Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act

An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.



This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment implements the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States, done at Brussels on October 30, 2016.
The general provisions of the enactment set out rules of interpretation and specify that no recourse may be taken on the basis of sections 9 to 14 or any order made under those sections, or on the basis of the provisions of the Agreement, without the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.
Part 1 approves the Agreement and provides for the payment by Canada of its share of the expenses associated with the operation of the institutional and administrative aspects of the Agreement and for the power of the Governor in Council to make orders in accordance with the Agreement.
Part 2 amends certain Acts to bring them into conformity with Canada’s obligations under the Agreement and to make other modifications. In addition to making the customary amendments that are made to certain Acts when implementing such agreements, Part 2 amends
(a) the Export and Import Permits Act to, among other things,
(i) authorize the Minister designated for the purposes of that Act to issue export permits for goods added to the Export Control List and subject to origin quotas in a country or territory to which the Agreement applies,
(ii) authorize that Minister, with respect to goods subject to origin quotas in another country that are added to the Export Control List for certain purposes, to determine the quantities of goods subject to such quotas and to issue export allocations for such goods, and
(iii) require that Minister to issue an export permit to any person who has been issued such an export allocation;
(b) the Patent Act to, among other things,
(i) create a framework for the issuance and administration of certificates of supplementary protection, for which patentees with patents relating to pharmaceutical products will be eligible, and
(ii) provide further regulation-making authority in subsection 55.‍2(4) to permit the replacement of the current summary proceedings in patent litigation arising under regulations made under that subsection with full actions that will result in final determinations of patent infringement and validity;
(c) the Trade-marks Act to, among other things,
(i) protect EU geographical indications found in Annex 20-A of the Agreement,
(ii) provide a mechanism to protect other geographical indications with respect to agricultural products and foods,
(iii) provide for new grounds of opposition, a process for cancellation, exceptions for prior use for certain indications, for acquired rights and for certain terms considered to be generic, and
(iv) transfer the protection of the Korean geographical indications listed in the Canada–Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act into the Trade-marks Act;
(d) the Investment Canada Act to raise, for investors that are non-state-owned enterprises from countries that are parties to the Agreement or to other trade agreements, the threshold as of which investments are reviewable under Part IV of the Act; and
(e) the Coasting Trade Act to
(i) provide that the requirement in that Act to obtain a licence is not applicable for certain activities carried out by certain non-duty paid or foreign ships that are owned by a Canadian entity, EU entity or third party entity under Canadian or European control, and
(ii) provide, with respect to certain applications for a licence for dredging made on behalf of certain of those ships, for exemptions from requirements that are applicable to the issuance of a licence.
Part 3 contains consequential amendments and Part 4 contains coordinating amendments and the coming-into-force provision.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.


Feb. 14, 2017 Passed That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
Feb. 7, 2017 Passed That Bill C-30, An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures, {as amended}, be concurred in at report stage [with a further amendment/with further amendments].
Feb. 7, 2017 Failed
Dec. 13, 2016 Passed That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on International Trade.
Dec. 13, 2016 Passed That this question be now put.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / noon
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University—Rosedale Ontario


Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of International Trade

moved that Bill C-30, An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, it is very appropriate that we should be beginning this debate following our discussion of the private member's motion that celebrates the close and historic connections between Canada and Germany. As we have just heard, Germany has indeed been one of the driving forces in getting this historic agreement signed.

I am delighted to rise in the House today in support of legislation to implement the Canada-EU comprehensive economic and trade agreement, CETA.

This is a historic day for everyone, a moment that I know very many hon. members of the House have worked hard to achieve. CETA is the most progressive trade agreement ever negotiated. It will help redefine what trade can and should be. It will lead to increased prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic, create well-paying middle-class jobs, which I will speak to further in a moment.

Our government believes strongly in an open global economy, and we will continue to champion the open society and open global trade. However, we cannot ignore the reality that, today, we are living in the most protectionist environment I have experienced in my lifetime, probably the most protectionist environment since the Second World War.

There is a reason for that. Many people simply feel that 21st century global capitalism is not working for them. This anxiety is manifesting itself, among other things, in a powerful backlash against globalization. For those of us who support the open society, and I hope and believe that includes all members of the House, it is incredibly important for us not to be in denial about the importance of these sentiments that are sweeping so much of the western industrialized world.

This is real. It is tempting for us to say that if only we could explain to people how positive the open society is, how valuable trade is, how costly protectionism is, if only we could find better words, everything would resolve itself. However, that is not going to be enough. We need to look more deeply than that and understand that this powerful wave of populist anti-globalization sentiment is based in the very real, very concrete experience of so many people in western industrialized countries, including our own. The answer has to be in more than trade deals, because the anxiety is about more than trade deals. It is about the impact of 21st century global capitalism.

