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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on International Trade



Thursday, May 19, 2016

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]



     Good morning, everybody. Thank you for coming early this morning. Our committee has been very busy between softwood lumber, CETA, and our cross-country travels to talk to Canadians on the TPP.
    I'm glad to see the minister here. Before the minister starts with some comments, the parliamentary secretary has a word for us.
    On a personal note, I just wanted to thank all of you. This is the first time I've been back since my mother passed, and I wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you for the card and the donation to the charity. It's very much appreciated, and it meant a great deal to me, so thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Lametti. We're a team.
    It's great to see the minister back here after all her travels. We have some of her staff and the deputy minister here also.
    Without further ado, Minister, you have the floor.
    Good morning, Mark, and good morning, colleagues. It's great to be here with you this morning. As Mark has already said, I am joined here by Christine Hogan, my wonderful deputy minister with whom I very much enjoy working, and, equally wonderful, the department's chief financial officer, Arun Thangaraj.
    Let me make a few opening remarks to set the stage and give people a sense of where I'm coming from and where the government is coming from when it comes to trade.
    Canada is a trading nation. International trade and investment are essential to our standard of life and to improving the standard of living of people all over the world. That's a really important point for us. As everyone here knows, trade helps us open markets to Canadian goods and services, create really well-paying jobs, and give Canadian consumers more choice and lower prices.
    Trade is equivalent to more than 60% of Canada's GDP. One out of five jobs in Canada is tied to Canadian exports, and—something that for me is a really crucial point—exporting companies pay 14% higher wages than companies that are not involved in international trade. That's one reason trade is such an important part of our middle-class prosperity agenda.
    Free trade agreements don't only connect Canada to the rest of the world—important as that is—they also are an essential driver of economic growth. Consider NAFTA. According to a University of Toronto study, that agreement has added 3.4% to Canada's GDP. When you think about where our GDP numbers are now, that's a significant boost. Or consider CETA. According to a joint Canada-EU study, that agreement is expected to increase Canada's GDP, once implemented, by 0.77%. That's a real driver of growth. At a time of stagnant growth around the world, the importance of trade as a driver of growth really can't be overstated. It's important across all regions of the country.
    In the Atlantic provinces, trade represents almost 74% of GDP. In Ontario, trade as a total share of GDP is 71%. In B.C. 40% of exports are destined for the high-growth Asian markets that maybe we'll have a chance to talk about later today.


    In Quebec, exports account for 45% of the province's GDP. Canadians are a trading nation and our government vigorously supports trade. Our party was elected thanks to a program based on trade, and we will continue to seek out outlets and to promote high quality trade agreements.
    When the United States adopted discriminatory labelling practices that disrupted supply chains for our beef and pork producers, it was the enforcement of WTO international trade regulations that allowed our government, working in close co-operation with Mexico, to fight against American protectionism. And we won. I am very proud of that. It was a victory for multilateralism, a victory for Canada, and a victory for beef and pork producers. I am proud to have taken part in that struggle and to have won the battle, and only eight weeks after our government took power.
    The protectionist measures imposed by our trading partners are damaging to Canada's economy.
    It is essential that we maintain an open, predictable and fair international trading system. Canadians understand that reality and want to take part in the conversation about it.
    Important questions have been raised on many occasions about the way we negotiate trade deals. Canadians felt that the previous government did not consult them enough. That is why our government attaches so much importance to the establishment of a solid political consensus around what I call progressive international trade. This democratic and consultative approach is the only way to maintain public support for trade in this era of protectionist measures, and it is the right thing to do.


     Consider CETA. Our work on this landmark agreement should leave no doubt about our commitment to free, fair, and progressive trade, and our ability to get deals done. Early in our mandate, we recognized the importance of our relationship with Europe, and as I once sat around this table as a member of the committee and as the Liberal trade critic, I think people will remember that we supported CETA when we were in opposition.
    We also recognized the clear need for progressive improvements if this deal were to actually get implemented. We responded to Canadians, to EU citizens, and to our businesses. We responded to concerns about fairness and transparency. As a result, this progressive trade agreement now enjoys wide support on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, just yesterday, I met with a key figure in the CETA debate, the president of the European Union Parliament, Martin Schulz, who is a leading German social democrat. This was President Schulz' first trip to Canada, and his strong support for CETA is going to make him a crucial ally in the ratification effort by the European Parliament.
    In the investment chapter of CETA, we strengthened the right to regulate. This is something I was very pleased to do. The sovereign right of democratically elected governments to regulate, in particular on issues like the environment, is something Canadians believe in, and so do Europeans.
    The second area in which we made important modifications was to the dispute resolution process. We made the system more ethical, more fair, and more transparent. These are important changes, and this is an area in which Canada, working together with Europe and also on our own, is going to be championing work in the international trade arena. I'd be happy to discuss them further.
    Last month I travelled to Brussels and to Berlin to promote CETA, and I was very encouraged by what I heard. I was delighted to meet with Germany's vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel. He is also the leader of Germany's social democrats, and so again, a very key person in the discussions of CETA in Europe.
    Mr. Gabriel had previously publicly voiced concerns about CETA but we did a public press conference, Mr. Gabriel and I together, in his office in Berlin, and at that meeting he said, and I quote, “This is simply a good agreement.” He called the new CETA a sign of good governance, consumer protection, environmental protection, and employee rights. Let me emphasize that this is support coming from the German social democrats.
    We also now enjoy support from the French government and therefore from the socialist party in France, another really important decision-maker on CETA. In June of 2015, Matthias Fekl, France's Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that if France's proposals on the dispute settlement mechanism were not taken into account, there would be no majority in France to ratify this treaty.
    Now, because of the work that we've done on CETA, within the past couple of weeks, Mr. Fekl has come out strongly in support of CETA, as has François Hollande, and Mr. Fekl has said that CETA is a good agreement. Again, this is really essential European support.
    Our work on CETA should leave no doubt as to our government's commitment to trade and our ability, crucially, to get deals done.


