerns about this bill.
I would first like to set the stage by providing a bit of context. The made a statement during the election campaign. On October 5, 2015, he said:
The government has an obligation to be open and honest about the negotiation process, and immediately share all the details of any agreement. Canadians deserve to know what impacts this agreement will have on different industries across our country. The federal government must keep its word and defend Canadian interests during the TPP’s ratification process—which includes defending supply management, our auto sector, and Canadian manufacturers across the country.
That was in 2015. It is now 2018, and it is clear that the Prime Minister has kept neither his word, nor his promise.
The Standing Committee on International Trade held consultations, and I want to thank our critic who worked very hard in committee. We are proud of what she has been able to accomplish. These consultations were not very accessible to members of the public wanting to participate. The public did not get much warning that consultations on the TPP were being held. People did not have much time to prepare, get to, and participate in the consultations. Members of the public had one hour to make submissions and give testimony. In Montreal, 19 members of the public opposed the agreement. Three individuals in Quebec City opposed the agreement. The committee received more than 8,000 submissions from Canadians.
We had a very hard time getting them translated and reviewing all of the submissions properly. There was no comprehensive consultation like the one the Prime Minister promised in 2015. The committee is supposed to be independent, but its consultations were strongly influenced by the government.
I remind members that the Standing Committee on International Trade held dozens of meetings, heard from more than 400 witnesses, and received written comments from more than 60,000 Canadians, 95% of whom opposed the bill and the ratification of the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership.
I rise today to speak on behalf of the people of Berthier—Maskinongé, whom I am proud to represent. I had the honour of sitting on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food since 2012. In January I took on new responsibilities, but I follow the committee's work closely.
All of the agreements that the government has signed since I entered politics in 2011 have chipped away at our supply management system. Every agreement signed gives greater access to our dairy, poultry, turkey or egg markets.
Every agreement we sign opens up more of our market. The Conservative government said it would support and defend our supply management system, but what it actually did was negotiate agreements that allowed greater access to our market. The Liberal Party, with its majority, is doing the same thing. Despite the Liberals' insistence that they support our supply management system, they are continuing to poke holes in it.
Canadians are entitled to a government that respects the will of the people and does not negotiate agreements behind closed doors. Experts tell us that ratifying the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership will cost between 60,000 and 80,000 jobs in Canada because of concessions affecting the auto sector. How disturbing that the government is so willing to jeopardize those jobs.
Concessions in the CPTPP are keeping dairy, egg and poultry producers up at night and could cost 26,000 jobs in Quebec alone. Dairy producers say that giving up 3.25% of the Canadian market will likely cost them about $250 million in annual income. Should our supply management system disappear entirely, the poultry sector would lose 60,000 to 80,000 jobs. That does not even take into account concessions in the Canada-EU agreement.
All the agreements Canada has signed recently represent a 15% increase in access to our supply-managed markets. The government kept saying that it would protect our supply management system, but it has never said that it will fully protect it, so naturally, farmers have some fears and concerns.
We also have to think about timing. Right now we are debating ratifying the trans-Pacific partnership, and yet Canada is still negotiating with the United States. Several experts and groups have urged us to be cautious.
By going ahead with this and supporting the trans-Pacific partnership, we will be giving other countries greater access to our supply-managed market. This could send Mr. Trump and our American friends a clear message: we are prepared to grant them even more access to our market.
These market losses will cause Canada's GDP to drop by between $4.6 billion and $6.3 billion. The study also found that dismantling our supply management system would provide no real benefit to Canadian consumers.
According to the Éleveurs de volailles du Québec, across the poultry industry the implementation of the trans-Pacific partnership will result in the loss of more than 2,200 jobs and cut $150 billion from Canada's GDP.
It is true that our supply management system was created by the Liberals, but here it is being greatly weakened once more. We are witnessing its death by a thousand cuts. We are weakening our system to the point that it will no longer be worthwhile to keep it in place.
