Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today for the first time in this new session. I would like to thank the constituents of Lethbridge for once again giving me the privilege of being in this place and representing them.
I am here to speak to the new NAFTA deal, the USMCA. The Conservative Party is the party of free trade, something that has always been a part of our value system and things that we believe are essential for moving this country forward.
NAFTA is, in fact, a legacy of the Conservative movement. Since its ratification in 1994, it has served as a vehicle of long-term economic growth, has facilitated freedom, has spurred innovation and has generated prosperity for this country and those who call it home. Together, Canada, the United States and Mexico account for nearly one-third of the world's GDP, which is significant since these countries together comprise only 7% of the world's population.
The United States is Canada's largest and most important trading partner, which makes the new NAFTA deal particularly important for the health of our economy and the well-being of Canadians. That said, it should be noted that the new NAFTA is not what it could have been or should have been. The fact is, we have a deal, but we have to ask the question, did we get a good deal?
A good deal would be one where Canada left the table with a little more than what it first had in the original agreement. An acceptable deal would be if Canada left the negotiating table with about the same. A bad deal would be if Canada left the table with less than what it had in the original NAFTA. It is unfortunate to have to report to the House that ultimately the USMCA must be judged on how Canada benefits, and Canada does not. We left the table with less than what we had in the original deal.
Throughout the entirety of the negotiation and ratification process of the USMCA, we offered to work with the opposite side of the House. We offered to assist and collaborate, but we were left in the dark.
When Conservatives were in government and negotiated trade deals, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership for example, we made the effort to ensure that opposition members were included and kept informed in that process, that they had a part in it. We involved stakeholders—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!