Good Monday morning to everyone.
Pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, February 1, 2021, we continue our study of Bill , an act to implement the agreement on trade continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Today's meeting is being televised, and is taking place in a hybrid format pursuant to the House order of January 25, 2021. I would like to take the opportunity to remind all participants that screenshots or taking photos of your screen are not permitted. To ensure an orderly meeting, I need to outline a few of the rules that I know you've heard before.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. If you are on the video conference, please click on your microphone icon to unmute yourself. When you are not speaking, your mike should be on mute. As a reminder, all comments by members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair.
My apologies for last Friday, and not being able to get our meeting started when we had our witnesses there, but we're very pleased that you are able to be with us today.
We have Minister Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.
As witnesses with her, we have, from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Doug Forsyth, director general for market access and chief negotiator, Canada-United Kingdom trade continuity agreement—someone who's well-known to all of the committee. We also have Allison Trenholm, deputy chief negotiator, Canada-United Kingdom trade continuity agreement; and Torsten Ström, general counsel, trade law bureau.
From the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, we have Aaron Fowler, chief agriculture negotiator and director general, trade agreements and negotiations.
Welcome to all of you. Thank you for rearranging your schedules from last Friday to be with us today. We appreciate it very much.
We move on to Minister Ng for your opening statement, please.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Honourable members, thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear once again before the House Standing Committee on International Trade to speak on behalf of Bill , an act to implement the trade continuity agreement, TCA, between Canada and the United Kingdom.
For Canada, international trade is central to our economic success and prosperity, and there is no doubt that trade will play a crucial role in our inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. This is why it is important for Canada not only to develop new trading relationships, but also to strengthen existing ties.
The U.K. is our largest trade market in Europe, and in 2019, it was the third-largest destination for Canadian merchandise exports worldwide. It is also a key source of innovation, science and technology partnerships. Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and the U.K. totalled $29 billion in 2019, making it our fifth-largest international partner. The U.K. is also Canada’s second-largest services trade partner, behind only the United States, amounting to exports of nearly $7.1 billion last year. The U.K. is Canada’s fourth-largest source of foreign direct investment, valued at $62.3 billion in 2019.
It is clear that our trade continuity agreement with the United Kingdom is critical to Canadian jobs by preserving a key enabler to our strong economic partnership—and that is CETA. The trade continuity agreement before you today ensures Canada and the U.K. can sustain and build upon our trade relationships by preserving the main benefits of CETA. As this agreement is based on CETA, a trade agreement Canadians are already familiar with, it will provide continuity, predictability and stability for Canadian businesses, exporters, workers and consumers. This is more important than ever as we all grapple with COVID-19.
Once the agreement is fully implemented it will carry forward CETA’s tariff elimination on 99% of Canadian products exported to the U.K. It will fully protect Canadian producers of all supply-managed products and maintain our priority market access for Canadian service suppliers, including access to the U.K. government’s procurement market, which is estimated to be worth approximately $118 billion annually. It will uphold and preserve CETA’s high standard provisions on labour, the protection of the environment and dispute settlement.
At the same time, while this agreement is largely a replication of CETA, it provides no new market access for dairy or any other supply-managed products. This outcome fulfills the commitment made by our government, the and the to not concede any additional market access for supply-managed sectors in the trade agreements this government signs on to.
When it comes to the U.K., we have a particularly special connection and enjoy a robust trade and investment relationship. Canada and the U.K. enjoy a deep and historic relationship, and both sides are keen to work together to maintain our strong trading relationship post-Brexit to ensure stability and continuity for our businesses.
When the United Kingdom held a referendum and, guided by the decision of its citizens, decided to leave the European Union, that decision not only affected the U.K.’s trade and economic relations with its largest partner, but it also meant that the United Kingdom can no longer be a party to CETA with Canada. Obviously, this had the potential to affect Canadian companies, especially if the U.K. chose to re-evaluate its trade priorities.
That's why this trade continuity agreement is so important.
Canadian businesses and workers in many sectors rely on our interconnected trade relationship, from farmers to fish harvesters to innovators. They have told us that what they want the most at this time is stability. This agreement provides exactly that.