The government is telling us that there is nothing to worry about and that there will be a compensation plan for producers, but producers are not interested. They do not want to hear about compensation. Canadian producers want the federal government to do its job. Promises need to be kept. We hope the government will hold its own in the NAFTA renegotiation. That said, up to now, it has not been able to stand up for producers.
We could talk about other problems with the trans-Pacific partnership. For example, there is the auto sector. Many people work in the auto and parts sector.
These people and a number of unions are strongly opposed to the CPTPP because it will not do much to help them. It is still causing a lot of uncertainty. Less stringent rules of origin expose Canada to competition with Japanese vehicles that have a lot more components from countries that are not members of the TPP, such as China, Thailand, and Indonesia. However, Canada is maintaining its commitment to gradually eliminate its tariffs in the auto sector over a short period of five years.
There are a number of reasons why we do not support the TPP. It jeopardizes jobs. The government is telling us that it is protecting jobs and will create jobs for the middle class, but it is putting these jobs and these workers in jeopardy.
Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to stand in the House and speak to this very important issue. I had the privilege of being the New Democratic Party official opposition critic on international trade for four years in the last Parliament.
Of course, the agreement that is the subject of discussion today that was known then as the TPP or trans-Pacific partnership, now renamed the comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership, was very much in the public domain at that time. I followed the details as that agreement was being negotiated fairly carefully at that time. Essentially, my concern comes down to a number of basic points.
First of all, New Democrats have long been concerned by the secrecy surrounding the TPP and the CPTPP negotiations. Despite direct promises by the during the last election to be transparent on trade deals, the Liberals continue to give Canadians vague updates and mixed messages. Today we faced the shameful action by the government that brought in time allocation to limit debate on this very important subject. The previous government did this almost 100 times and the present Liberal government seems to be trying to match it. That shuts down democratic debate. It prevents us from speaking our minds and representing our constituents, which we were elected to come here to do. I think it is deplorable and it ought to be condemned.
Second, we have to recall that the trade committee held dozens of sessions, heard from more than 400 witnesses and received written comments from more than 60,000 Canadians. The overwhelming consensus was that 95% of those people, those good people who took the time to make their views known, were against this deal. Experts also point out that Canada under the CPTPP would lose 58,000 jobs due to concessions that would damage our automobile industry and our supply management system. I will explore that in a few minutes.
This deal also contains troubling provisions on foreign control of Canadian businesses, rights to privacy and intellectual property. This agreement contains extremely weak labour and environment standards. I would say they are virtually absent. The so-called side letters are almost toothless, not only because they are not in the main agreement but because of the language contained in them.
The New Democrats have, for decades now, been strong proponents of fair trade and fair trade deals that seek to raise the labour standards, improve environmental protection, protect our public services and culture, and increase jobs in the Canadian economy.
I want to stop for a moment because I have heard, unfortunately, from the Liberal side of the House, some words that I think typify a very unfortunate approach to politics. We saw this in the last Conservative government under then Prime Minister Harper where if one was not in agreement with the government, then one was subject to a very simplified wedge politics approach that completely misrepresented one's position. It was repeated endlessly, so for instance if one did not stand with the Conservatives' tough-on-crime legislation, somehow one was on the side of child molesters. That approach to politics is deplorable in this House. I think Canadians reject it. We reject it. It does not do anything to advance informed political debate.
I am hearing the same thing from Liberals in this debate that, because we are not in favour of this agreement or are doing our job as opposition by critiquing this agreement, we are opposed to trade. That is absurd and it is nonsense, yet the Liberals keep saying that. Every Canadian understands the importance of trade. Every Canadian wants Canada to be a positive trading nation. That does not mean that we will sign any piece of paper put in front of us. That does not mean that we will be in favour of any agreement, no matter how many jobs it costs Canada or how harmful it is to the Canadian economy.
I want to state for the record that New Democrats are proud supporters of trade. We are strong supporters of Canadian champions and we want to build a strong trading nation in Canada that protects our environment, that supports labour and human rights and that also supports Canadian champions on the world scene.
The only major change that appears to be positive about this whole deal is that the Liberals put the word “progressive” in the title. This is a cynical and very transparent ploy that progressive Canadians will not accept. There is nothing progressive about this deal.
