Thank you for being here.
I want to start with a natural resource that I don't think is covered in this agreement, and that's water. I know that, on November 30, when the agreement was signed, there was a side letter between Mr. Lighthizer and Ms. Freeland about water. That letter states, “Unless water, in any form, has entered into commerce and becomes a good or product, it is not covered by the provisions of the Agreement. Nothing in the Agreement would oblige a Party to exploit its water for commercial use....”
There's a lot of concern that I hear from some of my constituents about water as a trade good between Canada and the United States. It's my understanding that, for instance, we have companies like Nestlé that bottle water in Canada and ship it to the United States or abroad, I don't know, and we are essentially.... The amount we charge Nestlé, or whatever company it is, is more of an administration cost. We're not charging them for the water.
I'm wondering why we do that and what the risk to Canada and its water resources would be if we treated water like a product. Would there be some obligation that fell from that, and what are those risks? Why don't we charge more for our water resources?