The TCA ensures that Canada and the U.K. can both sustain and build upon our important relationship by preserving the benefits of CETA on a bilateral basis, fully protecting our closely integrated supply chains.
Madam Chair, this continuity agreement is good for workers and for businesses. It's good for both Canada and the United Kingdom. Without the TCA in place, Canadian businesses would have faced the uncertainty of new barriers and higher costs of doing business, particularly our agriculture, fish and seafood industries. With this agreement we can build a better future for both countries.
The TCA includes a commitment for subsequent negotiations to begin within a year of this agreement coming into force. My U.K. counterpart, Secretary Truss, and I have publicly committed to these negotiations.
We will, of course, seek the input of Canadians on their interest in a new bilateral discussion with the United Kingdom. I am looking forward to hearing from Canadians from coast to coast to coast through public consultations. I'm looking forward to working towards a high-quality, modern and comprehensive agreement that includes ambitious chapters on the environment, women's economic empowerment, labour and digital trade.
To those who have pointed out areas where improvements are sorely needed, we hear you. I am eager to get to work on those issues. We will return to this House when we are ready to table negotiating objectives for this new ambitious effort.
Right now, while we work to ratify this agreement both in Canada and the United Kingdom, we have signed a memorandum of understanding between both countries so that trade can continue to flow while the agreement makes its way through domestic approvals.
The TCA will provide stability and will remain in place until a new agreement, which we aim to reach within three years, is ready.
To sum up, Madam Chair, this trade continuity agreement is like no other trade agreement Canada has negotiated. We've heard from Canadian businesses and industries, as well as provinces and territories, about the importance of maintaining a preferential trading relationship with the United Kingdom. The successful ratification of Bill will go a long way to minimizing disruptions for Canadian businesses at this critical time.
Throughout the ratification process, and once this agreement is in place, Canada will continue to support Canadian companies doing business with and in the U.K. and the EU through what I call a “team Canada” approach to trade.
This is critical to Canada's economic recovery and future prosperity. As we look to turn the corner and build back better, it will be even more important that we continue to provide Canadian businesses with as many options and opportunities as possible.
This agreement maintains crucial ties and preferential trade terms with one of Canada's key trade partners. It ensures that Canadian businesses do not face yet another disruption or challenge at this time. Indeed, if this agreement were not in place, it would be another setback that Canadian businesses cannot afford.
This is why I urge all members to consider the benefits of the TCA and of maintaining preferential trade with a key partner, and show their support for Canadian businesses and our exporters.
Madam Chair, let me conclude by saying that the trade continuity agreement with the United Kingdom is good for Canadians, good for the people of the United Kingdom, and good for the strong, mutually beneficial relationship that our nations have built over the past 150 years.
Thank you for the invitation and the opportunity to share the position of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on this important matter.
The IAM is the leading union in the aerospace sector and air transportation industry. We represent over 55,000 members across Canada of whom 22,000 work in the aviation, aerospace and air transportation sector. We also have members who work in a range of sectors and industries, from screening services across airports in Canada, automotive parts manufacturing, the hospitality sector, health care, custom paint additives, industrial pump manufacturing, plastics manufacturing to woodworking. We are as diverse as our membership and take every opportunity to advocate on issues that impact our members and workers across Canada.
The U.K.'s departure from the European Union has far-reaching ramifications, and securing a transitional agreement provides for continued trade and stability in trade relations between Canada and the U.K. This is irrefutable. The IAM unequivocally supports efforts to diversify and expand trade opportunities since healthy industries provide jobs Canadians can rely on. But with opportunities come challenges and today, on behalf of the IAM, I would like to highlight where we see both opportunities and shortcomings under the proposed agreement.
We strongly recommend that CETA not be continued in its original form and that the federal government address problem areas before proceeding with Bill . In this interim period, we see an opportunity for the federal government to improve CETA through Bill C-18 and ensure the best possible trade deal for Canada and Canadians.