I want to talk for a few minutes about why this agreement is troubling and will start with the auto sector.
The auto sector in this country is extremely important. Canada is the 10th largest vehicle producer in the world. The auto sector is the largest manufacturing sector in Canada. Over 120,000 employees are directly employed in the auto and auto parts sector and it is responsible for about $100 billion in factory sales and related economic activity.
What will the CPTPP do? Industry and labour groups in the auto and auto parts sectors that will be most affected by this and have been carefully monitoring this agreement over the last number of years are strongly opposed to it.
The auto industry is already in the crosshairs of the NAFTA negotiation and facing punitive U.S. tariffs. The industry does not believe the Liberals' claims that the CPTPP will open up markets in the Asia-Pacific, particularly Japan. In fact, anybody who watches auto industry patterns and trends will realize that by reducing tariffs in this country, we are going to see a flood of automobiles and automotive parts coming in from jurisdictions, and not the other way around. It will only increase the auto trade imbalance and further de-harmonize the Canada-U.S. auto industry. Why? Let us look at the rules of origin.
Under the CPTPP, in order for a vehicle made in a TPP country to come into Canada tariff-free, 35% to 45% of it has to be made within a TPP country. Imagine that. If a car manufacturer sets up, say, in Vietnam or Malaysia, in order for one of its cars to come in tariff-free, only 35% to 45% of it has to be made in Vietnam or Malaysia. The rest of the car can be made outside of either of those countries in low wage jurisdictions like Bangladesh or India, or any other low wage jurisdiction that has no environmental standards and very poor labour and employment standards. Even if 35% to 45% is made in the low wage jurisdictions of Malaysia or Vietnam, 55% to 65% of that vehicle, the rest of it, will be made in an even lower wage jurisdiction.
How on earth are major vehicle manufacturers centred in Canada that pay good wages, that pay workers' compensation benefits, that pay for health and welfare benefits, and that pay good taxes or support social programs in this country supposed to compete with that? Yet the Liberals expect us to believe that under this deal we are going to be making vehicles here and will be sending them to Malaysia. If anyone believes that, we have a bridge for sale.
I want to talk about supply management. Supply management is made up of three pillars: price controls, production controls, and import controls. The Liberals continually say that they stand up for supply management in every trade deal, but what they do not tell Canadians is that in every trade deal they have signed, from CETA to the CPTPP, and probably with NAFTA today, they are chipping away at the import controls and letting each one of those great deals let more and more dairy products come in, 3% for Europe, and another 3.5% for the TPP countries. Who knows what we are going to give Donald Trump?
That means that as they sit here and pretend to support supply management, the Liberals are eroding or sawing off that third pillar of supply management. Eventually it will be 15%, 20%, 25%, 40%, 50% of import controls and by that time supply management will have been killed from within.
We saw what happened with Brexit in England. We saw the election of Donald Trump. What happened? Workers around the world have perceived that over the last 30 or 40 years under so-called globalization business has achieved everything it wanted, such as lower labour costs, deregulation, and liberalized trade so that global capital could move around the world. What has happened? The benefits of that have not been shared equally.
That is why the British and American working class have rebelled against neo-Liberal trade deals, all of which have only done one thing: increased GDP for the top 1% to 10%, while 90% of the rest of us end up having poor jobs while we watch our manufacturing sector get hollowed out and good middle-class, family sustaining jobs sent to low wage jurisdictions.
That is what has happened under the Liberals, it is what happened under the Conservatives, and the New Democrats are the only ones who will stand in the House and fight for Canadian jobs and a strong Canadian economy here at home for everybody. We will stand against these lousy trade deals every time they are put before us in the House. That is what the CPTPP is, a lousy deal, and we will continue to fight against it until we can stop this agreement.
Mr. Speaker, we are discussing Bill , a bill to implement the new incarnation of the TPP without the United States.
The Bloc Québécois is sincerely and seriously concerned about supply management and the breaches that are included in this new version of the agreement. The government gave up 3.25% of the dairy market, 2.3% of the egg market, and 2.1% of the poultry market.
