Interventions in the House of Commons
 
 
 
RSS feed based on search criteria Export search results - CSV (plain text) Export search results - XML
Add search criteria
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:05 [p.29415]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his gracious final remarks.
We believe that in order for trade deals to be successful, they need to be inclusive. They need to bring onside the majority of the population so that all people benefit, not just the large multinational corporations.
Which of these provisions does the member find to be virtue-signalling? Is the labour chapter in the NAFTA deal virtue-signalling? Is the chapter that promotes gender equality virtue-signalling? Is the chapter that enforces environmental standards virtue-signalling? How about the committee that includes SMEs in the trade implementation? Is that virtue-signalling?
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:09 [p.29415]
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak on the new NAFTA. Before I start, I would like to point out that I will be splitting my time with my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith.
Let me take the time to highlight, first and foremost, our government's record on international trade. Consecutive governments have talked about trade diversification and trade expansion, but most governments have failed. I acknowledge that the previous government, under Mr. Harper, had started some negotiations, but unfortunately, it was not able to close the deals. When it came to the free trade agreement CETA, while the Conservatives started the negotiations, they could not close the deal. When it came to the CPTPP, the Conservatives negotiated the previous agreement known as TPP, but it failed. It took our government's leadership and our Prime Minister's leadership to renegotiate it to include progressive, inclusive elements and revive it, improve it and ratify it.
Canada is a trading nation. One out of six Canadian jobs is related to trade. Our government has recognized the value of trade. However, we also know that it is really important to make sure that when we sign trade agreements, they are inclusive. We keep in mind our middle class, we keep in mind small and medium-size enterprises and we keep in mind gender equality. Those issues are not virtue signalling. Those issues are economic issues. Those issues benefit all Canadians. They help lift many people out of poverty and invite them into our labour force to ensure that everyone is benefiting from those free trade agreements.
I want to talk about how we were able to close the deal on CETA, sign it and ratify it here in the House of Commons. We were able to renegotiate and improve the previous agreement known as the TPP, the CPTPP, sign it and ratify it here in the House of Commons. In fact, we were one of the first countries to ratify the CPTPP. We were also able to renegotiate NAFTA, and now we are in the midst of the ratification process.
If we add all that up, that is 1.5 billion new customers for Canadian businesses and Canadian workers. Today Canada is the only member of the G7 that has a free trade agreement with all other G7 nations. These are not just any free trade agreements. They are fair, inclusive trade agreements that keep in mind the interests of all Canadians, particularly our middle class.
I also want to highlight our investment in expanding trade. Our government has put the largest investment into trade infrastructure and trade support systems in Canada's history. We have invested over $1.2 billion in expanding our trade corridors, including ports, roads and rail. We have invested in the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, which is our best asset. It is our Canadian businesses' and Canadian workers' best asset. It is Canada's global sales force. It is present in 160 countries around the world, promoting Canadian businesses and promoting Canadian interests, and we are proud to invest in it and to expand its presence around the world.
We are creating programs that support small and medium-sized businesses that are looking to expand and trade, because we know that small and medium-sized enterprises that trade pay better, are more resilient and are more profitable. It is in our best interest, if we want to continue to create more jobs, that we support small and medium-sized enterprises that export. Today only 14% of our SMEs trade, and we want to increase that number.
We have created programs such as CanExport that help small and medium-sized enterprises that are thinking about trade but are worried about the upfront costs. We are providing support to those SMEs all across our great country so that they are able to take advantage of those new markets that are available to them.
It does not end there. In 2018, foreign direct investment in Canada grew by 60%. Why? Canada is receiving an unprecedented level of foreign investment, because the rest of the world is noticing that Canada has access to an incredible array of markets. The U.S. market does not have the same access to foreign markets as Canada does.
International businesses are noticing. International investors are noticing. That is why we have seen a 60% increase in foreign trade investment. Direct investment from countries other than the U.S. has increased by 300%. Those investments bring jobs to our middle class. Those investments bring wealth to our businesses. This is good news for our country and good news for Canadians.
Let me take a moment to talk about NAFTA.
We had to renegotiate NAFTA when the current President of the United States campaigned on tearing up NAFTA. He told U.S. citizens that NAFTA needed to be torn up.
We started the negotiations with the new administration in good faith. We wanted to keep an open mind. NAFTA was over 20 years old, and it needed an overhaul. It was a tough negotiation process.