The contribution of Canada's aerospace industry should not be ignored. The aerospace industry has irrefutably proven to be the driver of innovation and technology across sectors. For decades, Canada's expertise, knowledge and skill base has been world renowned. In fact, the Canadian government relies more on this industry for revenue than Canada's competitors. Aerospace is a large contributor to the Canadian economy, some $28 billion annually, and as a large contributor to our GDP, it's an export-extensive industry. Ninety-three per cent of aerospace manufacturing firms were exporters, which is 44% higher than the manufacturing average. Aerospace manufacturing firms also have more diversified trade than the manufacturing average, underlining the importance of trade to this industry, which must be on favourable terms.
The industry is also a source of well-paid, stable, unionized jobs that support middle-class Canadians. In the Canadian labour market, the aerospace industry employs more workers than the auto industry by a large margin: 208,000 versus 123,000 workers or 60% more workers than auto. Yet, to date, the industry has seen little direct support as a whole. We advocated for support in this industry prior to the pandemic and we support all efforts to grow Canadian aerospace, making us more competitive. Certainly, trade opportunities open doors for growth and exposure.
There are opportunities in the U.K. aerospace market. According to a study done by the trade commissioner, there is a niche for Canadian aerospace in the U.K. market. Although we make up a small portion of the U.K.'s trade portfolio, approximately 1.6%, we believe the Canadian aerospace industry should take advantage of opportunities afforded by the transition agreement.
The trade commissioner has identified opportunities for Canadian aerospace companies, which would be supported by the continuation of agreement terms under CETA. Disruptions in global markets due to the pandemic are inevitably leading to mergers and acquisitions with the aerospace and defence industry having been flagged as the most susceptible. The trade commissioner advises Canadian companies with cash flow to consider acquisition targets and to invest in the U.K.
Other opportunities of interest are software solutions that support the digitization of supply chain management, as well as technology supporting the transformation of industry due to the coronavirus crisis, such as cyber solutions, monitoring solutions and CBRN-type capabilities that support disinfection.
We need to position the aerospace industry for success in the U.K market by the development of an industrial policy. Globally, economies have been shaken by the pandemic, paralyzing several industries. Government spending has increased in efforts to sustain both workers and businesses during this challenging time. It's clear a recovery will take years, and we recommend the development of a thorough industrial policy targeted at supporting and stimulating hard hit sectors, such as aerospace, aviation, tourism and related industries. Getting the economy back on track will not only require funding, but a comprehensive and well-thought-out plan to ensure a strong and full recovery in the form of an industrial policy.
We need the development of a national aerospace policy. A pan-Canadian aerospace policy would address several issues that Canadian aerospace faces. Canada's largest aerospace cluster is centralized in Quebec, however practically every province has an aerospace cluster. The industry is often caught between provincial and federal governments, which has made a cohesive funding framework and fostering of regional clusters difficult. The approach the government has taken is to fund individual aerospace companies and randomly transfer money to provinces with aerospace clusters.
This is neither an efficient use of money nor an effective means to ensure that Canada remains globally competitive, despite being unsurpassed in production of flight simulators, civil aircraft engines and MRO.
On support for regional clusters, practically every province has a regional cluster, yet there is no coordination amongst them. A healthy level of competition within an industry is beneficial. However, as an industry of national importance, there must be some level of coordination and cohesion at the national level. Simply put, strengthening the domestic industry supports its global competitiveness.
With regard to support in the procurement process, we recommend that Bill outline stipulations for Canadian content requirements in public contracts. Additionally, measures that allow the Canadian government to support and guarantee economic benefits must be part and parcel of the new agreement. The IM also recommends that a form of insurance framework be included, with the goal of protecting struggling economic sectors such as aerospace in the current climate, without facing penalties for breach of contact.
On CETA's gaps and erosion of labour rights, labour groups rang the alarm bells before CETA was adopted, highlighting the agreement's shortcomings in protecting labour rights. For instance, CETA's chapter 23 is excluded from general dispute settlement, meaning that labour disputes couldn't be resolved through a formal mechanism that involved penalties. While investors can rely on a binding investment court system, labour disputes are resolved through a non-binding process of co-operation and recommendation, which companies can ignore without penalties.