    Another essential area for us is our trading relationship with the United States. As I know everyone on the committee appreciates, more than 70% of Canada's trade is with the U.S. This is an essential market, an essential relationship. Consider, for example, Ontario's manufactured goods. I know one of our members has a very particular interest there. More than 90% of Ontario's manufactured exports go to the U.S., so this is a really key relationship. As you know from my mandate letter and from our government's focus, building, strengthening, and deepening that relationship with the United States is a key focus for the government overall. It's a key focus for me as trade minister, and as chair of the Canada-U.S. cabinet committee. Two weeks ago, I was in Washington for a trilateral meeting of the NAFTA trade ministers. My Mexican and American counterparts said it was really great to have Canada back at the table. That was the first meeting of that group, which ought to meet annually, in nearly two years, and of course we are really pleased that we'll have the NAL summit—again, this was missed last year— here in Ottawa in June. It's an important event for Canada.


    Let me now turn to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, about which I spoke at length last week. I must commend the leadership all the honourable members of this committee have shown, as well as the consultations you are holding with communities all across the country.



    I'd really like to underscore that point. I think this committee has been probably the most active committee, travelling around the country, talking to Canadians, and, crucially, listening to Canadians.
    I was really struck by the importance of your work when the portrait of our 21st Prime Minister, Paul Martin, was unveiled last week. People who have seen that portrait will note that it is a painting of Mr. Martin standing in the House of Commons. He talked about that in his remarks. He said that he asked to be depicted in that setting because of the importance he places on Parliament as a central organ of our democracy and as a place where a big national debate should be held. He spoke specifically about the importance of parliamentary committees, and said that committees need to go out and talk to people. He spoke about, and I quote, the “inherent strength of a Parliament that sends its committees out to meet the people”.
    That is what this committee is doing, and I salute those efforts. I think they are really an important part of building a progressive trade agenda and maintaining the national consensus in Canada around being an open economy.
    We have also as a government been actively consulting on the TPP. To give a shout-out to my excellent parliamentary secretary, David Lametti, we have held more than 400 stakeholder consultations across the country on TPP. I personally will be doing a couple more over the coming weeks, in Toronto and Montreal. Those will be public and open-mike.
    Consulting on the TPP is particularly important because of concerns Canadians have about the transparency of this agreement and because of the groups that weren't consulted previously. In particular, labour wasn't part of previous consultations, and neither was the academic community.
    I'd also really like to emphasize for the record, and for members of this committee, that we have the time to have this important national debate. None of the other 11 TPP countries has yet ratified this agreement. That's a fact that I personally confirmed on Tuesday morning when I was in Arequipa, Peru, and I attended a breakfast of the 12 TPP trade ministers. We all discussed the domestic debates in our countries. No one has yet ratified the agreement. Other countries are conducting extensive debates and consultations, and in countries with parliamentary systems, extensive committee study of the agreement. I'd also like to remind members of this committee that all the TPP signatory countries have two years from February 4 to debate and discuss the deal.


    Trade is essential to our prosperity, our quality of life, the growth of our country and the creation of well-paid jobs for the middle class. Holding an open, transparent and fully democratic debate to develop an inclusive approach to trade is the only way to guarantee Canada's success as a modern trading nation, and fight the protectionist trends that affect many other countries.


    Thank you very much.


    I would now be pleased to answer committee members' questions.


    Thank you, Minister.
    We have 45 minutes. We'll try to keep everybody to five minutes, and maybe we can get every MP to have dialogue with the minister.
    Without further ado, we'll start off with the Conservatives for five minutes.
    Mr. Hoback, you have the floor.
    Minister, thank you to you and your staff for being here this morning. It's always great to have the minister here.
    On the TPP, Minister, I just want to maybe get the record straight. The reality is that there was a prestudy done in the last session, and that prestudy you did not attend. Your colleague Mr. Pacetti attended on your behalf.
    I also want to get the record straight that Don Davies—Mr. Merrifield was the chair at the time—held receptions after every meeting. To those receptions Mr. Davies invited organized labour, the Chamber of Commerce, and other groups. Not only did they have the formal presentations, where they actually had witnesses like we do in a normal hearing, they actually had the informal consultations. I think if you had been there, you would have realized there were extensive consultations.
    The concern I have now is that we're doing another prestudy. They call it consultations. You can call it what you want. You have a majority; I can count. But the reality is that we're going to do a prestudy, and then I'm assuming you're going to bring legislation somewhere in the future. Are we going to do the study over again? This will be the third time. I'm not even talking about the number of studies the Senate has done on this, or the agriculture committee, or any other committee on this file.
    How many times do you want committees and Parliament to be wrapped up in the TPP? Isn't it the reality that you just don't want to do anything until the U.S. does something? And do you want Donald Trump to dictate Canada's foreign trade policy?