I want to take a moment to acknowledge how Canadians of all political stripes and Canadian businesses rallied around our government as we were in the midst of a tough negotiation with our partners.
However, many on the Conservative benches, and other Conservative voices, were asking us to capitulate. The Conservative Party loves to brag about Stephen Harper's record. Here is a direct quote from a memo written by Mr. Harper in 2017. He wrote, “it does not matter whether current American proposals are worse than what we have now.” He wanted us to capitulate, and he was encouraging people to put pressure on the Canadian government to capitulate.
My colleagues on the Conservative benches were asking questions in question period, and this is on the record. They were demanding that our government capitulate to U.S. demands. I am glad, and I am proud, that our Prime Minister, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, and our team did not capitulate. We stood firm for Canadian values. We stood firm for what made sense for Canadian businesses. We ended up with a great deal.
We did face a challenge with steel and aluminum tariffs, unjust and illegal steel and aluminum tariffs, but we hung in. We pushed and we advocated. At the time, my colleagues on the Conservative benches again asked us to drop our tariffs. They called them “dumb”. Our retaliatory tariffs worked, and we were able to negotiate the elimination of those tariffs with our partner, the United States.
My friends say that we were virtue-signalling. I would like to know from them what part of this new NAFTA is virtue-signalling. Is the new labour chapter virtue-signalling? Is the new chapter on the environment virtue-signalling? Is the new chapter on gender equity virtue-signalling? These inclusive chapters will benefit all Canadians and will raise their wages. They will make sure that we have more productive jobs for the middle class.
I am disappointed in the Conservatives. I am relieved that they will be voting for this agreement. It does not make sense to me, but still I am relieved that they will be voting for it. I ask them to join us and agree that those provisions and this deal are good for Canadians and good for middle-class Canadians.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:20 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, I have a lot of respect for my colleague, but I find it interesting that he is doubling down on the old TPP. I find it interesting that he has taken the side of the Saudi Arabian government over the Chinese government. I find it interesting that he is saying that we should not be upholding our own laws or values. I am really—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:21 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, when we are defending Canadian interests and values around the world, my hon. colleague should support us in that effort. Yes, we have disagreements domestically, but I wish he would not take the side of the Saudis or the Chinese government's side.
Our government has proven that we will continue to defend Canadians' interests. We will continue to defend the interests of the middle class. All of our trade negotiation results have proven that. We have a million jobs to speak for that, we have the lowest poverty rate in Canada's history to speak for those results and I am very proud of our government's record.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:23 [p.29417]
No, Madam Speaker, I disagree with my hon. colleague. We have seen this before. Twenty-five or 30 years ago, the New Democrats were dead set against the original NAFTA. They said the sky was going to fall and that we were going to lose so many jobs. It has been proven that free trade is good for Canadians. Today, once again, they are trying to scare Canadians, again claim that the sky is going to fall and that drugs are going to be so expensive. It is not true. The short answer to her question is no.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-19 17:24 [p.29417]
Once again, Madam Speaker, I find it strange. Regardless of what Conservatives think of the TPP, and I disagree with him, the U.S. pulled out of the TPP. The claim is that if we had ratified the TPP, it would have solved so many problems, but the U.S. pulled out the TPP.
To answer his question, I can point to our record. Our Prime Minister, the Minister of International Trade Diversification, the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade and the Minister of Foreign Affairs have proven that we will stand firm to defend Canadian interests and Canadian jobs.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2019-06-07 10:59 [p.28744]
Madam Speaker, I remember when the Conservative Party was in government and passed Bill C-51. There was a lot of criticism by legal experts that the definition of counselling to commit terrorism was too broad and opened up a door to a lot of questionable practices. Then, lo and behold, the Conservative Party promoted an ad that quotes a video from a terrorist organization. Ironically, a lot of legal experts said that the Conservative government was violating its own law.
I have two questions for my colleague. First, does he think it is wise to quote a terrorist organization in an ad? Second, does he agree with me that having a clearer definition is better?
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-05 10:04 [p.22261]
Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege once again to speak about the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific Partnership, the CPTPP, and the benefits for Canadians from coast to coast to coast and across all sectors of our economy. Through the CPTPP, our government is demonstrating our commitment to growing our economy and strengthening the middle class by expanding and diversifying Canada's trade and investment relations.