Furthermore, labour provisions did not provide for any binding or enforceable labour provisions for implementation of core international labour standards. International labour standards prevent the erosion of standards and a race to the bottom, which is likely, given that CETA allows parties to shift investments to areas where labour standards are lowest and through challenging new regulations that would negatively impact investments.
CETA also allows certain classes of workers to move between countries and bypass the Canadian immigration process. CETA limits government's ability to put limits on migrant workers in areas of high unemployment, even if local workers are available. This provision clearly undercuts government's efforts to train and hire local workers.
Last but not least, temporary entry provisions do not provide a path to permanent residency or immigration, as is the case in other European trade agreements. Moreover, this provision is expected to have a greater impact on Canada than the U.K.
CETA also imposed a condition on the Canadian government to treat foreign suppliers at least as well as domestic suppliers, which, in some cases, would disadvantage domestic businesses. Under the original agreement, our government's ability to regulate entry and activity of foreign firms was limited, even in instances when such regulations didn't discriminate between foreign service suppliers and domestic service suppliers. This places emerging domestic businesses in a precarious position, such as the majority of the SMEs in the Canadian aerospace market.
With regard to public procurement, CETA allowed procurement rules to apply to Canadian municipal and provincial governments, in addition to the federal government. Local bodies are prohibited from favouring local suppliers and even applying local content requirements to procurement contracts, as it would infringe on non-discrimination provisions.
What is more concerning is that CETA's provisions give unconditional access to Canadian procurement markets to European companies. Moreover, procuring entities are not able to obligate foreign suppliers to contribute positively to local economic development.
Under the new transition agreement, we recommend that Bill outlines stipulations for Canadian content requirements in public contracts, a measure that allows the Canadian government to support and guarantee that economic benefits be part and parcel of the new agreement.
Thank you, Madam Chair and honourable members, for the invitation to speak as part of the committee's Bill study. It's a pleasure to be back. Certainly quite a bit has changed since I last appeared, in the autumn. While on the one hand we do have an agreement signed, certainly it's not yet been implemented. Hopefully, we can talk a bit about that this afternoon.
It won’t surprise members of the committee to hear me say that the Canadian Chamber strongly supports the passage of Bill in an expeditious manner. The U.K. is a significant trading partner for Canada for all the reasons that we all know, including being both our third-largest goods export market and our second-largest destination for FDI abroad. Despite those rankings, it still remains a small overall proportion of our trade flows, behind the United States. I think this actually means that there's room and potential for the relationship to grow.
Since December 2020, Canadian companies have managed to avoid going off the cliff and having tariffs reimposed, either for exports going to the U.K. or companies that are sourcing products from the U.K. into Canada. However, this doesn't mean that the current arrangements are perfect. We have an MOU implementing remissions orders to apply parts of a transitional agreement that's based on a provisionally applied CETA. As you can imagine, that’s quite a mouthful for a lot of companies to be able to understand.
Therefore, while the execution of remissions orders has been a welcome relief for our members, we should not coast. Bill provides an ability to simplify the architecture that governs the trade between Canada and the U.K. as well as limit any operational questions that companies may come across during this current period.
I will highlight some of the benefits that we see from the TCA, which I did have a chance to speak to in more detail at my last committee appearance. Number one are the tariff eliminations on such products as lobster, plastics, vehicles and beef.
The second main benefit we see is in and around regulatory co-operation. As I said at my last appearance, CETA provides a critical framework for regulatory dialogues to occur on agriculture and industrial product non-tariff barriers that are keeping our products out of the market in terms of being able to use the CETA preferential tariff rates that were granted in the negotiations.
The third area of benefit we would point to in the TCA is in and around services. CETA’s temporary entry chapter had provisions on intra-company transferees. That enabled Canadian companies to bring in specialized talent from the U.K. to service their Canadian operations. The contractual service supplier provisions mean that specialized skills can be brought in to fill niche supply chain gaps that companies aren't able to fill in-house. The CETA provisions on these entry categories reduce the business burden for bringing in these specialized talents. Without them in a U.K. context it will have a negative impact on Canadian businesses. This is not an area that currently is part of the MOU, as was discussed in the first half of the committee meeting.