     Thank you very much, Randy.
    Let me talk about a couple of different elements of that question.
    First, on the point of consultations and the negotiation process itself, I think we'll agree about a lot of things. I think collectively we'll all agree about the importance of free trade in principle. When it comes to the TPP negotiations, my strong view, and this is very much based on direct conversations, and particularly with labour, but also the academic community—
    In fact our colleague, Ms. Ludwig, asked labour in Quebec City if they had ever been in favour of a previous trade deal, and they said no. They're going to give you that answer every time you ask them.
    If you let finish, Randy, you'll hear the end of my answer.
    I'm setting the record out, just so you know.
    The point was, and labour leaders are very much on the record on this, they were not included in the consultation process by the department in formulating the deal and in negotiating that deal.
    They had every opportunity to be a part of the consultations—
    Randy, I'm sorry—
    —and conference calls and the open houses—
    Randy, just let the Minister finish the answer.
    If she'd answer correctly that would be fine, but she's not.
    Okay, but let's—
    Correctly, Randy?
    I don't think I'm going to answer in the way that totally agrees with you.
    I'm happy for Randy to take up the time with his comments, if he prefers.
    Just go ahead. MPs, let the Minister answer the question, and if the Minister could be as quick as possible then we can get going.
    I'll ask a very simple question.
    Do you think the U.S. should dictate our foreign trade policy?
    Right now we are not doing anything on TPP until the U.S. does something. That's reality. That is the known word out there. Is that appropriate or should we show leadership?
    How many other countries have introduced legislation on the TPP?
    You asked a number of questions, Randy, and I'm going to go back and answer those questions in order.
    On the point about consultations, my view—and this has been confirmed publicly on the record by Canada's labour leaders—is that labour was not adequately consulted during the negotiations. I think that is a big mistake. It's not the approach of our government. We think it is important to talk to labour as we are doing trade agreements. We can't go back and change time, but we can certainly include labour in the discussions of TPP, and that is essential.
    Another group that was left out of the process, and we acted immediately to include this group, was Canada's academic community. They are academics in the intellectual property space. We now have one of them as our parliamentary secretary who has strong and intelligent points of view on TPP, and on intellectual property in particular. That's a community that was insufficiently included in the discussions ahead of the negotiation, and I've been pleased to include them.
    In terms of the consultations and the review now, the previous discussions of this agreement happened before we had the final text and before we knew what was in the deal. As you know very well, we didn't know what was in it until it was concluded, because this was a complex negotiation. It is not just appropriate, it's essential for us as a country—
    Usually, the committee, when the legislation is there, we take the deal, and we do exactly what we're doing right now on TPP. We go across Canada and we get that input from Canadians. This is the final document.
    Are we going to do this all over again? Is that what you're suggesting?
    Minister, I'm sorry. His time is up.
    I'm glad, I always love talking to Randy.
    The time is up. Okay.
    The time is up.
    We're going to have to move on to Mr. Dhaliwal, from the Liberals, for five minutes.
    Go ahead, sir.
    Thank you, Minister, for coming to our committee.
    I'd also like to welcome your assistant deputy minister and your deputy minister.
    You're lucky to have a parliamentary secretary who, even when we throw him in the deep water, is welcoming, has a nice nature, and always takes a positive approach that helps us to have a relationship with your department.
    Minister, you mentioned you have talked to 400 stakeholders during this process, and that's important. That was clear when we were travelling through western Canada and British Columbia, and we had a large number of people who came out, and wanted to make a point, and wanted to have consultations.
    From a British Columbia perspective, Minister, I would like to know if you have done any consultations, and if so can you give me the name of a couple of key stakeholders you have talked to?
    B.C. is a part of our country that is very strongly focused on trade and has a natural interest in trade in Asia-Pacific. We made a point of travelling to B.C. in January to hear people's views on trade in general. We talked a lot about trade with Asia-Pacific more broadly, China and India, and we talked about the TPP.
    You asked me to name some of the people we spoke to: Robin Silvester, who is well known, especially to B.C. MPs. He's the CEO of Port Metro Vancouver. He organized a round table of groups and businesses that do a lot of business in the port. I was happy to speak with him and to speak with that group.
    We also did a round table with the chambers of commerce of the TPP signatory countries that are in B.C. We heard their views about the agreement. We had a very important discussion at UBC. That was a public discussion. We had academics involved, and we had a lot of students. I think we had about 200 people talking about this agreement and Asia trade generally. We also had a very good conversation on Canada's export opportunities in Asia, with a particular focus on China and India at Stewart Beck's organization, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. We had a lot of meetings.
    As people who follow Twitter will know, I had a very good conversation yesterday with Christy Clark, the premier of B.C. Our focus of that conversation was softwood lumber, but we also talked about trade.


    Thank you, Minister.
    You mentioned Asia-Pacific. When we look at British Columbia, we have the closest port to South Asia. We have the port in Vancouver and in Prince Rupert. When we were travelling through western Canada, there were a lot of stakeholders who were coming forward and saying that there is a lot of trade that they are doing with China and India. From your ministerial point of view, what are your plans over the next three and a half years to open up markets to South Asia in a progressive way?
    As you know very well, and I hope members of the committee know, an important focus in my mandate letter is our commitment to open up trade with emerging markets, with particular focus on India and China. I won't mention the date because I'm not sure I'm allowed to, but I will be having a bilateral meeting soon with India's minister of commerce. That's a priority for us. We need to start talking about ways that we can expand that relationship. I met with her already in Nairobi, and I'm looking forward to having a longer conversation with her about ways that can grow our essential trade with that country. I know that Randy, with the Saskatchewan pulses, has a strong knowledge of and interest in that business.
    As for China, the Chinese minister of commerce was not at the APEC summit, but his vice-minister was. His vice-minister had a long meeting with our ADM, and I had a very good conversation with him, too. That's another area where we are working very hard. This is something very important to bear in mind when we think about—
     I'm sorry, Minister, we're going to have to move over to the—
    That's all right. I keep the time pretty tight.
    We're going to move over to the NDP for five minutes.
    Ms. Ramsey.
    Thank you for being here today, Minister, and all of your team.
    It's been a very busy season with TPP, CETA, softwood lumber, and labelling. There have been a lot of things that we've been discussing here at this committee, and I do believe we've been one of the most active committees. I want to move through my questions quickly because I have limited time. I'll focus on the TPP first.
    Obviously, Canada has received worse terms in the TPP than the U.S. Is it true that your government did not even consider an attempt to renegotiate the terms of the TPP?
    On the TPP and on where we are, as you know very well, the TPP agreement was finalized during the election campaign. We came into government, and you came into Parliament at a time when the agreement was already complete.
    Was there an attempt to renegotiate?