The Liberals and Conservatives, who boast about being the great defenders of our farmers and supply management, just voted in favour of time allocation in order to pass this bill quickly. Last spring, they tried to have a motion adopted unanimously to pass the bill immediately. Obviously, we were there and voted against the motion.
There is quite a disconnect between what they say and what they do. They say they want to defend supply management in its entirety, without any breaches. Now that there is a tangible case in front of them, they are changing their tune and cannot pass this new version of the TPP, with all its breaches, soon enough. That does not add up. There is a major lack of credibility here.
On that note, I would remind the House that whenever there is a by-election, big promises are made. During the by-election in Lac-Saint-Jean, the said, "We will not make any concessions when it comes to supply management."
He said this about the TPP on October 19, 2017, in Saint-Félicien, as reported by the Journal de Montréal. I was there too, and I heard it. We were happy at the time, but we now know how much his word is worth.
Just before the last election, on October 4, 2015, the gave an interview to Radio-Canada, which is still available online, in which he said that the Liberal government would not make any concessions on supply management in the TPP. There was even a unanimous motion passed on February 7, 2018. The motion stated:
That the House call on the government to ensure that there is no breach in supply management as part of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership.
My colleague from moved this motion, which passed unanimously. The two Liberal international trade ministers were in the House, and they agreed.
I remind members that we, as legislators and elected officials, are the government's boss. We asked the government, including all of the Liberals and all of the Conservatives, to ensure that there was no breach in supply management in the new version of the trans-Pacific partnership. We ended up with a significant breach nonetheless. I repeat that his word and his promise are worthless in my eyes.
I would remind members that we are talking about 3.25% for milk, 2.3% for eggs, and 2.1% for poultry. These are all supposedly protected by a quota system that is very costly for farmers. In total, to have a protected market, we are talking about approximately $33 billion in quotas, including $20 billion just for the dairy sector. That is not peanuts. We should respect that.
This is the current explanation for the breach. The Americans wanted concessions with respect to supply management. As they no longer want to be part of the new TPP, they are being enticed with concessions to come back to the table. So what do President Donald Trump and the Americans do? They say they do not want the new TPP, but they want these types of concessions in NAFTA renegotiations. Since we made them in the TPP, we can make them to the Americans, as well. That makes a breach in two agreements for our farmers, who are paying for absolutely nothing.
I will draw a parallel to NAFTA. On June 7, the stated in a Radio-Canada article that if Donald Trump wants to attack supply management, there would be no NAFTA, that they would not sign NAFTA. Given that the government's credibility and the worth of its word have been seriously tainted, there may be some doubt about that.
On September 26 of last year, we were proactive and passed a unanimous motion:
That the House reiterate its desire to fully preserve supply management during the NAFTA renegotiations.
There is an election campaign underway in Quebec. All party leaders are asking that supply management remain intact in NAFTA. However, it seems that this is not as important given the comments made by Simon Beauchemin, the advisor in NAFTA renegotiations, who wrote an open letter in La Presse calling for the abolition of supply management.
On that topic, last winter I asked him if he wanted to abolish supply management and how he planned to reimburse the $33 billion worth of quota once supply management is abolished. Farmers are borrowing from financial institutions to cover that. All he did was chortle at me before taking off.
I would remind the House that back when the majority of seats in Quebec were held by Bloc Québécois members, supply management was respected, and those sectors were automatically excluded from the 10 trade agreements signed by Canada, including NAFTA.
At the time, Quebec had more of a voice and Canada listened. Since 2011, that has no longer been the case. Consider the Canada-EU agreement. The bargaining chip that Canada gave up was a new breach for the dairy and cheese sector.
The Harper government had not only promised but even budgeted $4.3 billion in compensation for our dairy producers. The Liberals came to power and tore up that agreement, and instead created a mini program worth $250 million. The first part was gone in a matter of minutes. It was heavily criticized and not suited to our farmers. That is unacceptable. Our farmers were used as a bargaining chip in the Canada-EU agreement. The same thing happened with the TPP and now the CPTPP.