As the government’s economic assessment notes, the TCA will preserve an estimated $2 billion in bilateral trade. At a time of significant economic uncertainty, we need to leave no stone unturned for Canadian businesses to find ways to grow our economy. Trade agreements are a way for governments to support growth at a minimal cost to the public purse.
As I noted when last appearing before the committee, if CETA matters, then transitioning it to a bilateral agreement with our largest trading partner in Europe also matters. As we approach March 31, we hope the TCA can be implemented rather than the two governments needing to roll over the current MOU.
Bill is fundamentally about preserving market access that we already have. Now is not the time to rock the boat on that. From a forward-looking perspective, drawing a line under Bill C-18 will enable us to devote our efforts to focusing on the issues that will allow us to actually expand and improve our market access. This includes such issues as digital trade, regulatory co-operation, trade facilitation, labour mobility and others.
Thank you for your attention. I look forward to taking your questions.
Thank you, Madam Chair and the members of the committee, for this invitation to appear before the committee.
I represent Hensall Co-Operative. We are one of the largest farmers co-operatives in Canada with over 6,000 farmer members and owners, and we have over 30 locations across Ontario and Manitoba.
Our business is very diversified; it's made up of animal nutrition, crop services, energy, freight-forwarding logistics, grain marketing and marketing of ingredients.
The largest section of our business is made up of our food products, which is our dry bean and IP, non-GMO soybean business, which is an export-type business.
Our growth has been tremendous. Some history is $300 million revenue with 250 employees in 2010, and today, 2020, we stand with over $800 million of revenue and 650 employees, and the biggest growth sector has been in export.
We have entered into commodity and value-added contracts with more 2,500 growers. We have contracts of between 300,000-350,000 acres annually for higher-value human grade soybeans, edible beans and identity preserved soybeans, all going to the U.K. and Asia.
Currently we ship 80 food-grade containers a day of food products out of our facilities to over 40 countries globally. We have invested more than $100 million in hard assets across rural communities in Ontario, and these are primary investments to improve our facilities and our services and to expand our geographical footprint.
Quality, of course, is critical to our success. We ensure that all our food production facilities have quality accreditations, including SQF. Also, with all this shipment globally and to Asia and the U.K., it allows us collaboration with our freight-forwarding business, Hensall Global Logistics, which is one of the largest freight-forwarding businesses in Canada and in the top 10 in North America.
To give you some background, edible beans, human-grade soybeans, represent a critical sector between IP soybeans and dry beans. They represent $300 million-$350 million of our $800 million gross revenue. It's been a key driver of our growth. It's provided a launch to our successful global logistics business. Looking back, we have edible beans and identity-preserved soybeans. The edible beans are our biggest product going into the U.K.; identity-preserved soybeans would be going into Asia.
When we're marketing these with our Canadians growers, we're a totally independent, all-Canadian co-operative, and we try to represent value added to these contracts so growers will grow these dry beans and IP soybeans, which brings another $22 million-$25 million into the farmers' hands and in their sectors. This is all based on export-type business.
As for our customers globally, we have developed long-standing trade with over 44 different countries. These relationships act as a springboard to allow us to offer higher value-added contracts to our Canadian growers.
Our customer list contains many names that you may recognize: Heinz beans, Princes beans and Kikkoman, which is soy sauce. Heinz and Princes are both U.K.-based, and they make up the biggest part of our dry bean business. When I say dry beans, I'm speaking of white beans, which are baked beans, kidney beans, different types of black beans and anything in that type of food sector.
We are also one of the sole major suppliers to Princes Foods in the U.K. We also have customers like Campbell's soup, and many may know that, if you eat Tim Hortons or Wendy's chili, those are our customers also, so you can see how we are diversified across the food sector.
The opportunity today and in the future is the growth of plant-based protein and meat alternatives, today projected to increase from a $4.6-billion industry to an $85-billion industry in 2030. This is an increase of 18-20 times, so you can see what the importance of CETA and Bill means to our business and Canadian growers.
Our Canadian climate is growing regions with access to arable land and water, a unique opportunity for favourable conditions for growing wide ranges of crops such as IP soybeans, non-GMO, pulses and dry beans.