     Just give me a chance to answer.
    I have limited time, so I'd appreciate it.
    I know, but it's complicated.
    We came into government when all the partners had concluded the negotiations. Our job now is to talk to Canadians, to hear their point of view, and very much to be part of the conversation between TPP countries, as I was in APEC this week.
    Was there an attempt to negotiate?
    As I've said, when we formed government, we inherited a finalized TPP agreement.
    That's not an answer, but when can we expect an impact study?
    We inherited a situation where the work that the previous government had done on an impact study was largely restricted to before the negotiations, to 2012, looking at the landscape before we knew the shape of the deal.
    I have instructed my department to look very closely into the impacts of the TPP, and also very importantly, into what the impact would be for Canada if TPP were concluded with Canada outside the deal. That work is ongoing, and I'm looking forward to its completion.
     I am very pleased that as part of this period of national debate and discussion of the agreement, other Canadian groups are having a chance in groups around the world to come forward with their studies of the TPP. That's also a really important contribution to the discussion.
     If Canada ratifies the TPP and it comes into force, we've heard many people sitting in front of us here saying essentially that we will lose a lot of good paying jobs in Canada. We have a Tufts University study we can refer to that says 58,000 jobs.
    How many jobs do you expect will be created or lost in the TPP?
    We are currently doing our work on the impact of the TPP if it were to come into force and also—this is an important fact for the committee to consider and it's something that I asked the department to be looking at when we do our work on the impact study—we need to be very thoughtful of what the consequences would be for Canada if the TPP were to come into force and Canada were to be outside that agreement. That's the economic assessment that we're working on, and it's an important one for the country.
    Yes, I think we can agree that if we lose 58,000 jobs in Canada, it will be very devastating to our economy and our local communities.
    I've heard a lot of criticism about the public consultations, that they haven't been meaningful. We've heard them at this committee. Have you properly consulted first nations, because our committee has heard that you've not.
    That's a very important part of the process. I have spoken with Perry Bellegarde about first nations consultations, and we are working with the Department of Indigenous Affairs. David and I are very closely engaged in that effort. We have some meetings over the next few days. They will definitely be included in the consultation process, and thank you for pointing that out.
     We'll all be waiting for that economic impact study.
    Chair, I have a motion I'd like to bring forward to the committee, and I hope we can adopt it inside this—
     We're not going to have a motion right now. You've only got 15 seconds left. We're going to get to—
    Can I not enter a motion right now?
    No, motions have to be presented to everybody before.
    I gave a notice of motion to the committee.
    Your time is up, Ms. Ramsey. If we have time at the end, we'll deal with the motion.
    I'm going to keep going.
    Mr. Fonseca, you've got five minutes.
    I have a point of order, please.
    You have a point of order, yes.
    I'd like the notice of motion to be read into the record at this time, please.
    Just one second.
     It's our time, Ms. Ramsey. You should have done it at the beginning. If it's such a priority to you, you should have used your time to do it.
    I'm within my privilege to do this.
    Don't we have an hour of in camera after this?
    Yes, it's another stunt.
    It's in direct relation to the minister being here.


     If you had done this at the beginning of your five minutes, we could have done this motion within your five minutes. We're not going to take time from the other members.
    We've going to move on to Mr. Fonseca for five minutes.
    Go ahead, sir.
     Mr. Chair, thank you very much, and, Minister, thank you for your presentation.
    I have to say that this committee for the most part has worked in a very collaborative way. We've had the opportunity to visit with many Canadians in our travels to the west and central Canada, and then we'll be doing Atlantic Canada, and as the chair always likes to say we are pioneering here with our open microphone and that's been quite an opportunity and eye opening. I know everywhere that I've gone in my riding and in travels I ask people about the TPP and many have really no clue about the TPP. They don't know much about it. What we've been doing here at this committee is really shining the light on 6,000 pages of this huge agreement that will touch really every Canadian if ratified or not.
     Minister, I wanted to ask back to the beginnings of the TPP. I know we joined quite late, in October of 2012. It was four years after the start of those negotiations in 2008. Do you think that disadvantaged Canada in terms of our ability to negotiate?
    Thank you for the question. I do also want to point out since time has been taken up by various things that I do only have an hour this morning. Our Canada-U.S. cabinet subcommittee is meeting at 9:30. I am the chair of that committee, and David MacNaughton our ambassador to the U.S., has come especially from Washington to be there. So please bear that in mind.
    You mentioned, Peter, the open microphone, and I really do want to, in perhaps a non-partisan spirit, congratulate the committee on having that open microphone innovation. I think that it was a response to your first week of consultations. I have had very good feedback from people about having the open microphone, so congratulations on doing it. I think you've set an important parliamentary committee precedent.
    On Canada's entry into the TPP negotiations it's actually something that I raised in the House when I was like you all a trade critic. The reality is we together with Mexico entered the negotiations late, and one of the conditions of this late entry was that everything that had already been agreed we had to accept when we entered the negotiations unless we were able to get unanimous agreement of all the other TPP countries that we could reopen something. An area where Canada was successful in reopening, with Mexico, was that prior to Canada and Mexico entering the TPP had been an English language only document and Canada and Mexico succeeded in adding French and Spanish to the negotiating languages. Although very important for Canada, on really substantive trade issues a condition of entering—and it's the case with very many clubs—is if there's a group that's already there that's negotiated you have to accept what has been negotiated. We can't rewrite history, but I do think that's something we have to be aware of.
     Minister, can you do a bit of a compare and contrast of the TPP to CETA and how those were managed? With CETA I know that it was very open, transparent. We reached out to our other levels of government, our provinces, municipalities, as well as many stakeholders, and people had a very good awareness of CETA. You've spoken to it as a very progressive trade agreement. Can you give us a compare and contrast on the two?
    I'm glad that you raised CETA. Let me actually start really at the beginning, which is that, as I mentioned earlier, when we were in opposition we supported CETA. We supported the government in its negotiations. We were very public and on the record and open about that, and I think it helped the government to have our support there when they were speaking to Europe. I did congratulate my predecessor, Ed Fast, when we finalized the legal scrub. It was very important.
    The crucial thing about CETA, and a big difference, a big contrast, is the legal scrub was not finalized when we formed government, and in fact although the agreement in principle was very much celebrated a lot in Canada in September 2014, there was really no movement between September 2014 and when we formed government. We very quickly, once we got inside the CETA negotiation, spoke to our European partners. We understood that the agreement was stalled. We believe it's a really important agreement, as I said.


     I have to cut you off, sorry. We have to move on.
    Okay, sorry.
    That's the first round.
    Now we go to Madame Lapointe for five minutes. Go ahead.


