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Results: 1 - 15 of 23
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:28 [p.1941]
Mr. Speaker, we are on the traditional territory of the Anishinabe Algonquins and my constituents, like other Canadians across the country, will receive great benefits from the ratification of this agreement.
Yukoners, like others, are great traders. A lot of our exports are minerals, and Yukoners will benefit from the lower prices when tariffs are taken off many of the products they buy. This is especially important for low-income people.
In the first six minutes of my speech yesterday, I dealt with the concerns brought up by the other three parties in the House. I appreciate that members of all parties are working together in a non-partisan way to support Canadians in this great endeavour. It is not just here in the House where we have such co-operation and support, but across the country.
Premier Moe of Saskatchewan said that a signed CUSMA trade deal is good news for Saskatchewan and Canada. Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta said that he is relieved that a renewed North American trade deal has been concluded, and Jerry Dias of Unifor has said that this is a much better deal than the deal that was signed 24 years ago.
The reason CUSMA is so important, and why people have such positive views of it, is its many benefits. It makes products from the three countries tariff-free in Canada. It helps low-income people, as I said. It has updates that modernize the agreement, with new chapters. It has benefits for business workers, communities, labourers and the environment, including marine and air protection. I do not think anyone would argue against that.
CUSMA has benefits for the automotive trade. The agreement has a dispute resolution mechanism, which was at risk. It protects our culture, which is related to 650,000 jobs in Canada, 75,000 in Quebec alone. It protects energy, agriculture and agri-foods. It includes language on gender and indigenous job rights, but removes the investor-state provisions so that companies cannot sue the Canadian government anymore. That was an improvement many Canadians were looking for.
CUSMA includes gender equality, enforcement of women's rights, benefits for small and medium-sized businesses and a number of technical trade procedure improvements.
There are a number of things that are brand new in this agreement that we did not have in other agreements related to the environment, women and labour. They all benefit from this agreement.
As I have mentioned at other times when I have spoken about this, there are three or four benefits for the aluminum industry in Canada. I have mentioned a number of reports that talk about the benefits and the tremendous possible damage of not having this agreement for Canada.
I would just like to finish by giving a huge shout-out to our negotiators who were so professional and worked so hard to get this very successful agreement for Canada.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:33 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, at this time, I am not familiar with the trade minister's agenda on that, but I will certainly pass on that question for the member.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:34 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, this would not be such a huge issue in other countries' parliaments, but trade is such a big part of the Canadian economy, bigger than in the United States economy. It is instrumental to our success, and that is why people were very worried at the time that this would disappear.
Now, as the member suggests, we have agreements with 11 countries under the CPTPP, 27 countries under CETA, with Ukraine, and as one of the three countries of CUSMA. We are the only country in the G7 that has trade agreements with all of the other countries in the G7. This is critical to our economy and that is why the ratification of this will be such an important success for Canada.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:36 [p.1942]
Madam Speaker, as I alluded to in my opening remarks, and as I said specifically yesterday, there are a number of studies on this. Most of them show great benefits to Canada. I will mention that RBC said that Canada's GDP could go down a massive 1% without this agreement and it could affect 500,000 Canadian workers. Scotiabank said that the Canadian economy would stand a strong chance of falling into a recession. The benefits of free trade agreements are pretty common knowledge. That is why there is unanimity in the House. All of those studies, with the exception of the one the member mentioned, reinforce that point.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-11 15:37 [p.1943]
Madam Speaker, for the first time in history, we have the environment in this agreement, with much protection for the marine environment and air quality. That is a great step forward, so I agree with that.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 12:48 [p.1867]
Mr. Speaker, on the last point, I emphasize that there was not a loss in the trade of those projects. There is a level at which an additional fee is added, but Canada is nowhere near that level yet, so there is not a loss there.
I thank the member for her speech. It was great. On a slightly different topic, however, I wonder if she supports the increased benefits in CUSMA for labour, the environment and women's rights.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 12:58 [p.1869]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to get some clarification. The member suggested that tariffs remain on aluminum, but there are no tariffs remaining on aluminum.
I am not sure what the member was referring to, but to emphasize the benefits for aluminum, first of all, the regional value of content in automobiles would be increased from 62.5% to 75%. With regard to aluminum purchased by automakers in the past, 0% had to be from North America, but now 70% would have to be from North America. Also, seven core parts, the major parts of automobiles, must have a 75% regional value, which they never had to have before, and a lot of those parts are aluminum. Also, the provisions on aluminum, to make them even better, can be changed at any time.