Canadian agriproducts have a solid reputation all across the world, especially in Asia and Europe, giving us a unique opportunity to create advantages and opportunities for our Canadian growers.
Imperative for our success is that we must have free trade. Quotas will limit our growth opportunities. Duties and taxes can destroy markets since there is price sensitivity to food products and the retailers.
We must deliver our products to our customers on time, making reliable transportation infrastructure vitally important, and that includes ports, rails and roads.
Our primary ports are Montreal and Vancouver for outboard exports to the U.K. and Asia. Our bean-processing facilities are in southwestern Ontario and Manitoba, both utilizing rail and truck, so that's important.
Labour disruptions and blockades and heavy activity at ports and on our rail lines can be catastrophic to how we are viewed by our customers around the globe. Every time we miss a shipment or our product isn't the highest quality, it puts our business at risk.
Local access to employees and affordable housing [Technical difficulty—Editor]. We'd like to see fair access to improved broadband services and support for more innovative projects geared towards agricultural and food processing. The more value we add, [Technical difficulty—Editor] are for others to enter.
We deliver anywhere from 50,000 to 65,000 metric tons of beans annually to the U.K. market, which represents about $150 million to $200 million. This represents probably 50,000 to 80,000 acres of contracts and value-added crops for our Ontario and Manitoba growers.
Today in the U.K. we ship into Liverpool, Felixstowe and Southampton. We are currently seeing issues related to Brexit impacting congestion at some ports, which is an unintended consequence but a consequence all the same. We currently enjoy no tariffs on our products entering into the U.K.
Concerning Bill , in the near term we currently have large trade with the U.K. Failure to put a CETA replacement in place will put substantial revenues at risk for our business, exporters in Ontario and the farmers we all represent. We are owned by 6,000 farm members. For the longer term, our history has proven that we can be leaders capturing share in growing markets of agricultural products. Canadian growers have a solid reputation around the world for quality and stewardship. We have this arable land, access to water, and weather to strengthen our position in the market for agricultural products, in particular dry beans, IPs and pulses.
Other countries have the same access to land and water, so we need to have a solid trade policy that promotes free trade and limits duties and excise taxes. We also need a very reliable transportation infrastructure. Having these will allow us the opportunity to take advantage of our current leadership in the sector, coupled with the reputation of growers.
In short, we need tariff quota-free trade with the U.K. to capture our share of the growth forecast for the pulse sector over the next 10 to 15 years. The benefits to Canadian farmers will be stronger rural communities and a stronger contribution to Canada's economic growth.
Thank you for inviting me to appear on behalf of the Trade Justice Network.
We're a coalition of environmental, civil society, student, indigenous, cultural, farming, labour and social justice organizations. We came together in 2010 to call for a new global trade regime founded on social justice, human rights and environmental sustainability.
Our members include the Canadian Labour Congress, Unifor, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, United Steelworkers, Climate Action Network Canada, The Council of Canadians, the National Union of Public and General Employees, Communication Workers of America, the National Farmers Union and many other groups that represent people in Canada from all walks of life.
I was a part of the CETA negotiations and I'm quite concerned about the regulatory co-operation that we had in CETA being ported over to the U.K. Regulatory co-operation has been a central part of updates to NAFTA and CETA, locking in Canada's current approach to regulating. We should be particularly cautious here, as well, that we are able to maintain the freedom to respond appropriately to future crises in health, climate and the economic fallout of those crises.
Our current approach gives multinational industrial interests several entry points into Canada's regulatory system, which is not advantageous to Canadian workers, consumers or businesses.
Besides increased transparency, one of the key changes we would like to see is allowing for the use of the precautionary principle as EU nations already do.
We also have significant concerns about how previous and ongoing privatization of public services in Canadian provinces will interact with a new U.K. deal to lock these changes in with something we call “ratchet” and “standstill” clauses. We think that in a future U.K. deal, public services should be entirely exempt from parts of the deal, so it wouldn't be restricting governments in any way from developing new public services or repatriating privatized public services.