     Thank you very much, Ms. Freeland, for being here with us today. I appreciate your taking the time to come and meet with us.
    I am the only Quebec member on this committee. My riding, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, is located north of Montreal. It includes the municipalities of Deux-Montagnes, Saint-Eustache, Boisbriand and Rosemere. In this riding there are some very good SMEs and some very good exporting businesses. They are very pleased at the prospect of being able to access markets and export their products. In fact, Kinova, in Boisbriand, a firm that makes robotic arms, recently received the Governor General's Innovation Award. In my riding there are also several agri-food businesses that export. There are also, in the Laurentians, several subcontracting lumber companies. This is a very vast area that is adjacent to my riding.
    I know that our Prime Minister went to Washington to meet with the President of the U.S. I would like to know, if possible, where things stand regarding the Softwood Lumber Agreement.
    Yes, that is certainly possible.
    Thank you for the question. I hope that my presentation in French was comprehensible.
    Absolutely. It was in fact excellent.
    Thank you.
    As the committee knows, the softwood lumber issue is very important and very thorny. Our government is very much aware of the importance of this issue for all of Canada, including Quebec. We are working very, very hard on this.
    As you said, when we went to Washington, it was imperative that we convince the Americans of the merits of our position. The President of the United States said that we had 100 days to settle this dispute. We are at a crucial stage in the negotiations and it was impressive to hear the president speak about the importance he attaches to this issue. He stated that the softwood lumber issue was going to be resolved, in one way or another.
    I have frequent talks with Michael Froman, the United States Trade Representative, about this. As I mentioned, on Tuesday I was in Arequipa, Peru, for the APEC Summit. I had a one-hour meeting with Mr. Froman and softwood lumber was our main topic of discussion. Mr. Froman will be meeting with our Ambassador to the United States tomorrow to discuss it further. I don't know if there are any journalists in the room, but I have news for them, which is that American negotiators will be coming to Ottawa next week to continue talks on this.
    May I reiterate that we consider this is an extremely important issue. We understand that and we are working very, very hard on it. I also want to point out that that our objective is to maintain stable access to the American market for our industry. We will continue to be in regular contact with stakeholders in Quebec and elsewhere in the country in connection with this. May I also emphasize the fact that we want to obtain a good agreement.



    Thank you, Minister.
    Thank you, Madame Lapointe.


    Thank you very much. I appreciate your answers, Madam Minister.


    We're going to move on to the Conservatives. Mr. Ritz, five minutes. Go ahead.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Five minutes goes by quickly.
    I agree with you, Minister. The standard of living certainly goes up here and abroad when we enter these trade agreements. Since we're not going to have time with the officials after, I have a couple of questions for Deputy Hogan.
    When we first got into the agreement, the U.S. were holding us out when Prime Minister Harper got us into the agreement. How many chapters were closed? We were able to reopen a few pertaining to agriculture with cheese compositional standards. We were able to rewrite some of those closed chapters. How important was that?
    I don't have the specific details, Mr. Ritz, about the specific numbers of chapters that were outstanding at the time of Canada's entry into the TPP. We can find that out for you.
    I also know it was important when we were negotiating on TPP that we used CETA as a lever to get the attention of the other groups, especially the Americans who were against us being a part of that.
    How important would it be to use that in reverse, by using CETA as a lever to get into TPP, but also using TPP to continue to press forward and complete CETA?
    I think the world generally has appreciated Canada's approaches on free trade agreements. We have a strong reputation in that regard. At the time of entry into the TPP, people would have been well aware of the ongoing negotiations with CETA.
    I have one last point. Have you any idea, with the TPP negotiations moving forward, how many business groups and other groups signed non-disclosure clauses to take part in those briefings moving forward? I know there were dozens. I wonder if it would be appropriate to have a list of those.
    The whole concept that this was done in secret is ridiculous, because I know there were a lot of briefings Kirsten Hillman, the main negotiator, took on, and I know that labour and academia were offered the opportunity, whether they took it up or not. It would be important if we could have a look at that list, if that would be possible.
    I'd be happy to follow up on that.
    Great. Thank you.
    Minister, over the last number of years it was important that Agriculture Canada and CFIA had people embedded in embassies and consuls around the world as our SWAT team, if you will. Most of the cost was borne by Agriculture Canada, but there are costs to Trade and to Global Affairs now.
    Since we're not talking about the estimates, is there a movement to maintain that ability?
    Like other people around the table, I know you, but I also know Randy, and I know our chairman, Mark. The last time I spoke to him was on his farm and mending fences.
    We all have a strong personal interest in advancing Canada's agricultural interests in trade.
    It's one of the bigger benefactors of free trade.
    I agree with that. I'm in close contact with our producers. The Canadian Cattlemen's Association was with me in Brussels when we went to speak about CETA.
    The question is, are you going to maintain that footprint?
    I believe in the importance of having agricultural representatives, and diplomats who are well versed in agricultural issues, around the world advancing our interests.
    Good. Thank you.
    All the provinces support TPP. I'm wondering how they felt when they were left out. None of them have made that complaint. They've all felt this is something we should move forward on.
    You also made the comment that NAFTA has grown our GDP by 3.4%, and I agree with you. I also see TPP as an enhancement of NAFTA. There are things we're gaining through TPP.
    If we don't do this, and other countries do, and if we let the Americans, as my colleague said, Mr. Trump, decide how this is going to work this out—and I know there is a movement afoot to move beyond the Americans should they stumble and fall on this issue—how quickly do you see that eroding away from us and jobs being lost, and not just in the computer modelling that Tufts did, if we're not part of TPP and the Americans do move forward?
    I think that is an important question. When we talk about the economic impact of TPP, which we've already been discussing a little, it's important that our modelling look at two possible scenarios. The first is the economic impacts of Canada being inside the TPP, and we need to look carefully at the winners and losers inside Canada and the aggregated impact.
    The second, and I strongly agree with you, is that we need to model, and it's something that I've asked the department to do that we're looking at carefully. We have to have a second clear picture—and that needs to be something as the study is completed that we share with Canadians—of what it would look like for Canada to have a world in which 11 TPP countries move forward and we do not.