I would ask the member for clarification on her point that there are still tariffs on aluminum.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 13:43 [p.1876]
Mr. Speaker, the auto parts workers in Canada love this agreement. It makes a lot of additional provisions for them, but I want to talk about agriculture, too. There are increases in access for refined sugar and margarine. The member said agriculture is small, tiny, and he might have used the word “peanuts”, but there is huge trade between Canada and the United States. Sixty-three billion dollars is not small. That has been preserved. There is $4.6 billion in trade with Mexico. I have a letter dated March 3 from the vegetable and fruit producers of Canada, who said that because of free trade, their trade is up 396%. They further stated:
Therefore...on behalf of a deeply integrated North American membership, we strongly urge [all parliamentarians] to...ratify this Agreement [in order] to facilitate a strong fresh produce industry for generations to come.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 16:50 [p.1906]
Madam Speaker, I have to disagree. We have a minister for regional development in Quebec, separate from the rest of the country, who is doing an excellent job, and all sorts of projects are being approved.
The member mentioned the quota on milk protein, and that is true, but the quota is far above what we are producing now, so it is not going to have any immediate effect.
The member also talked about losses of investment in aluminum. Those decisions were made before the CUSMA final agreement was made.
As well, he mentioned a study, but there have been tons of studies that show the effects on benefits if we did not have this agreement. For instance, the RBC said there would be a dramatic reduction in the Canadian GDP of 1%, affecting 500,000 workers, and Scotiabank said that the Canadian economy would stand a strong chance of falling into recession without this agreement.
There are $57 billion worth of exports from manufacturers in Quebec, great businesses, which the agreement protects, and the cultural exemption would protect 75,000 Quebec workers.
Does the member agree those are benefits?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 17:04 [p.1908]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for her very thoughtful speech and the co-operation of the Bloc related to this. I think what the Bloc has added related to aluminum is good. Everyone was worried about dumping from China into Mexico. The member mentioned only Canada was at risk, but that is not true. Nothing has changed with this agreement related to the risk. However, the major benefits for aluminum, over and above that, are that the overall regional value content rises from 62.5% to 75%, 70% of aluminum purchased by auto makers must be North American, and 7% of the core parts of a car must have 75% regional value. The conditions on aluminum can be changed at any time.
I know the Bloc is very sensitive to the environment, to labour, to women's rights and to cultural preservation. This agreement has clauses related to all of those. I would like to know if the member agrees that the benefits for those are good to have in the agreement?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 17:48 [p.1914]
Mr. Speaker, I always appreciate the member's speeches, especially because he is so sensitive to indigenous people, as I have noted in the past, and I really enjoy that. Perhaps the member could comment briefly on the fact that, for the first time, indigenous rights are in this agreement. I am sure he would agree with that.
More important, the member talked about the green aluminum industry. Anything he could add as to what his party would do on green industry would be great.
While he is thinking of the answer, I just want to mention that he said there should be improved protection for aluminum, but there is a huge increase in protection for aluminum in this agreement. The regional value content in cars increased from 62.5% to 75%. In the past, there was no protection on aluminum parts purchased by auto makers. Now, 70% must be North American and 7% of the core parts of a car must have 75% regional value, and of course a number of those parts have aluminum. This can be reviewed and improved any time.
If the member could talk about green industry and his party's plan, that would be great.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 18:06 [p.1916]
Mr. Speaker, the member referred to a report. I wonder, as there have been many reports done and analysis, if he could refer to any others?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-03-10 18:24 [p.1918]
Mr. Speaker, because I do not have enough time, I will not give my speech on all of the benefits. We have heard from all parties today the many benefits of this agreement. Instead, I will comment on some of the points that have been made about the agreement.
One was related to reports. There are many reports that talk about the benefits of this agreement. A couple of the parties mentioned one report, but there have been many, and I will talk about a couple. RBC said, without disagreement, that the GDP would have gone down a huge amount, 1%, and affected 500,000 workers. Scotiabank said the Canadian economy would stand a strong chance of falling into a recession, without disagreement.