The new standard we had set with CUSMA is that ISDS and other investor-state dispute settlement courts are unnecessary and, in fact, harmful. We expect that in the future Canada-U.K. deal, we won't need the investor-state port that we have been developing in CETA.
In general, we feel that trade and investment should be viewed as a means to enhance material and social well-being, not an end in its own right. Proposals for a progressive trade agenda should be judged against four principles. The first is human rights in the broadest sense, including economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. These should have primacy over corporate and investor rights. There needs to be legally binding obligations to the responsibilities of transnational corporations to recognize those rights.
Next, democratic government must have the policy space to pursue and prioritize local and national economic development, good jobs for citizens and the preservation, promotion and restoration of public services.
Citizens, communities and the environment have the right to protection through public interest regulation. A climate-friendly approach should be adopted whenever pursuing trade and investment, which can no longer be allowed to outpace the carrying capacity of our planet.
Finally, we think it's important to think about how our trade policy fits in with other international commitments such as the sustainable development goals, SDGs, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
If we take our commitments to the SDGs seriously, before finalizing any deal, we would do an impact assessment of the social and economic consequences the agreement will have on participating nations' ability to progress toward the SDGs. In implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we should consider what that means for including first nations, Inuit and Métis people at the bargaining table for international trade negotiation.
We're looking forward to seeing increased transparency in the negotiation of this new trade deal. That would include increased data availability from the economic report they have done. We're also looking at seeing an independent analysis of the deal's impact on our economy and our legislative and regulatory frameworks.
Ms. MacEwen, I want to circle back to something you mentioned in your opening remarks when you talked about not just trade policy, but social policy.
We've heard often at this committee about the extent to which certain Canadian businesses and producers are frustrated by some of the restrictions on getting into the European market, even under CETA. We see that in a context where the Canadian government has often been willing to make the kinds of sacrifices they're asking of their trading partners and that their trading partners don't seem willing to make.
Canada has made significant concessions on its supply management system, for instance, even though that puts a lot of strain on supply-managed producers. They've had to suck it up and find a way because the government hasn't had their backs. We expected our trade partners to reciprocate on that, but they don't. In Canada, Liberal and Conservative governments have been mystified by this, and a number of our businesses are mystified by this.
In fact, whereas the conversation here—and I've certainly seen this at the trade committee—is really about economic policy and a belief that at the end of the day trade policy is for the people who have something to trade, many of our trading partners recognize that trade policy is also social policy, and that trade policy decisions have social consequences, not just economic consequences.
I wonder if you could speak a bit to that issue for the benefit of the committee and any Canadians who might be listening. I think this continues to be an ongoing problem in the discussion about trade here in Canada, in that we don't have many political parties—certainly not the two that have governed this country—that appreciate the social dimensions of trade policy. Maybe you could provide us just a few reflections on that for the next two minutes or so.
Then, with the time I have left, I'd like to ask Mr. Chartrand a question.
I'll try to make it as quick as possible.
The fact that we don't have an aerospace policy here, a national policy, and that it's not structured—and we're on an ad hoc basis when there's an emergency and there's money thrown at a certain company because there's a problem with that company or something like that—is hurting our industry incredibly. The fact that it's been 12 months since this pandemic has started, and in air transport and aerospace, we've yet to see any kind of direct support to the industry, is one of the factors, on top of many others, that makes it difficult for us as a trading partner with other countries that are supported and their industry is supported. They have structured plans. They've already started helping their industry. Their industry is already preparing to recover after the pandemic, and we've yet to do so.
You cannot not have support for that industry, not have a plan in place, not have something structured, and then expect when the pandemic ends to be able to compete with these other countries that are going to be inside a trade deal like that. That's number one.
Number two, the other thing is that by not having support for the industry like this, we don't have any way of investing money in companies like they do in other countries, as in Europe, where governments invest through military. We don't have structured program here for that. We don't do as much military as they do, so it's making it less interesting for big order givers, OEMs, to come and establish themselves over here. They're worried that they won't have the government support that's needed like they would have in the other countries, which then impacts all of the supply chain—all the SMEs and all that.
That's as quickly as I could go, Ms. Sgro.