     A lot of the—
    Thank you, folks.
    Your five minutes are up, Mr. Ritz.
    We're going to go for four minutes now with Ms. Ludwig.
    Go ahead.
    Thank you. Thank you all for being here. Thank you so much, Minister, for the work that you have done, and thanks to David Lametti. My background is in the area of international trade, so my questions will lead in that direction.
    First I want to comment on the consultations that have been done across the country and the positive feedback that I have heard as a result of that. Even though someone may have issues.... For example, on TTP we heard from young high school kids in Toronto. When I spoke with them on the side they were absolutely thrilled to be able to go to the microphone.
    I also want to emphasize that the reason for having open mike came as a result of the feedback from the western provinces that individuals did want to be involved more. They were involved and represented by, for example, the Council of Canadians. The individual consultations as a model is an important one because, based on the number of people who attended, to go to the open mike, they either had two or three minutes to present. Our witnesses are getting five. I think it is a good example of representation, and I'm very pleased about that.
    On the area of trade, certainly, export readiness is something that we heard from across the country. We know that roughly 98% of businesses are small to medium, and they are represented by associations at the panel. I represent New Brunswick Southwest, which has a population of 70,000 in a region of roughly 2.3 million. Trade is absolutely critical for us. So, Madam Minister, I'd like you to comment on the plan for export readiness. In our riding we are doing workshops on export readiness, but I'm wondering if is there a plan for a rollout to introduce more of the programs that are so excellent in this country to more of the small and medium-sized businesses.
    Thank you very much for the question. Thanks for the point you make about consultation.
    I know the nature of our Parliamentary system is that we have robust debates, and that's important, and I welcome it. On the point of the consultations, though, I want to say something very sincere here about the consultations. I think we all do have, really across the spectrum, an understanding of the importance of trade to Canada. I think we also understand, and my Conservative colleagues have referred to this, that there are protectionist tides rising in a lot of other countries. I truly believe that for Canada to retain real public support for our being an open economy—and that is in question in so many other parts of the world—it's essential for us to bend over backwards to talk to Canadians. We cannot consult too much. We really need people to know that there is an open dialogue, that they are heard. The work of the committee in open mikes, in particular, is so important.
    Are you cutting me off now?
    I don't want to interject, but she had a good question about small and medium—You only have a minute left, and I was hoping you would get to her question.
    Okay, I'll do that quickly.
    I also totally agree on the small and medium-sized businesses. It's part of maintaining public support for trade. It's also really important because they are a huge part of the Canadian economy. They have a harder time plugging into trade than big companies. We have a program called CanExport. I think you all know about it, and this is something that we've worked on in carrying forward the trade agenda of the previous government. I am really proud of it. We launched it in January. Since its launch on January 5, we've approved $6 million. We have $10 million a year going into the program. We have approved $6 million already. How the program works is that it is 50-50 cost sharing, and you can ask as a small business—and please share this in your riding, I've shared it in my newsletters—


     We're going to have to—
    I have to stop, okay. It's a great program, though, and I do think we need to do more on that, and we're going to be unrolling an export and investment strategy that has a real focus and some more specific tools to help small businesses.
    Thank you, Minister.
    Mr. Van Kesteren, you have three minutes.
    Go ahead.
    Thank you, Minister, for being here this morning.
    I'm glad to hear your remarks. You actually took some of my time to speak about your commitment. I appreciate that. When I say that, I mean that you answered a question I was going to ask you—which frees some of my other time—about your commitment to trade. That is really important to me as a member of Parliament, maybe as a Conservative member, but as somebody who is fully committed to trade.
    I too am a free trader. I see the benefits. There's much more to free trade than just the GDP growth. One has to look at our hockey teams back in the 70's, and then the Soviets came. We improve when we engage other people. I think that's something all of us recognize.
    In our travels we've done a number of consultations. We've had great travel across the west, across Quebec, and Ontario, and we're looking forward to going to the east. There seems to be a prevailing theme within industry, with a few exceptions. I think Ford Motor Company wasn't too keen on this deal, but for the most part all of industry is gung-ho, “We have to get this going.”
    Then there's another group. I think you could probably lump them under labour—NGOs, civil society, the Communist Party was there, the Marxist-Leninists were there—and they had a number of concerns.
    My question to you is, have you identified those concerns? As a ministry, have you sat down and said, these are the things they are concerned about?
    To speak quickly to your preamble point on trade, another point I would make is that there is lots of research—both our own, but also academic research—showing that trade is a driver of productivity.
    We have about 300 years worth of—
    Right. Industries that are engaged in trade tend to be more productive. It makes a business more productive.
    In terms of the consultations, my own direct experience has been quite.... I've been hearing a broad variety of views, just as you all have.
    Can you narrow them down to probably five or six points?
    Yes, I will. I think there is somewhat of a regional breakdown.
    When I did consultations in Edmonton, particularly—we've talked about the agricultural sector—I heard strong support from agricultural producers.
    I'm talking about the concerns of those groups.
    I mean the concerns of that group—the NGOs, the civil society.
    Okay. Among areas of concern, I would say a big area, which you have heard here....
    I think you had Jim Balsillie and Michael Geist speak to the committee. I've spoken to both of them. We had an early consultation.
    I would say there is a kind of academic community “intellectual property” area of concerns. Those have been well articulated. I think there is an area of concern as well, and I think Michael Geist speaks to this, around the investment chapter and concerns with it.
    You referred in your own remarks to the auto sector. I've heard concerns. I wanted to speak to people who work in the car industry, so I had a meeting in Oakville with Unifor workers, and I've heard both concerns voiced there, at that union worker level.
    I'm sorry. How much time do I have?
    You have about half a minute.
    I'm sorry. I don't mean to be rude, but I—
    That's okay. You asked me to list five, so I was trying to go through them for you.
    Let me help you. These are the concerns we heard from those groups: one, delay of generic drugs—they think our health care system is going to be affected—two, that it threatens supply management; three, massive job losses....
    I'm glad Steve Verheul is here, because I want to talk to him about that. This thing was drafted for major corporations. I want to get that clarified.
    —four, that it is dangerous for first nations; five, the photosanitary issue; and six, foreign workers.
    I think if we all agree on foreign trade, it might be a good thing to address these things to alleviate some of the concerns in those areas.
    Minister, your time is almost up—
    I think it would be a good idea, but I think my time is up.
    —but if you want to, make a final half-minute comment, because time is up.
    I have to leave now. I'm sorry. The Canada-U.S. cabinet committee is really important, and I'm really pleased the ambassador is here to speak to us.
    Thanks for your questions. As a final comment, and I mean this really sincerely, not politically, I think it's very important that this is a cross-party committee; the NDP and the Conservative voices here are really important. It's really important that we have a national discussion about trade.
    On some of the specific negotiating questions, I know my officials have been available. I'm happy for officials to be available.
    I'd also like to make a suggestion. If it's okay with you all, I would love to have a real conversation about CETA at some point. We're getting closer, and I think it's going to be a very important, groundbreaking agreement for Canada.
    I haven't spoken at length with Tracey about it, but my fantasy scenario is that we have unanimous support in Parliament for this groundbreaking deal.
     I've now told her what I'm looking for.


