Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Scarborough—Guildwood.
As this is the first time I am rising in the House in the 43rd Parliament, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank the wonderful constituents of Long Range Mountains for re-electing me and returning me to this place to work on their behalf. The support from each and every community, of which I have well over 200, is greatly appreciated. To my many volunteers, friends, and most of all my family, my heartfelt thanks.
Congratulations, Mr. Speaker and all of my colleagues in the House, on being elected. Working together, we can accomplish so much for this magnificent country we are blessed to call home.
I am pleased today to speak about the new Canada-United States-Mexico agreement and highlight its benefits for Canada's agriculture and agri-food industries.
In my riding of Long Range Mountains, along the western coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, one will find dairy and beef cattle farms and sheep and goat farms of all sizes. All of these are found in the rural parts of my riding and they are a mixture of small family-run businesses and large enterprises.
One will find as well innovative produce and grain growers, many using hydroponic techniques and environmentally friendly practices. Of course the fishery is a traditional and vital part of my riding and my province, and both the fishers and the fish processors are excited about this new trade deal and the benefit it will have in my riding and the country.
Our farmers and food processors not only put food on our tables, they drive our economy. They contributed over $68.6 billion to our gross domestic food product in 2018 and $61.6 billion in agricultural exports. They contributed over $13.4 billion to our trade balance and they supported over 550,000 jobs in agriculture and agri-food in 2018 alone. The majority of those jobs are in rural Canada.
The government's ambitious agenda for agriculture includes a strong focus on trade. Canada has always been a trading nation, and our farmers depend on trade. They export about half of the value of their production. Canadian canola and soybean growers depend on trade for 80% of their sales. Wheat growers export 70% of their product and pork producers 67%. That is why we can and must engage in international trade, and that is why our government has big plans for agricultural trade.
Our exports hit a new record in 2018, but we are not stopping there. We have set our sights on $75 billion in agricultural exports by 2025. The report of the agri-food economic strategy table has challenged us to think even bigger, proposing a target of $85 billion.
To help us get there, over the last five years the government has concluded and implemented two major trade deals: the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, CETA, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP. Together these gold standard agreements have opened new markets for our farmers and food processors. These agreements are part of our government's strong strategy to strengthen and diversify our trade.
CETA has been provisionally applied since September 2017. Canadian farmers and food processors are already taking advantage of access to the world's single largest market for food.
A second major milestone in trade was the one-year anniversary of the CPTPP on December 30, 2019. The CPTPP strengthens and diversifies Canada's trade and investment position with some of the world's fastest-growing economies. A wide range of Canadian agriculture and agri-food products are already benefiting from reduced tariffs, from pork to beef, blueberries to icewine, canola to pulses, and lobster to salmon.
Our government pushed hard for Canada to be among the first six nations to ratify this landmark agreement. That means Canadian farmers will be among the first to benefit from new sales in the CPTPP countries. For example, our wheat growers are now able to take advantage of Japan's Canada-specific quota for food wheat.
While it is still too early to measure the full impact of the CPTPP, early signs of success are evident. For example, Canadian exports of pork to Japan increased by 10.8% and exports of beef grew by 68% during the first 11 months of the CPTPP alone. That is an incredible increase.
While diversifying our agricultural trade, we are also securing our business with our largest trading partner through the new NAFTA. The North American trading zone is vital for our farmers and our food processors.
Under the 25 years of NAFTA, our nominal GDP has tripled. Meanwhile, agricultural and food trade in the North American region has risen to a value of $100 billion U.S. That is just about $275 million each and every day.
The new NAFTA means stability and security for our farmers and food processors when they are trading with their largest customer, and it means a strong foundation for growth in the future and growth in rural Canada. With this new agreement, we have maintained the tariff-free access to the U.S. market for Canadian exports that we enjoyed under NAFTA.
For our farmers and food processors, the new agreement will help secure $30 billion in agricultural exports to the United States alone. The new NAFTA will modernize, stabilize and re-energize our continental trading partnership, and it will drive even further integration of our North American supply chains.
Under the new agreement, access for Canadian refined sugar into the U.S. market will almost double. That is great news for our sugar industry, especially our sugar beet producers, who are looking to expand access for their high-quality sugar, which is 100% Canadian-grown and processed.
For our world-class wines and spirits industry, the new NAFTA provides for protection of Canadian whisky as a distinct product of Canada. It also protects the definition and traditional production method of authentic icewines. As well, Canadian wineries and distilleries retain the authority to sell only their own products on site.
Our new NAFTA is forward-looking. It will ensure our farmers have access to current technologies and will also benefit from future innovations in biotechnology. The agreement will encourage both innovation and trade in North America by mandating practical and trade-friendly approaches to getting safe agricultural biotech products to market.
There is a requirement for more transparent regulations for current and future agricultural biotech products, so everyone knows what requires approval and how to obtain that approval. As well, there is a provision to drive greater co-operation on agricultural biotechnology on the global stage, as North America will lead by example.
The new NAFTA will set the stage for further growth and help our agri-food industry keep a step ahead of the competition as we get ready to feed the world.
Throughout the negotiations, our government worked extremely hard to advance the interests of Canadian farmers and food businesses. We know that they are key economic drivers for this country. We know they create well-paying jobs, particularly in our rural communities. Over two million jobs in Canada depend on trade with the United States.
The agreement provides increased market access for the U.S. into Canada for dairy, poultry and eggs, but most importantly, maintains the three pillars of the supply management system: production controls, price controls and import controls. It is important to remember that the U.S. administration was calling for the abolition of this, but we know how important supply management is to our agriculture industry. Our government has pledged to fully and fairly support our dairy, poultry and egg producers.
Furthermore, successful trade depends on successful trade routes. That is why our government invested $10 billion in trade and transportation corridors to help get agri-food products to market. We enacted the Transportation Modernization Act. This legislation is delivering a more transparent, fair and efficient freight system that includes a number of new tools to support the grain industry. It is a long-term solution to help farmers get their products to market in a safe and timely manner.
Our government has strong and ambitious growth plans for our agriculture and food industry. Together, we will give our farmers and food processors a competitive edge in two-thirds of the global economy, and the future is bright.
I am confident hon. members will join me to support this bill.