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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-02-03 11:06 [p.793]
Mr. Speaker, I thought I would just emphasize the importance of the legislation that we are debating today. One of the ways to look at the trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico is as a modernization of the free trade agreement. This is something that is really good for workers, businesses and communities across our country.
We need to recognize that Canada is very much dependent on trade. Through trade we are able to continue to support and often lift our middle class. That is something which this government has been very much focused on since taking office back in 2015. We realize that building on Canada's middle class and supporting the middle class is good for Canada's economy. Both areas will benefit.
We have seen that through different approaches dealing with public policy. One of those policy measures is the idea of expanding the economy by securing markets through free trade agreements. I would suggest to members on all sides of this House that our government has been very progressive in moving forward and taking specific actions on free trade agreements.
In fact, in looking at the agreement with the European Union with, I believe it is 28 countries, along with the Trans-Pacific Partnership and some of the other smaller agreements, such as the trade agreement with Ukraine, the World Trade Organization, and legislation brought forward by this government a few years back, we will see that the government has really recognized the importance of trade. That was reinforced over the weekend for me in the city of Winnipeg where New Flyer recently entered into an agreement to sell and export a number of electric buses to the United States. I believe it is a total of 100 buses, although I could be wrong.
In terms of the actual numbers, the point is that many companies all over Canada very much need those export markets. When it comes to the United States, we are talking about billions of dollars, about $9 billion every day of commerce between our two countries. We have a very strong desire to ensure that we secure those markets. The best way of doing that is to have these trade agreements in place.
What is really nice about this particular agreement is that Canadians, different stakeholders, organizations, non-profits, governments and political parties of all stripes have really been engaged over the last two and half years to ultimately achieve the final product, which is what we are debating today.
I listened very closely to the debate and the concerns that members across the way have expressed, but I think the overall agreement that we have before us is the best agreement that we could have delivered for Canadians. I recognize that opposition parties will always want to believe that they could have done better. I respect that. However, at the end of the day, I believe that what we are presenting through this legislation is the best agreement for Canada and that all Canadians in all regions will benefit directly as a result of it. It was really encouraging to see the Conservatives, the Greens and the New Democrats support the ways and means motion with respect to this legislation.
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