     Thank you, Minister, for coming. We're looking forward to your coming back.
    Okay, thank you.
    Members, we're not going to suspend and we're not going to go in camera yet. There's a bit of homework that we have to do here.
    We have a little bit of business to do here before we go in camera.
    It's called the Canadian Commercial Corporation.
    I have a point of order, please.
    What happened earlier was that I was completely in line to raise the motion. I've submitted it to committee within 48 hours and I would like to read it into the record.
    Yes, you can. You're right. We're not in camera right now, so you can read it in.
    Let me just say what happened. Yes, you could have done it. If you had done it in your first five minutes, I think—
    But a point of order suspends any time that I have allotted to me. That's my understanding. Am I right?
    I lost my time slot because of this. Thank you.
    I'm talking to the chair. I'm directing to the chair the comment that if you do that, it actually suspends the normal proceedings. Is that not correct?
    My understanding is that yes, you had given the 48-hour notice and yes, you could bring it up.
    When a minister comes here and we had allocated everybody a time, you still can bring up your motion, but my understanding is that it would have been within your allocated time to bring that motion up and talk about it.
    No, I think it just suspends my time, and then I have a new allotment of time. I don't know that there's time allocated, to be honest, to speak when you're bringing forward a motion.
    I'll check the rules, and you may be right.
    Okay. I just want to read it into the record.
    Just to let you know, it could have gotten into .... You might have been within your right to do it, but it would have really been an uncomfortable situation for the rest of the committee, because it would have cut into their time.
    I submit that the Liberals have an opportunity to speak with their minister quite often. I'm sure they will be able to raise it.
    You have the floor right now with your motion.
    Go ahead.
    Okay. It is:
That the Standing Committee on International Trade request that the Minister of International Trade submit in both official languages

(a) an economic impact study of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP;

(b) a schedule for broad public consultations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and affected communities;

(c) a breakdown of consultations that have been done to date with Canadians on the TPP, including the dates and names of stakeholders, industry lobbyists, provincial and territorial officials, civil society groups, aboriginal groups and leaders, academics, organizations, think tanks, student leaders, individuals, outside consultants, and officials within Global Affairs Canada or other government departments;

(d) a breakdown of comments submitted to date via email to, including the number of comments both in support of and opposed to the TPP;

and that the Minister submit this information to the Standing Committee on International Trade by June 29, 2016.
    Everybody has the motion, and they have it in both languages and have had plenty of time to look at it, I guess.
    Is there any comment on the motion?
    Yes, Mr. Hoback.
    Yes, Chair, this is through you to Ms. Ramsey.
    I know she specified “with Canadians”. I'm curious. Since it appears that the minister is going to wait for what the U.S. does on this deal, she must be consulting with Americans. I guess I'm curious about why she would be waiting for the Americans to decide our fate.
    Would she be open to a friendly amendment whereby we just switch “with Canadians” and take “stakeholders” or something that's more general?
    As a clarification, is this in the (c) part—“with Canadians”?
    What is it that you would like to add in there?
    it would be just “consultations that have been done to date”—
    Do you mean, take Canadians out?
    Would you prefer to add “and Americans” to read “with Canadians and Americans”?
    It might be “with Canadians and non-Canadians”. I'm curious about whether she talked to other countries too.


     That's interesting, yes—from the other parties. That's fine.
    Can you read your amendment?
    Would you repeat line (c) in the new text?
    Okay. The part (c) would read:
a breakdown of consultations that have been done to date with Canadians and non-Canadians on the TPP, including the dates and names of stakeholders, industry lobbyists, provincial and territorial officials, civil society groups, aboriginal groups and leaders, academics, organizations, think tanks, student leaders, individuals, outside consultants, and officials within Global Affairs Canada or other government departments.
    Mr. Peterson.
    I think Ms. Ramsey had the right to read it into the record, but I think the amendment discussion is rightfully part of the in camera proceedings. This part shouldn't be done right now.
     Are we not dealing with the motion now, Chair? I assumed that we were dealing with the motion. I assume we're going to vote on it now.
    I think we are.
    Why are we not in camera?
    There was no motion to go in camera.
    There's no motion to go in camera.
    We weren't going to go in camera, but if you feel that we should go in camera we can. My intent was that you had the floor out of camera and you wanted to read it into the record, and so you had that opportunity. My sense is you're allowed to do that.
    If there is a will from the committee now to go in camera, that's a motion that will have to be made. We can go in camera to discuss it.
    I think we can just vote on it.
    It's in the record. I wanted to get direction from the committee.
    I have a point of clarification.
    Mr. Chair, I understand the motion and the direction of it, but I do have a concern. As far as I know, the end date for submission is June 29, 2016.
     How do you have a report the same day? I'm not sure how that would actually mesh, because you have to translate it. If somebody puts in something at the 11th hour, which a lot of people will, how do you get it translated? How does the clerk actually get that done and report back to the committee on that date? I just have a logistical question.
    I don't know how that would flow.
    I think it would give us an opportunity—
    Are you asking the clerk or me?
    Well, whoever can answer. I don't understand the logistics.
    There is a complication, there is no doubt.
    Ms. Ludwig.
    My comment is actually about paragraph (d), Mr. Chair, and looking at quantifying comments. What would be the value of quantifying comments? To me, the value of looking at comments is the summary of the content of the comments.
    If I may, I'm asking for a breakdown of the comments, so everything that has been submitted. I'd like to get a breakdown of the comments submitted to date, via that email, including the number of comments both in support and opposed.
    I see what you're saying here. There is no reason to put that in there because you can go through with the comments.
    What is it you'd like to amend?
     I think quantifying comments has little value if we're looking at the outcomes of indications of support or non-support.
    So, then, you're talking about striking the second portion, where it says “including the number of comments both in support of and opposed to the TPP”.
    Yes, but a breakdown would still be submitted.
    I would say a summary of comments, not a breakdown.
    Mr. Van Kesteren.
     Tracey, this is to you through the chair. June 29—as my colleague said, there's not a hope. There's not a hope that we can even begin to scratch the surface of any of these requests.
    Wouldn't it make more sense to say “any impact study that has been done or a schedule of”?
    It's impossible.
    Do you have an amendment?
    If you're requesting what has been done to date, let's just have a summary of that. There's no way that they're going to even scratch this, unless you give them to 2017.
    I'm hoping to move on and vote on this motion.
    I have Mr. Ritz and Mr. Peterson.
    Mr. Ritz, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    If my memory serves me correctly, I think we actually had on the record, or it was a motion, that we were going to aggregate or bucket the comments.
    That's right.
    The number really doesn't matter. It's the aggregation of or bucketing of that that would be directed. This motion is actually contrary to a motion that is already in place.
    The motion that we currently have—
    I'm going to go one person at a time, and I hope to try to wrap this up.
    Mr. Clerk.
    Mr. Ritz, they are talking about the government consultation, not our consultation. The government has their own email address. It's, and so it's not our consultations.