The government has not announced any compensation for our farmers. Once again, farmers are being used as bargaining chips. We are worried about the NAFTA renegotiation because the and the have changed their tune. We get silence, or they talk around the issue. We have real concerns that there could be another breach in supply management.
This is in addition to all of the tricks, which I consider illegal, that American producers use to try to break into our market and that take an awful lot of time to address. I am talking about milk proteins, diafiltered milk, and misuse of the duty deferral program. There is also the spent fowl scandal, or the distributors that throw in a couple packets of sauce to bring in chicken wings and bypass supply management. Another example is how pizza kits are used bring in grated cheese, and I could go on.
Up until 2011, the government made its position clear to other countries. If they wanted us to make changes to supply management, they would have to eliminate their subsidies and other protectionist mechanisms. That used to be a prerequisite for negotiation, but not anymore. The government gave an inch, and now it is open season.
A C.D. Howe Institute study showed that, in its first year, the TPP's impact on the GDP would be 0.01%. That is negligible. Any benefit will go mainly to Ontario and the west. Quebec is too far from the Pacific nations to benefit much at all. Nevertheless, the things Canada gave up in order to join the partnership are things that matter to Quebec. That is deplorable and unacceptable.
The supply management system works. The United States has a number of protected sectors such as cotton and sugar, but also dairy, eggs and poultry, same as here. All of the agreements that have been signed include very high tariffs to protect domestic markets. Most, if not all, industrialized nations have mechanisms to protect agriculture. Agriculture is an important sector, one vital to any country's national security and to feeding its people.
Apparently Canada's government is the only one prepared to sell out its farmers time after time. That is unacceptable.
We do not want to see the kinds of megafarms that have been popping up in the United States in recent years. Some of those farms have 10,000 cows. Megafarms account for 30% of milk production. Here, farms typically have about 50 cows. I am talking about a family farm land use model. If we did things here like they do in the United States, my entire riding would have a single producer. That is unacceptable, and we want nothing to do with it. An American magazine called Quartz reported that the suicide rate on American family farms is one a week.
That is not what we want, so we will vote against this agreement because of the major breach it creates in supply management.
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today in the House. I start by acknowledging we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples.
The trans-Pacific partnership agreement has had a convoluted and somewhat rocky road. I think we would all admit that. I would like to take a bit of time to go through its history and then take as much time as possible, given that it is abbreviated now that we are down to only 10-minute speaking segments and time allocation has already been applied, on why it is completely anti-democratic to have investor-state provisions included in agreements, particularly the one currently before us.
I would like to adopt and support the submissions of the hon. member for . The trade critic for the New Democratic Party has put forward clear arguments. So has the MP for . I agree with all I have heard from them. This allows me to concentrate on investor-state provisions rather than delve into the different sector-by-sector problems with the TPP.
Going back to where it started, the TPP was well under way in negotiation under the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper. It knew the TPP was under way and Canada did not have a seat at the table. Therefore, there are a number of reasons the agreement is lopsided against certain Canadian sectors. It has to do with the fact we joined late. We were aggressive with trying to be in. Some will remember that even during the 2015 election, when a government is supposed to have no more than a caretaker role, the former minister of trade was working hard to try to get this deal done. That was inappropriate, given that the writ had already dropped, but he certainly did work hard to achieve the TPP.
We know that the incoming U.S. president pulled out. That had a very substantial impact on the economic reach of the agreement. With the U.S. out, it looked like the TPP was dead. However, bad trade deals never die, they rise again, and this one came back without the United States and now with 11 countries in the trade pact.
It is important for Canadians to know that we already have trade agreements, within NAFTA, with Mexico. Therefore, that means we are agreeing to new agreements with nine new nations. When we talk about the Pacific region, I think a lot of Canadians would assume this includes the big economic players. When we hear TPP, the trans-Pacific partnership, or now as it is styled, the comprehensive and progressive TPP, or CPTPP, one would assume it would include China and Indonesia. However, large economic players in Asia are out of the agreement, other than the big one, which are Japan, as well as Malaysia, and of course Australia and New Zealand. There are smaller economic countries, such as Peru and Vietnam, as well as Singapore, which is significant but relatively small in terms of trade.
