Evidence of meeting #5 for International Trade in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was negotiations.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rob Merrifield

I'll ask the member to address his questions through the chair, so we don't give the control away here.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Easter, I can tell you with absolute certainty that we have made no concessions on supply management.

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

That's not my question.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

It is your question.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rob Merrifield

Very good.

Mr. Shipley.

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Thank you very much, and I thank you, Minister, for coming today.

In your presentation to us this morning you talked about Ontario leading in terms of all provinces--$12 billion of goods exported to the EU--and that we expect all industrial tariffs to be removed. The word is “expectation”. You've indicated your discussion not only with the industrial users but with the provinces.

Can you tell me a little about the provincial response, in terms of Ontario, to the discussions around the CETA agreement?

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

I've spoken to Sandra Pupatello, my counterpart in Ontario, and she understands that an ambitious free trade agreement with the EU will be beneficial to Ontario. Manufacturing in Ontario accounts for 94% of the province's total goods exports and 58% of Canada's total manufacturing exports.

If we can build on that by opening up this huge market, the largest common market in the world, you can imagine the benefits not only to Ontario but to every other province. I have a list of products in each of the provinces that will stand to benefit from greater access to the European Union. Once Canadians understand how critical this agreement is to their long-term prosperity, they will see that the opposition being raised in certain quarters in Canada is simply ideologically based. It isn't based on the merits and the facts of the arguments.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

It was asked by the opposition what the benefits are. You talked about boosting our economy by $12 billion per year. A trade increase of $38 billion, a 20% increase, could mean an increase of $1,000 per average Canadian. That's incredible, not to mention about 80,000 new jobs. Those are pretty ambitious numbers--spectacular, quite honestly. Any Canadian could look at that and ask why we didn't do this before, if it means so much to our economy.

How did you come up with those numbers? Are they reflective of what they will actually be?

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Those numbers come out of what is called a scoping exercise. It's a study that's done as a precursor to free trade negotiations. What that scoping exercise does is estimate the impact on the industries and the added value of increased trade in each of the countries. I think the scoping exercise is an extremely conservative estimate of the benefits that will accrue to both the European Union and to Canada. We believe that the opportunities may even exceed what this scoping exercise reported. There are huge opportunities for Canadians to tap into this huge market, the largest in the world, which we presently don't have significant access to.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

I'm going to pass it on, if there's time.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rob Merrifield

There's one minute.

October 6th, 2011 / 12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you, Minister.

Minister, we have this ambitious free trade agenda and there are all kinds of benefits that we understand. We thought the NDP didn't understand it, but it seems they do understand and they're coming onboard. However, the Liberal member is going off somewhere.

Can you tell us how you had these things done so fast?

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Well, Mr. Shory, it's not only my name that's Fast. Ever since our government was elected in 2006, we have focused on trade. Trade is critical to our long-term prosperity. If we want to see economic growth, if we want to create jobs, we're going to have to identify new markets and we're going to have to shore up existing markets and expand them. That's why we've been aggressive in exploring new trade relationships. We've negotiated trade relationships with nine different countries and we're negotiating with many more. It is my hope that as we do so we will continue to build long-term prosperity for Canadian families, who rely on trade and economic growth to pay off mortgages, to send their kids to college, and to save for retirement.

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rob Merrifield

Very good.

Thank you, Minister, for coming in as quickly as you have and for answering these questions. We regret the votes, but we all want to respect your time as well as the committee's time. Thank you for coming in. We'll suspend now for a couple of minutes.

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Chair, the minister said he had a list of products that will benefit. Could he table that list of products with this committee?