    They're not aggregating. They're doing them one by one.
    They're also not held to the June 29 date.
    I think it would be double of what we're doing.
    I think the clerk clarified it.
    Mr. Peterson.
    Mr. Chair, given the significant number of amendments, and those amendments have yet to be translated, I think it's only fair that those amendments be translated before members of this committee get a chance to vote on them. I'm going to move that we adjourn debate on this motion.
    A voice: Is that a motion to adjourn the committee?
    Mr. Kyle Peterson: It's to adjourn the debate on this motion.
    There has been a request that this amendment should be in both official languages, and we don't have that amendment at hand here right now.
    Mr. Chair, on a point of order.
    Yes, sir.
    What you see going on right now are amendments being done in committee, so translation would not be necessary.
    I don't want to set a precedent because there will be times when we'll have motions where we're going to be friendly around the committee and say, “Okay, let's get these amendments through and get the motion done.”
    If we take this precedent, then we won't be able to deal with any motion in its entirety in one meeting.
     For the hardest-working committee that gets along the best, there are precedents being set here today that might take us off that number one record.
     Mr. Hoback, you have a point there, and—
    There doesn't need to be any justification for the adjournment. I moved that we adjourn this debate.
    Actually, once there's a move to adjourn, you cannot debate it. That's true.
    We have a motion on the floor to adjourn the debate—
    You haven't dealt with the amendment before his amendment.
    —and that's not debatable.
    He can't move a motion until the amendment is dealt with.
    Mr. Chair, I would like to say, on the second amendment that was proposed by the June 29 date, that June 29 is the committee's date, not the government's date. So the government and the minister could provide us with this information by June 29.
    I think Mr. Hoback raised a good procedural point, that the amendments, I think, have to be dealt with before my adjournment motion is dealt with.
    So I'm happy to deal with the amendments.
    We have an amendment. I think everybody understands the amendment. Can we just have a vote on the amendment?
    All in favour of the amendment, raise your hand—
    Which one? There are two amendments on the table.
    The one that you changed to “Canadians and other...”.
    Oh, the first one. Okay.
    Right? That's the amendment I see on the floor.
    Yes, okay. I thought there was a second one.
    Does everybody understand that amendment?
    There are three amendments.
    All in favour of that amendment?
    Non-Canadians: the first amendment by Randy.
    (Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: That amendment is not going to go through.
    Did we want to continue on and go with the main motion?
    We have a second amendment.
    Do you want to read the second amendment, clerk? I don't know what it is.
    She wanted to strike the second portion of (d).
    Ms. Ramsey, is it to delete the part that starts with “including the number of comments”?
    Does everybody understand what's being taken care of?
    All in favour of that amendment?
    (Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Are there any more amendments on the main motion here?
    Did Mr. Van Kesteren have an amendment to the date? No.
    Okay. Let's vote on the main motion—
    No, I have a motion to adjourn. I'm moving to adjourn debate on this motion. I was letting the amendment procedure play out.
    Right now there's an adjournment motion on the floor, Mr. Chair, to adjourn debate on this motion.
    An hon. member: Are we adjourning the committee now?
    The Chair: No.
    No, I'm just adjourning debate on this motion. It's a dilatory motion, and we have the right to adjourn debate.
    I think you're in the right to do that, and Mr. Hoback told me....
    Just one second; it's my understanding that if we dealt with the amendments, he's legally able to do that.
    That motion has been put on the floor.
    I can even predict it for you.
    All in favour of the motion put by Mr. Peterson?
    Excuse me, Chair. Can we get a recorded vote on this motion, please?
    You can always ask for a recorded vote.
    I'll do it, sir.
     This is on the motion to adjourn debate on the motion.
    (Motion agreed to: yeas 5; nays 4)
    We have another bit of business that we have to do here before we go in camera with our future business.


    I have a point of order, Mr. Chair. Do we know when this motion will be brought back, or what the timetable will be?
    Maybe we'll discuss that in future business. How's that?
    Mr. Randy Hoback: Perfect. Sure.
    The Chair: As part of the main estimates, there's a vote that I have to ask you to carry. It deals with the Canadian Commercial Corporation of $3.5 million.
    Everybody knows it. It's just routine procedure.

Vote 1—Payments to the Canadian Commercial Corporation..........$3,510,000
    (Vote 1 agreed to on division)
    The Chair: Shall I report the vote under the Canadian Commercial Corporation, less the amount voted in interim supply, to the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Some hon. members: On division.
    Okay. I will present the estimates to the House.
    We will now suspend and go in camera for future business.
    [Proceedings continue in camera]
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