Another item that came up was the ability to export formula and skim milk type powders, saying they were cut off and we could not trade them anymore. That is not true. At a certain quota level, there will be a tariff, an increased charge, but we do not even export that much right now, so it will not have any immediate effect.
Something else that was said during the debate is that aluminum could be dumped into Mexico because of this agreement. There is nothing in the agreement that allows that. It has always been a concern of ours. We have always worked against that. In fact, thanks to the Bloc, we have strengthened the agreement in that respect.
There was the issue of government procurement. As members know, we have deferred government procurement to the WTO. Before we only had access to federal procurement through the WTO provisions and now we have access to 37 states, so that is a great improvement. Members talked about the announced intention of the United States to withdraw from that. That has been a rumour for years, but, as far as I know, there has been no official announcement related to that.
The Conservatives mentioned the benefit that we have increased the amount that can be brought across the border without taxes or duties, but we also protected business by having much lower amounts than the United States has.
We have to remember where we started in this agreement. The fact was that the United States wanted no agreement at all and the business community and most Canadians realized how devastating that would be for the country, so it is a great win that we have gotten this far. Some people have suggested that Trump could not tear up the agreement, but Mr. Trump achieved a lot of things that people did not think he would be able to achieve through the U.S. system.
Another item related to data for the large interactive computer providers, such as Facebook. Canada has its own laws about what is permissible and what can be watched. The safe harbour part of the agreement for these companies is only related to civil liability. If someone posts something, it is user-generated data only that companies are protected from. If it is not appropriate and not right, they would have to take it down. CUSMA will not prevent Canada from regulating online platforms or the use of administrative penalties. Canada can continue to regulate illegal content, including hate speech, and enforce criminal law.
Another point that was mentioned was the number of trade agreements this government has entered into. I would like to put on the record that in 2018, we approved the CPTPP, involving 11 countries; in 2016, we entered into the CETA with 27 countries; in 2016, we signed the agreement with Ukraine; and now we have this agreement. We are now the only G7 country with trade agreements with all of the other G7 countries, which is tremendous for our economy.
I was here for most of the debate today and those issues were raised as concerns.
The last one would be the auto industry. Today, I mentioned all the provisions that would help the auto parts providers, and they are very happy about that. When we increase Canadian auto parts businesses and the number of workers so more has to be made in Canada, the price of the vehicles go up. There was some lessening of the total sales, but the manufacturers of auto parts in Canada are much better off as is the industry because of this agreement.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2020-02-05 16:51 [p.971]
Madam Speaker, I would like to appeal to the Bloc today.
I am sorry, I do not speak French.
I hope to appeal to the Bloc today with a positive, fact-based discussion about the new NAFTA. I have some credibility in this in that in one of my first speeches, I congratulated the Bloc leader on his positive, fact-based, logical approach to Parliament, which is very refreshing. Therefore, through facts and logic, I hope to constructively provide evidence for the decision that I believe will be in the best interests of Quebeckers and to provide reasons for all of us to make this decision in an expedient manner.
If some members are not here to hear my speech, I will be happy to mail it to them.
I am sure the Bloc members would agree that in any international political realm, things can change quickly. Mexico and the U.S.A. are not exempt. If there is a decision requiring an international agreement that is in our favour, I am sure we would all agree that we should not dally. I mostly want to talk about aluminum, but I will first discuss a few other points.
Quebec is a great manufacturing province. If this agreement does not go through, tens of thousands of Quebec jobs would be at risk. This agreement would give Quebec manufacturing protection from tariffs. Quebec has $57 billion in exports to the United States, so we can imagine how many Quebec workers are at risk.
I believe the Bloc is in favour of environmental protection. This trade agreement has more environmental protection than any of our other trade agreements. Imagine what Quebeckers would lose in marine protection, air quality and other environmental protections if this agreement is not signed.
I am sure the Bloc is in favour of improving women's rights. Again, the advancements that would be made in this area would be lost if this agreement fails. Does the Bloc wish to continue to vote against improvements in women's rights?
I imagine the Bloc wishes justice for labour. Again, this agreement has more advances for labour than any other in history. Does the Bloc really want to vote against this improvement?
Under the old NAFTA, companies were suing our government and weakening local protection of our environment, etc. This agreement would eliminate that. Does the Bloc still want to be held hostage to foreign corporations? Quebec companies have access to U.S. government contracts, a provision that will be lost if the new agreement is not signed. Does the Bloc want Quebec workers to lose these types of jobs?