Canada is a nation built on trade, and as a medium-sized economy, trade is fundamental to our continued prosperity and economic growth. While Asia has more than doubled in importance as a destination for Canadian goods and services since the turn of the century, Canada has lost market share to our competitors, because previous governments were not as seized of the need for strategic, longer-term integration with the region's fast-growing economies. The CPTPP would help remedy this. It would be the cornerstone agreement for Canada to diversify our trade and investment towards Asia and enhance our export presence in the region.
The 11 CPTPP members represent a total of 495 million consumers and 13.5% of global GDP. Canada's exports to our CPTPP partners totalled nearly $27 billion in 2017. The CPTPP would provide Canadians with the tremendous opportunity to continue to expand their business in Asia.
Trade has long been a powerful engine that drives the Canadian economy. Canadian jobs and prosperity depend heavily on our connectivity with other countries around the world. In fact, one in five jobs in Canada are related to exports, while Canadian exports amount to nearly one-third of Canada's GDP. Opening borders to trade and investment and diversifying our trading partners has the potential to boost Canada's wealth and make us less vulnerable to changing conditions in any one market, and it is the creation of wealth that leads to more jobs.
Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, are looking for our government to open up new markets for potential exports, and the CPTPP would help us deliver on this task. Implementing and ratifying the CPTPP would strengthen our economic ties to the 10 other CPTPP members, which include seven new free trade agreement partners: Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. Once the CPTPP enters into force, Canada would have preferential access to 51 different countries through 14 trade agreements, representing nearly 1.5 billion consumers and over 60% of the global economy.
The CPTPP is projected to boost Canada's economy by $4.2 billion over the long term, and that growth would be driven by increased exports of goods and services and increases in investment. This would mean more jobs and more prosperity for Canadians.
For trade in goods, the CPTPP would help Canadian businesses increase their sales and profits by eliminating virtually all tariffs, most of which would be eliminated upon entry into force of the agreement, and by establishing mechanisms to address non-tariff barriers to create more predictable and transparent trading conditions.
The CPTPP would allow Canadian companies to level the playing field with competitors that currently enjoy preferential access to key markets, such as Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, while gaining a competitive advantage over other countries that currently do not have the same level of access. It would help Canadian companies establish customer relationships, networks and other joint partnerships and would offer Canada the opportunity to further integrate with global supply chains.
Opening new markets to our products means that Canada would be at an advantage in exporting more agriculture and agri-food, fish and seafood, industrial machinery, and everything in between.
New markets for our agriculture and agri-food products would mean more opportunities abroad for pork from British Columbia, beef from Alberta, wheat from Saskatchewan, canola from Manitoba, icewine from Ontario, maple syrup from Quebec, blueberries from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and potato products from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, just to name a few.
Opening new markets for our fish and seafood industry would mean more opportunities for salmon, halibut, lobster, clams, mussels and snow crab, supporting close to 76,000 Canadian jobs based mostly in rural and coastal regions from coast to coast to coast.
Opening new markets would mean opportunities for Canada's diverse and productive manufacturing sectors, such as aerospace, chemicals, cosmetics, industrial machinery, medical devices, metal and minerals, pharmaceuticals and plastics.
I have given just a snapshot of Canada's vibrant economy, and there are many more sectors in which exporters would benefit from the CPTPP. Securing preferential access to CPTPP markets would mean that almost all Canadian products could be exported to our CPTPP partners without facing tariffs. Upon full implementation of the agreement, 99% of tariff lines for CPTPP parties would become duty-free, covering 98% of Canada's current total exports to CPTPP markets.
The benefits of the CPTPP would not stop there. In addition to addressing traditional trade-policy issues, such as tariffs and technical barriers to trade, the CPTPP would cover trade in services, investment, intellectual property, government procurement and state-owned enterprises. These parts of the agreement would serve to provide Canadian companies, service providers and investors alike with transparency, predictability and certainty in their access to CPTPP markets.
For example, the national treatment and most-favoured-nation provisions, combined with a ratchet mechanism, would mean that Canadian service providers' and investors' access to CPTPP markets could only improve over time as they took steps toward greater liberalization, including when they completed free trade agreement negotiations with other countries around the world. This means that the CPTPP would not only open new markets for Canada today but that our access would improve in the future.
This would be complemented by the commitments made on government procurement in the CPTPP, which would establish fair, open and transparent rules for competitive procurement markets. Canadian businesses would enjoy equal treatment vis-à-vis domestic suppliers when bidding for government contracts in CPTPP markets. As a result, Canadian suppliers would benefit from new opportunities in markets such as Australia, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam while gaining expanded government procurement access with existing FTA partners, such as Chile and Peru. It is now clearer than ever that the CPTPP is a big deal for Canadian businesses and workers.