We have a cobbled together agreement that we now are rushing to pass. We were promised that we would not rush through trade deals in this place, that we would have full debate. I gather the committee has been told that it has to rush as well. Therefore, this trade agreement will not be adequately debated. That is now a foregone conclusion because of time allocation.
In the six and a half minutes remaining to me, let me explain why I submit to the House that investor-state dispute resolution sections do not belong in any agreement. They do not belong in trade agreements. They in fact have nothing to do with trade. They are often conflated and confused with trade dispute resolution agreements. Therefore, in the case of NAFTA, which, by the way, was the source of these investor dispute resolution systems, chapter 11 in NAFTA had never been requested before. They were not understood. They were not even understood by the people who negotiated NAFTA.
What we have under NAFTA is chapter 19, which deals with how one sorts out disputes over tariffs and unfair trade decision. We are used to those. That is appropriately a trade dispute resolution provision. One needs those if one has a trade deal. What we do not need is this bogus, anti-democratic investor-state provision, which arose in chapter 11 of NAFTA. What does it mean? On paper, when people first read NAFTA, including in all the fights over adopting NAFTA, none of the anti-NAFTA groups ever noticed chapter 11. No one talked about it; it was a sleeper.
What chapter 11 seemed to say was common sense. If someone had invested in a country and the asset that was built was expropriated, such as when Fidel Castro took over Cuba, the expropriation of assets would require compensation, which is the international norm already. It looked like chapter 11 was about that. We found out that was not what the chapter was capable of doing in the Ethyl Corporation case, when Ethyl Corporation of Richmond, Virginia brought the first chapter 11 case against Canada.
It should be noted that as of now, Canada is the most sued industrialized country under these investor-state agreements and we have lost repeatedly. We have lost, but it was not as if we did something that was a subversion of our trade, not as if we treated some country that we promised we would give it friendly treatment and it was a duplicitous action in pursuit of a trade benefit. No, we have lost when we were trying to protect public health and the environment.
Let us look at Ethyl Corporation. In that instance, the former minister of environment, Sheila Copps, heard of the efforts of groups like the one I was executive director of, Sierra Club Canada. We worked hard to get rid of a toxic gasoline additive called MMT, which is manganese based. We were joined in that effort, believe it or not, by the car makers. The car makers said that MMT gunked up the engines and compromised the catalytic converters. In other words, it increased pollution in a way that could void their warranties.
Therefore, the auto manufacturers, the environmental groups and a number of health groups, with evidence from neurotoxicologist Dr. Donna Mergler of the University of Quebec in Montreal, said that this stuff increased manganism in the human population, in other words tremors that looked a lot like Parkinson's, and at the same time threatened to void the warranties of cars. The minister of the environment brought forward a law which was passed in Parliament. The law said that we would get rid of MMT in gasoline.
It is important to know that at this point the United States Environmental Protection Agency had refused to register MMT, because its advice was that this stuff was bad for the environment, bad for human health and we should not use it. Therefore, Canada banned it.
Ethyl Corporation said that it was going to chapter 11 of NAFTA. However, before that chapter 11 case was through, the government of the day decided to settle, and we cannot say “out of court” because there are no courts involved here. These are private arbitration matters generally heard in hotel rooms. Therefore, if we are going to call a chapter 11 arbitration “out of court”, we have to insert the word “kangaroo” before the word “court” so the whole thing makes sense.
However, Ethyl Corporation got out of Canada an award of $13 million U.S., which was taken out of the A-base budget of Environment Canada. If members do not think that had a chilling affect on Environment Canada's willingness to ban dangerous chemicals that were made in the United States, then they are not looking at the facts of what has happened since then. That was the first one. By the way, what was Ethyl Corporation's investment in Canada? Did it have a plant here? No. Did it create jobs here? No. It was selling the toxic gasoline additive here, and that was enough to make it an investor. The same thing happened with S.D. Myers, which was the next case.
