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View Marwan Tabbara Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Marwan Tabbara Profile
2019-06-19 20:55 [p.29479]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today.
I support Bill C-100.
Not that long ago, our workers and our businesses were in a state of economic insecurity. The U.S. president had demanded a renegotiation of NAFTA, which has guided our shared North American economy for 25 years. In response to that challenge, our government rose to the task. We met it head on, and it brings me great pleasure to say that we have been successful.
We are now in a place where we have secured our access to the U.S. market and have secured stability for Canadians. We have projected the economic relationship that Canada, Mexico and the United States have built together. It is hard to overestimate the importance of this economic relationship to Canadians.
In 2017, trade between our countries exceeded $1 trillion, more than a threefold increase since 1994, when NAFTA was born. The North American free trade zone is the biggest economic region in the world, encompassing a $22-trillion regional market of more than 480 million consumers. Additionally, with CETA and the CPTPP, we have now secured markets of a combined total of 1.5 billion consumers. Not only have our renegotiations secured our access to this market, but the new NAFTA will reinforce the strong economic ties and support economic opportunities.
Our achievements have brought back predictability and stability to the economic relationships between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. This modern trilateral agreement turns the page and focuses on what makes our economic relationship so successful: stability, economic integration and rules that work for our businesses and our workers.
From the start of the negotiations, Canada had three primary objectives. The first was to preserve important NAFTA provisions and market access to the U.S. and Mexico. The second was to modernize and improve the agreement where possible. The third was to reinforce the security and stability of our market access into the U.S. and Mexico for Canadian businesses.
We have achieved those objectives.
First and foremost, the new agreement would preserve Canada's market access into the United States and Mexico, securing our most important trading partnership. Canada's preferential access to these markets is vital to the continuing prosperity of Canadian workers whose livelihoods rely on trade.
As two of Canada's largest trading partners, it was a priority for our government to ensure that modernizing NAFTA would not allow for any disruption of North American integrated supply chain. We understand how vital this is to Canadian companies and to exporters.
As an annual average, from 2015 to 2017, Canada exported more than 355 billion dollars' worth of goods to the United States, Canada's top export market. For the same time period, Canada exported an annual average of 12.4 billion dollars' worth of goods to Mexico, Canada's fifth-largest export market.
The CUSMA ensures continued preferential access to these key export destinations. The new NAFTA preserves our market access. This means that duty free access for all non-agricultural goods from NAFTA will be maintained. For agricultural goods, Canadian exports will also continue to benefit from duty-free access for nearly 89% of U.S. agriculture tariff lines and 91% of Mexican tariff lines.
This is a big deal for Canadian exporters and a big deal for Canadian farmers.
Maintaining these tariff outcomes provide Canadians with an advantage over those countries without a preferential trade agreement with the United States and Mexico. It also ensures predictability and continued secure market access for Canadian exporters to our largest trading partner.
Other key elements of NAFTA are also preserved, including chapter 19 and state-to-state dispute settlement, the cultural exception and temporary entry for business persons. The new agreement also creates new opportunities for Canadians. It opens new market access opportunities in the U.S. market and improves existing market access.
It has new customs and trade facilitation measures that will reduce red tape and make it easier for companies to move goods across our border, including by eliminating paper process and providing a single portal for trade to submit most important documents electronically. This will make it fast and efficient, while keeping up with a fast-paced industry in the 21st century.
The agreement includes a new stand-alone chapter on rules of origin and origin procedures for textiles and apparel goods that will support Canada's textile and apparel sector.
The new NAFTA enhances regulatory transparency and predictability, which will provide added assurance for exporters that their goods will make it to market and not be delayed by unjustified or unclear measures at the border.
The new NAFTA also ensures Canada's agricultural and processed food exports can rely on sanitary measures that are risk-based and that increase predictability of market access, so products make it to market in a reasonable amount of time.
In addition, the section 232 side letter on autos and auto parts provides added security and stability for Canadian automotive and parts companies that export to the U.S. market and will reaffirm Canada's attractiveness as an investment destination for automotive and parts manufacturers.
I want to speak a little about the auto sector now.
In the new NAFTA agreement, we made key changes. One was that the parts for automakers used to be at 62.5% of North American parts. The new NAFTA agreement will raise it to 75% by 2023. This will increase North American parts made and will ensure that we increase and stabilize the auto sector.
Another addition to this new NAFTA deal on auto is that wages are at least $16 an hour, which will help keep jobs in Canada, instead of what we have seen with jobs going to Mexico. This increase in wages and stability in wages will ensure we keep jobs here.
I want to talk about Toyota in my riding. Canada will now produce the Lexus NX crossover and it will selling the RX sport utility in 2022. Up until now, these two vehicles have only been made in Japan. This will be the first time these two lines will be made in Canada. We are securing jobs, particularly in and around my region of Kitchener South—Hespeler.
I also want to mention that the federal government last year invested $110 million to support 8,000 jobs in southwestern Ontario. That will help create an additional 450 new jobs in the auto sector.
This is a progressive agreement that meets the needs of the 21st century, including bringing obligations on labour and environment directly into the agreement and subjecting them to dispute settlement.
The new NAFTA preserves key elements of the North American trading relationship, allowing for our continued regional prosperity and stability. It reinforces the strong economic ties among Canada, Mexico and the United States, while also recognizing the importance of progressive and inclusive trade, including key outcomes in areas such as labour and environment. This modernized agreement is good for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses.
We have faced up to the largest challenge in U.S.-Canada relations in decades and we have achievements and outcomes that benefits us all. This is a great achievement for Canada. This is a great trade agreement. It modernizes it in the 21st century. I am happy to support it.
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