We are making good on our commitment to create opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises and to generate economic growth that will benefit all Canadians. This agreement would tear down barriers and build a bridge across the Pacific for Canadian exporters of goods and services.
With the CPTPP, Canada would send a clear signal to the world that it stands firm in its support for a free, rules-based international trading system. In the wake of rising protectionist sentiments around the world, the ratification of the CPTPP would not just secure economic benefits for us today but would solidify our role in the economic architecture of Asia tomorrow and for decades to come. For these reasons, our government is committed to ratifying and bringing the CPTPP into force, and it is why I encourage hon. members of the House to support the bill before us today.
I want to also take a moment to relate the benefits of the CPTPP to my city, the great city of Mississauga. The city of Mississauga is host to 10% of the Fortune 500 companies in Canada. Ten per cent of Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters situated in Mississauga. Most, if not all, of these companies, including the aerospace industry, pharmaceuticals, food processors, engineering companies and financial institutions, would see tremendous benefits from the CPTPP. On top of that, this would be a tremendous opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises in the city of Mississauga, which would find new access to new markets without any tariffs and with a mechanism to settle disputes that would guarantee them market access.
Mississauga is blessed with a culture of entrepreneurship. There are many entrepreneurs and innovators starting new businesses in technology and the financial industry sector. All those industries and entrepreneurs would also benefit.
The third dimension I want to talk about is people-to-people ties. Mississauga, just like the rest of Canada, is extremely diverse. There are people from all backgrounds who have inherent ties to their ancestral homes, family links and business partners. They would be able to utilize these people-to-people links so that their businesses could benefit, grow their top lines, grow their profitability, hire more workers and expand their businesses.
The CPTPP is tremendously good news for the entire country, but in particular, for my city, the city of Mississauga and the entire Peel region.
The other point I want to talk about is opportunity costs. We cannot afford to miss signing and being a partner within the CPTPP partnership. Canadian businesses are expanding their business relationships in Asia, and if Canada misses the boat on being one of those countries to sign and enforce this agreement as early as possible, our businesses will miss the opportunity of establishing a beachhead in Asia. They will miss the opportunity by falling behind other businesses from other countries, and we cannot afford to do that, because we will lose jobs. Our businesses will lose a competitive advantage that they need today.
Canadians today, more than ever, believe in the importance of diversifying our trade. They know that while we have a healthy, productive and profitable relationship with our neighbours to the south, we can no longer depend on one customer. We need to diversify access to different markets, and this agreement offers our businesses and workers that potential.
I am also proud to stand as a member of a government that worked with our CPTPP partners to enhance the previous agreement, the TPP. We have suspended certain provisions that we felt would not have been beneficial for our sectors. We have suspended certain provisions that we thought could have had an infringement on our intellectual properties or copyrights.
On top of that, we have added bilateral side letters with all the CPTPP partners that guarantee and protect new labour standards, environmental standards and deal with non-tariff barriers. Those side letters are enforceable. There is a dispute mechanism that is prescribed within the CPTPP which not only enforces the clauses within the CPTPP, but also allows us to enforce those side letters that protect workers' rights, the environment, our culture and our intellectual properties.
We are expanding our markets for our business. We are defending the rights of our workers. We are ensuring we have mechanisms to resolve any disputes and deal with non-tariff barriers.
I am very proud to stand here today and share with Canadians the importance of this agreement. I encourage my colleagues in the House of Commons to come together.
I want to take a moment to thank my colleagues in the Conservative Party for their support. They have led the way among the opposition parties, encouraging other parties to support this agreement.
I also want to reach out to my colleagues in the Senate. Hopefully, very soon, they will receive the bill. I want to extend a hand to offer my support. I understand the Senate has to do it job. We look forward to working with it on passing the bill.
This is a good story for Canadians, for Canadian businesses and for Canadian workers. I look forward to seeing it come into force as quickly as possible.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-05 10:23 [p.22263]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to dispute the member's assertion that Canadian workers will lose jobs because of this agreement. I totally disagree with that. I guess it is not a surprise that the NDP and our party disagree on this point. The New Democrats said the same thing about the previous NAFTA agreement and other trade agreements.
I am glad to report to the House and to all Canadians that those fears have not been realized. In fact, Canadians know that trade and open market access create jobs and wealth and are to the benefit of all businesses in Canada.
