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View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2018-10-30 16:14
Ms. Maciunas, thanks for talking about trade. That's an area that I lived for four and a half years.
I want to talk to you about the environmental goods agreement that was negotiated some time ago. It started in 2014 and sort of petered out in 2016. It includes China, which effectively has a veto power, because it is all about consensus.
To what do you attribute the current malaise, or perhaps even failure of that agreement?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all our witnesses for being here today. I'm going to continue along the same line of questioning as Mr. Grewal.
First, I believe it was either Marshall or Keynes who said that in economics you'll often have two different forces coming together, in this case one being NAFTA and the other being tax reform. It cuts like a scissor. It really doesn't matter which blade hits first or the hardest; it eventually cuts.
Would you say that right now tax reform and the lack of competitiveness may be the worse of the two, or should we be advocating that the government look at things like the capital cost allowance as a way forward until we can see more investments, because I think these are at an eight-year low?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thanks.
I'd like to go to the steel producers.
I certainly appreciate that your members produce a lot of great products. I was very proud to support a government that made Canadian steel a big part of our national shipbuilding contracts. I believe there is a national interest in being able to maintain our steel capacity. That being said, though, there are the economics, so you always have to balance between what the consumer can pay. I was very proud that the government said they would support the steel industry by making sure that those ships were built with Canadian steel.
From British Columbia again, we had the experience with steel rebar. We had Chinese, I think Turkish, and possibly Korean rebar coming in, and it was challenged. Many provinces and many different groups participated in the process. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the trade remedy resulted in less Canadian steel being used and more American. That was just how the whole process works.
Given that there are so many different remedies here, can you say we are not going to find ourselves with this new rejigged process with similar kinds of results?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
My understanding is that Ontario still does not sell major product into B.C., and that's where at least I understand the angst of the original action was. I worry that when we put these processes in place, with the best of intentions, it ultimately ends up being where none of us is satisfied with the results.
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Minister, can you confirm whether there was ever a proposal for a new softwood lumber agreement put on the table by the U.S.?
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Okay. Then are you saying that Michael Froman, the former U.S. trade representative, misspoke?
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Has the government done an economic impact analysis of the state of our forestry industry and how many job losses are expected?
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Is the government pushing the U.S. commerce department to hold the duties, as was done in the previous SLA trade war?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to everyone for your presentations today.
I'm going to go through pretty rapid-fire just so I get to as many as I can, and unfortunately I won't be able to get to everyone.
I'll go to Mr. Paterson first. Mr. Paterson, I'm going to give you a lousy analogy. Oftentimes if the economy is viewed as a stage and a production that's going on, I believe the government should set the stage and let actors like GM and other Canadian companies run the production, because government is usually a lousy actor.
I want to talk to you specifically about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. You said we should be building the technology. We may not end up installing it. You mentioned intellectual property. Intellectual property provisions in TPP, I believe, with a wide variety of countries, would allow greater protections for Canadian companies operating in those areas. Would you agree with that?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We have learned that the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal supports the trans-Pacific partnership. Does the Union des producteurs agricoles also support the agreement?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you.
Does the Association des marchands dépanneurs et épiciers du Québec also support the agreement?
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Moen, and Mr. Brookfield, thank you very much for being here today.
Thank you to our colleagues across the floor. Our thoughts and prayers are with you for your loss, our loss, and indeed, Canada's loss, yesterday.
Mr. Moen, we understand that meetings were held last week between the CEOs of the four largest producers in Canada and the USTR. Can you tell me what the outcomes of those meetings were?
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Out of those four companies that met with the USTR, were they pushing one softwood lumber regime over another?
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
I understand, Mr. Moen, the softwood lumber agreement of 2006. The opportunity for optionality is probably something that we need to look at moving forward, but were these four companies explaining their feelings or their preferred softwood lumber regime for the next agreement?
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Moen. I appreciate that.
Mr. Chair, in B.C. alone there are 150,000 jobs at stake. In Canada, it's 360,000. I can appreciate that there's been a considerable amount of work to this point done by both Global Affairs and the minister. I'm heartened to hear that she has committed to getting a deal done even though softwood lumber is not even mentioned in her mandate letter.
This represents jobs in my riding. Just to the south of us, we have two mills at stake. Mr. Chair, they represent upwards of 400 jobs and one quarter of the tax base of that community is at risk. With that, I would like to put forth a motion:
That the Committee recommend to the Minister of International Trade that a roundtable (to consist of the Minister of International Trade, officials from each province and industry representatives) be struck prior to August 31, 2016, for the development of a national position on a new Softwood Lumber Agreement to ensure the highest opportunity for a balanced agreement to protect Canadian jobs.
It's the right thing to do. It's not a one-size-fits-all approach. I think Mr. Moen has admitted that. We need to get industry and the provinces around the table, in a round table, in an open and transparent way so we can move forward with a national position.
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, these are the small to medium operations that are in your riding, in my riding—the 50-person, 100-person, 200-person mills that are at risk if we don't get this right. There isn't a one size fits all for this. The industry is divided from one end of our country to another, and we're causing nothing but more confusion. By having the meeting we can get industry and the provinces around the table. We can show leadership. It's the right thing to do.
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, it is deeply regrettable that this motion was defeated because, as a result, the message that we're sending from this committee is that Canadian jobs and the confusion being caused don't matter. Regardless of what niceties are being said about the relationship with our U.S. counterparts, when you sit across the table from them, the niceties go out the door. We need to protect Canadian jobs, and that, right now, I'm afraid is not being done.
View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
Global Affairs has been going down the path. I think we're at day 54 in the 100 days of the 100-day agreement. We have a U.S. political cycle that is fast approaching, and we have a president who may or may not have the balance of power within their House.
Are you confident we're going to be able to see an agreement in the next 46 days, or a framework that will allow us to get to one? Is there any concern for you, or Mr. Edgson, or Ms. Yurkovich that we could be sitting here as we rapidly approach October in the political cycle we're seeing across the border?
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2016-02-19 15:28
Thank you.
I have one last question for Mr. Dias.
You mentioned the TPP. You and I are on different pages on that agreement. Canada has concluded negotiations on trade agreements with 51 different countries. Of those agreements, how many has Unifor and its predecessor, CAW, ever supported?
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2016-02-19 15:29
Actually, it was a very simple yes-or-no question. Has Unifor ever supported one of the trade deals with 51 other countries—
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