S.D. Myers is an Ohio-based company that runs incinerators for PCB contaminated waste. Sheila Copps, former minister of environment, banned the export of PCB contaminated waste from Canada consistent with the Basel Convention to which Canada was a signatory, but S.D. Myers sued. Guess what. It was suddenly an investor. It had expected profit from taking Canadian PCB waste and burning it in Ohio.
However, when we banned the export of PCB contaminated waste from Canada, the import of PCB contaminated waste into the U.S. was illegal under U.S. law. On that set of facts, we could not imagine that we would lose, but we lost. Canada appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, which said that it was not significant enough of an egregious error under the rules of arbitration for us to win, and so we had to pay S.D. Myers money.
We are now awaiting Bilcon, which has asked for $580 million in damages. Canada has lost in Federal Court in our efforts to defend the good decision of a very ethical, thorough, independent, thoroughly evidence-based finding of the environmental assessment panel on Bilcon's efforts to do an open-pit quarry in Digby, Nova Scotia.
Ethyl Corporation did not go to the courts in Canada, which it could have done. By the way, that decision led to the Progressive Conservative government of Nova Scotia turning down the permit and the previous Conservative Government of Canada environment minister John Baird turning down the permit. However, Bilcon, in New Jersey, went to a secret hearing under chapter 11 of NAFTA and it won.
TPP does not have such egregious secrecy; that is the one area in which this is different. However, we pass this and we will regret it. We will have chapter 9 suits under TPP, again from Malaysia and from Japan, and we will lose because Canada generally loses. This is corrosive to democracy, and I urge us to take investor state out of the bill in front of us.
Mr. Speaker, it is great to be back, to be able to speak on Bill and, in particular, to be able to speak to trade.
I believe trade is part of Canada's DNA, from our beginnings with the fur trade to today, where we are a leader globally when it comes to mining, minerals and exploration. We can look at all the other sectors, be it agriculture, manufacturing, innovation and tech, and Canada is a leader.
I want to leave a statistic with the Chamber that really highlights how important trade is to Canada and how great a job we do at trade globally. We are 0.5% of Canada's population, but we do 2.5% of all global trade, five times our population. That just shows, globally, that we are a trading nation.
We look at CETA, where we were able to sign that agreement and open up another market of over 500 million people and over $20 trillion GDP in that market. Now, we look at the CPTPP and we look to Asia as another opportunity for Canada to be able to trade our great goods and services, a market of about 500 million people and $13.5 trillion GDP.
We are able to now talk about some of the benefits we will be able to experience from CPTPP if we were to sign on. Looking at our industrial and manufacturing sectors, located right in Mississauga East—Cooksville, we have Maple Leaf, a great company. They do a great deal of export. Having these tariffs stripped away from many of the countries in Asia that are part of the CPTPP that they work with will mean more jobs here in Canada and will give us greater market access.
I have heard from my constituents and the businesses in my area that this is the way forward.
Mississauga is Canada's sixth-largest city and we continue to grow, mostly through companies that are export oriented. Those export-oriented companies are producing the best jobs. Whether it be automobiles or medical devices, metals, chemicals or plastics, they are all essential components to our national economy, employing 1.7 million full-time and highly skilled Canadians, and contributing close to 11% of Canada's GDP.
Our government firmly believes that the CPTPP is the ideal agreement for Canadians and our economy. This is a high-level trade agreement that will increase Canadian exports and help us to succeed in foreign markets as a cornerstone of our government's comprehensive efforts to enhance Canada's engagement with dynamic, fast-growing and increasingly influential Asian markets. It is an important part of our commitment to diversify trade, grow our economy and strengthen our country's middle class.
Trade and investment flows between Canada and Asian economies have increased significantly since the turn of the century. From 2014 to 2016, Canada's exports of industrial and manufactured goods to the CPTPP countries accounted for an annual average of $22.4 billion. By eliminating now nearly 100% tariffs on manufactured goods, including some tariffs that are as high as 85%, a high barrier, and creating mechanisms to address non-tariff barriers to trade, the CPTPP will create opportunities for world-class Canadian businesses to increase their sales.