I am also happy to talk further about the fact that we now have standards and side letters with partners in the CPTPP which uphold labour standards. I am proud to say that those agreements, those side letters, are enforceable through the dispute mechanisms.
My colleague, the NDP trade critic has, frankly, had the opportunity to ask Global Affairs Canada officials about the enforceability of those side letters, about the enforceability of those standards. Those non-political, independent officials told her, with no ambiguity or evocation, that those side letters would protect labour rights and would be enforceable.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-05 10:26 [p.22264]
Mr. Speaker, this trade agreement has been the most consulted trade agreement in Canada's history. After the previous version, the TPP, was signed, we consulted Canadians for over two years. I want to thank all the stakeholders, Canadians, businesses, including members of the supply-managed sector, all those who participated in these consultations. I am proud to say that the outcome of those consultations were incorporated in the new version of the CPTPP.
Our party created supply management, and it continues to support supply management. This government and my colleagues in Quebec have been a proud voice that stands behind our farmers in the dairy and poultry sectors. Let there be no doubt that our government will always support our dairy farmers.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-05 10:28 [p.22264]
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Nepean for his tireless work on behalf of his constituents. My colleague has been very eloquent in reminding us that we have a strong trading relationship with our neighbours to the south. Close to 75% of our trading activities go to the United States. While that is important and we need to do everything we can to maintain that relationship, it is important for us and our businesses to diversify our markets, to create new markets from which our businesses and workers can benefit and to create create more jobs and more wealth.
Canadians know today about the importance of diversification. We have some of the best industries in the world. We have the most skilled workers in the world. The rest of the world comes to Canada to help it with certain technologies and build certain infrastructure. Other countries need to benefit from our skilled workers in our health sector. They need to enjoy the benefits of our education system. There is tremendous demand for our technology and skilled labour.
Asia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The CPTPP will provide us with new access to Asia. Our commitment is to build on it and expand access for our businesses and our workers.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-05 10:32 [p.22264]
Mr. Speaker, speaking of pigs, hog farmers are extremely excited about this bill. They know the CPTPP will open up the new markets in Asia and Latin America for which they are looking. They have been advocating for months, if not years, for the Government of Canada to help them open new markets. They know that they have the highest-quality products in the world and they know that customers around the world are asking for that product.
Again, it is not a surprise that the NDP is fearmongering against any trade agreement. We saw that in the 1990s, and we see that today. I encourage my hon. colleague to get with the times and realize how important free trade agreements are for Canada and Canadian workers.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-03 16:41 [p.22167]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak once again to the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, CPTPP, and the benefits to Canadians from coast to coast to coast and across all sectors of our economy.
As my hon. colleagues have noted, the need for Canada to diversify our trade and investment has never been stronger. Trade has long been an engine that drives our economy, and we have a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on new markets, which this government is opening up across the board. Canadian jobs and prosperity depend heavily on our connectivity with other countries around the world. This is why our government has committed to expanding Canada's access to markets beyond North America.
CETA has opened up markets across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe and the CPTPP would provide us with incredible new opportunities throughout Asia and the Pacific. We are also engaged in ongoing free trade agreement negotiations with the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur as well as exploratory discussions with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The CPTPP would be a cornerstone of Canada's ongoing diversification agenda.
Combined, the 11 CPTPP members represent a total of 495 million consumers and 13.5% of global GDP. Canada's exports to our CPTPP partners totalled nearly $27 billion in 2017. The CPTPP would provide Canadian companies, large or small, with a tremendous opportunity to continue to expand their business in Asia. Implementing and ratifying the CPTPP would strengthen our existing FTA partnerships with Chile, Mexico and Peru, and provide preferential access to seven new markets: Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. Once this agreement enters into force, and we are moving swiftly to that end, Canada will have 14 trade agreements that provide preferential access to 51 different countries. Combined, these represent nearly 1.5 billion consumers and over 60% of the global economy. Estimates project that the CPTPP would boost Canada's economy over the long term, and that growth will be driven by increased exports of goods and services and increased investment into Canada.
This means more jobs and more prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families. The CPTPP would deliver 10 new markets on a level playing field so more Canadian businesses can expand their customer base and increase their profit margins. That is what happens when tariffs come down and access is open. Most of these tariffs, 86%, in fact, would be eliminated immediately upon the entering into force of the agreement, so that our exporters can take advantage of new business opportunities in CPTPP markets right away.