I am sure the Bloc, like the rest of us, is proud of Quebec culture. This agreement would preserve the cultural exemption and 75,000 Quebec jobs in cultural industries. The U.S. wanted to totally dismantle our supply management in Quebec and all of Canada, but this agreement did not let that happen.
Perhaps most importantly, I am sure the Bloc is sensitive to the poor. If this agreement is not ratified, imagine all Quebeckers paying higher prices on thousands of products, because of U.S. tariffs. Who can least afford that? It is the poor. In any agreement there is give-and-take, but where we have given up something, we can compensate, so that is a win-win situation.
In that the millions of Quebeckers I have mentioned so far would benefit from this agreement and have so much to lose without it, would it not be expedient to ratify it quickly in the volatile international political and economic environment?
There is a saying that perfect is the enemy of the good. We could give up a lot of things to try to get one last detail, but we could lose a lot more and put a lot more at risk than the one item we are trying to correct.
Now I will move to aluminum.
The Bloc Québécois has pointed out that almost all Canadian aluminum is made in Quebec, except for the 10% that is made in B.C., but NAFTA would not have an effect on B.C. aluminum, because its market is Asia. Quebec is the big winner in Canada for the gains made by the new NAFTA for aluminum. What are those gains?
First, the regional value content of automobiles would increase from 62.5% to 75%, a big win for Quebec aluminum. Second, 70% of aluminum purchased by automakers must be of North American origin. This protection goes from 0% under the old NAFTA to 70% under the new NAFTA, which is another big win for Quebec aluminum. Third, seven of the core parts of automobiles must contain at least 75% regional value content. These are the core parts of automobiles, such as engines, transmissions, etc. Given that some of these parts have major aluminum components, it is another big win for Quebec aluminum producers.
None of these great wins are mentioned correctly in the Groupe Performance Stratégique report that some of the Bloc members have mentioned. The report also makes an error in saying that is not possible to change the aluminum requirement for 10 years. Although it will be reviewed in 10 years, it can be changed any time under the auspices of the CUSMA working group on rules of origin.
That report also suggests that six major aluminum projects are on hold because of the new NAFTA, jeopardizing $6.2 billion in investment and about 30,000 jobs. If this were true, which it is not, that number does not come anywhere near the millions of Quebeckers who would benefit from the new NAFTA and the thousands of manufacturing and other jobs the Bloc are putting at risk by not supporting the agreement, as I outlined earlier in my speech.
However, the six investment decisions for the six potential aluminum projects were made prior to the final NAFTA and the aluminum benefits contained therein. Therefore, if anyone is jeopardizing the 30,000 possible jobs, it would be the Bloc because they are putting the benefits of the new NAFTA for aluminum at risk by not supporting it.
I am asking the Bloc to live up to the image I have of them, of being professional, facts-based, logical decision-makers. There are so many benefits for millions of Quebeckers, for the Quebec aluminum industry, for women, for labour, for the environment and for Quebec's great manufacturing employees who are producing $57 billion of exports. Please support all these millions of Quebeckers soon by supporting the agreement, before anything occurs to cause Quebeckers to lose all these benefits.
To give the Bloc members a few minutes to change their minds, I will talk about my riding.
There is benefit in the north for the territories. In my area, it helps preserve 130 or so exports in things like mineral products. There is a general exemption related to the rights of indigenous peoples, which is very important for my riding. Trade facilitation and customs procedures are being modernized, which makes it easier to get across the border in remote locations by using electronic processes. Hopefully that will be very helpful.
There is stability and predictability for Canadian investors and service suppliers who do work in the United States. There is special temporary access to the United States, as well, for those Canadian companies that are providing services or for their investors. They can get in and out of the States more quickly and easily than people from other companies. There is also a new chapter on small and medium-sized enterprises, which is most enterprises in my riding, with enhanced opportunities for promoting small and medium-sized enterprises that are focused on women and indigenous groups.
The other two territories have all the same types of benefits. The Northwest Territories exports $3 million in precious gems. In Nunavut, there are a number of exports including sculptures, so all of these things will help them out as well.
I hope I have convinced my Bloc Québécois colleagues of the many benefits for Quebec and that they won't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but get these things in place as soon as possible, before we are in jeopardy of losing them.
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