Once the agreement enters into force, it will enable Canadian exporters to access diverse and internationally integrated value chains. On day one of the agreement coming into force, there will be no tariffs on over 87% of industrial tariff lines, covering Canada's exports to CPTPP markets, worth an annual average of close to $20 billion over a two-year period.
What will this mean for individual industries? Allow me to provide just a few examples for Canada's multi-billion dollar chemicals and plastics industry.
The CPTPP will provide opportunities for companies in Ontario, the hub of Canada's plastics industry, to cutting-edge mechanical facilities in Alberta with improved market access. This industry will improve its annual average of $1.1 billion in exports to the CPTPP countries by eliminating tariffs that are as high as 50%. What a difference that will make in our exports of plastics.
With respect to metals and minerals, a sector contributing nearly 600,000 jobs here in Canada and exporting $5 billion in goods to CPTPP markets, the agreement would result in the elimination of all tariffs, again some as high as 50%. As a result, highly sought-after Canadian aluminum, steel, iron, petroleum products and precious metals will become even more competitive in such markets as Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Canada's information and communication technologies sector, critical to major urban centres across Canada, is also well positioned under this agreement to meet growing needs within established and developed markets in the Asia-Pacific. In addition to eliminating tariffs, the agreement will protect companies from having to divulge their proprietary information in order to sell their products in these markets.
In the auto sector, our government listened, and listened a lot, to what Canadians had to say and made their concerns a priority. As part of the negotiations, Canada has obtained bilateral cover letters from Australia and Malaysia to establish more liberal rules of origin, which will allow our automotive manufacturers to take advantage of the preferential tariff treatment in these markets without having to adjust their current production models.
We also achieved bilateral results with Japan and Malaysia on standards and regulations in the automotive sector, a key demand from industry stakeholders as these non-tariff barriers were impeding our export abilities.
These are just a few examples of areas that could benefit from the CPTPP. By making Canadian industrial and manufacturing exports more competitive, reducing the red tape that impedes access to dynamic and growing markets, this agreement would provide Canadian businesses with significant opportunities to increase profits and create new jobs.
Beyond tariff reduction, another aspect of the CPTPP that stands to benefit Canadian companies in these sectors is the area of intellectual property. The agreement's provisions on intellectual property cover virtually all areas regarding trade and IP, including copyright, patents, trademarks, geographical indication, industrial designs, domain names and enforcement. Most importantly, the protection and enforcement of IP rights will help protect Canadian innovation and investment as our businesses trade abroad. For Canadian businesses, one of the most significant barriers to trade in some markets is uncertainty over the protection of intellectual property, including whether their intellectual property rights will be respected and enforced.
Intellectual property is valuable property and this agreement establishes a clear and predictable standard on IP rights and enforcement in the Asia-Pacific region. This will allow Canadian creators, innovators and investors to conduct trade with our new CPTPP partners with the assurance that their products will be protected while benefiting from the same rules as other parties within this agreement. In turn, this will encourage investment in innovative technologies in Canada and allow Canadians to develop and market their brands in the region.
As a result, innovative Canadian companies will be better positioned to commercialize their products in both established and fast-growing Asian markets. In addition to tariff reduction and IP rules, the agreement also addresses costly and time-consuming non-tariff barriers that make it difficult for Canadian companies to enter these foreign markets. Commitments by CPTPP members to cut away that burdensome and restrictive regulatory red tape in such sectors as cosmetics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and ICT will provide Canadian manufacturing exporters with greater certainty and predictability that the competitive benefits their products receive from tariff elimination will be fully realized.
By establishing an effective and transparent rules-based trade system in one of the world's most dynamic and growing regions, the CPTPP will lay the groundwork for exporters in our industrial and manufacturing sectors to take advantage of these opportunities. This is why I am encouraging all of my hon. colleagues to support Bill and allow for the swift implementation of this important agreement.