The CPTPP would also establish mechanisms to address non-tariff barriers such as technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Our exporters often cite non-tariff barriers as one of the most significant challenges when seeking to gain entry into a new market. In this regard, the CPTPP would help our exporters gain preferential access to large and fast-growing markets in Asia by establishing rules on these barriers to trade, creating a more predictable and transparent trading environment.
As a result of the CPTPP, Canadian exporters would be able to level the playing field with their competitors who currently enjoy preferential access to markets like Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Likewise, the CPTPP would allow companies to gain a competitive edge over those from countries that do not have the same level of access. The agreement would not just help Canadian companies export to Asia, but also help them establish customer relationships, networks and other joint partnerships, which are essential to doing business in the region.
This will offer Canada the opportunity to further integrate with Asia's regional and globally connected supply chains. It is in these supply chains where we anticipate the potential for remarkable growth.
Canada will also be at an advantage to export more agriculture and agri-food, fish and seafood, industrial machinery and everything in between. Quality made-in-Canada goods are in demand for a rapidly rising middle class throughout the region and there is no country better placed to provide those goods than Canada.
New markets for our agriculture and agri-food products mean more opportunities for Canadians to export fruit from British Columbia, beef from Alberta, wheat from Saskatchewan, pork from Manitoba, icewine from Ontario, maple syrup from Quebec, blueberries from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and potato products from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, just to name a few.
Opening up new markets for our fish and seafood industry means more opportunities for salmon, halibut, lobster, clams, mussels and snow crab, supporting close to 76,000 Canadian jobs based mostly in rural and coastal regions from coast to coast to coast.
Opening up new markets means opportunities for Canadians employed in the diverse and productive resources and manufacturing sectors from across the country, such as aerospace, chemicals, cosmetics, industrial machinery, medical devices, information and communications technologies, metals and minerals, pharmaceuticals and plastics.
The benefits of the CPTPP do not stop there.
The agreement will also provide Canadian companies, service providers and investors alike with transparency, predictability and certainty in their access to CPTPP markets through its dedicated chapters covering trade in services and investment.
The CPTPP will provide preferential access for Canada's service providers across a broad range of sectors, including legal, architectural, engineering, transportation, environmental, education and financial services.
This access will be further supported by what is called a “ratchet mechanism”, which locks in the level of market access provided to Canadian service providers under the CPTPP.
This, combined with provisions on national treatment and most favoured nation treatment, means that Canada's access to CPTPP service markets can only improve over time as our partners implement policies towards greater liberalization, including when they complete FTA negotiations with other countries around the world.
I would like to talk about some of the more progressive elements of the CPTPP that support our government's commitment to ensuring that the benefits of trade are widely shared. I want to talk about these because these issues have been at the heart of pushback on trade.
On labour rights for example, the CPTPP includes a dedicated chapter that enhances workers' rights and ensures that economic development does not come at their expense. It also encourages parties to promote equality and the elimination of discrimination against women in the workplace.
When we truly level the playing field, we give more people the confidence to compete and succeed and the reassurance that comes from knowing the government has their backs.
Canadians recognize there is no better time for our economy than now to diversify our markets. Our government is committed to expanding market access for our businesses, for our workers and ensuring that we, at the same time, uphold values that Canadians care deeply about.
It is really important that the House pass this legislation as quickly as possible. I am willing to work with my Senate colleagues and our government is ready to assist them in passing the bill.
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-03 16:53 [p.22169]
Mr. Speaker, I know that Canadians are not surprised when they see the NDP oppose a trade deal. If you go back to the 1990s talking point that the NDP had, they opposed NAFTA and said that millions of jobs would be lost. Now Canadians know—
View Omar Alghabra Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Omar Alghabra Profile
2018-10-03 16:54 [p.22169]
Mr. Speaker, I respect my hon. colleague's opinion. I am just saying that Canadians are not surprised that the NDP is once again opposing a trade deal and once again fearmongering and misleading Canadians by saying that thousands of jobs will be lost. However, I do respect where the member is coming from and we have a disagreement. We disagree that Canada's economy depends on trade and free trade is good for Canada's economy and good for workers.
I was present at committee when the member asked officials about the side letter within this agreement that Canada was able to secure. She asked whether the letters are binding or not. She asked about labour rights and about non-tariff barriers. Officials who are not political assured her that these side letters are enforceable.
Results: 1 - 15 of 27 | Page: 1 of 2

1
2
>
>|