The concerns people have, the economic concerns, the concerns they have for themselves, for their retirement, and for their children, are very real, and we need to address them. That is why our government is very proud to have cut taxes for the middle class. We are proud to have raised taxes on those who can afford them, the 1%. We are very proud to have created the Canada child benefit for the families most in need, and have boosted CPP for our seniors.

We are making essential investments every day that strengthen and support our middle class. We know and believe that that is why we can still proudly say in Canada that we have broad public support for the open society and globalization.

It is also why CETA is all the more important. Canada is raising the bar with CETA and establishing more inclusive trade and higher standards for how global economies must function in the 21st century. This agreement that we are debating today cements the paramount right of democratically elected governments to regulate in the interest of our citizens, to regulate the environment, labour standards, and in defence of the public sector.

We are proud to have made these changes to CETA since coming into office. We will continue to champion aggressive trade policies. As the Prime Minister said about CETA:

That leadership that we were able to show between Canada and Europe is not just something that will reassure our own citizens but should be an example to the world of how we can move forward on trade deals that do genuinely benefit everyone.

I must say, having just returned at five o'clock this morning from Lima, Peru, from the APEC trade summit of Asia Pacific countries, CETA was much discussed and seen as an example of how it is possible, even in 2016, to do progressive trade deals.

Most importantly, CETA will benefit Canadians. It will give benefits to consumers through lower prices and more choice; it will help workers with better quality jobs, because we know that jobs in export-oriented sectors pay 50% more; and it will help small and medium-sized businesses by lowering the tariff barriers their products face.

CETA sets new standards for trade in goods and services, non-tariff barriers, investment, and government procurement in addition to its very high labour and environmental standards.

CETA offers Canada, Canadian workers, and Canadian businesses preferential access to a dynamic market of more than half a billion people. This is the world's second largest market for goods. In fact, the EU's annual imports alone are worth more than Canada's entire GDP.

Of the EU's more than 9,000 tariff lines, approximately 98% will be duty-free for Canadian goods the moment CETA comes into force, and almost all of the remaining tariff lines will be eliminated when the agreement is fully implemented. This will translate into better market opportunities and more jobs for Canadian businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and in every part of the country.

Consider Guelph's Linamar, a Canadian manufacturing success story with operations in Europe, which now stands to be even more competitive in the EU market as tariff barriers on products like its Skyjacks go down to zero; and Northland Power, with its clean and green power projects, which can expand even further into Europe; or one of my favourites, Manitoba Mukluks, a Métis-founded business, whose mukluks and moccasins are currently subject to a 17% tariff in Europe. That tariff will go down to zero when CETA enters into force.

Whether it is technology and software, aerospace, telecoms, clean tech, life sciences, agriculture, or infrastructure, Canadians working across our economy stand to benefit from this deal. This is great news for our middle class and those working hard to join it.

My hon. colleagues know, though, that trade today is about more than just tangible goods. It also includes services. In Canada and the EU, the service sector is responsible for most of our economies—more than 70% in both cases. CETA, a gold standard, modern agreement, recognizes the increasingly important role services play in global trade and creates a wealth of new business opportunities for Canadian service providers.

CETA offers Canadian businesses new opportunities to access EU government procurement contracts, which are estimated to be worth $3.3 trillion. In addition to increased access to markets, CETA also includes many other important benefits.

CETA is the first bilateral trade agreement in which Canada has included an entire chapter on regulatory co-operation. It includes a conformity assessment protocol, which will allow Canadian businesses in certain sectors to sell their products tested and certified in Canada without the European Union having to duplicate those testing and certification requirements.

CETA also includes a detailed framework for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, which is a key factor for labour mobility.

CETA is a progressive and modem trade agreement that fully integrates labour rights and environmental standards. It emphasizes the role played by public services and the right of states to pass regulations.

Our common objective is to ensure that globalization is a positive force based on our shared values and high aspirations. That is this agreement's raison d'être and why it is so important.

I will now address some of CETA's more progressive elements. CETA's preamble recognizes that the agreement's provisions reaffirm the parties’ right to regulate within their respective territories to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of public health, safety, the environment, public morals, and the promotion and protection of cultural diversity.

Article 8.9 of the chapter on investment makes it clear that the parties to the agreement preserve the right to regulate in order to achieve legitimate policy objectives.

Changes were made to the investor dispute settlement provisions to include more detailed commitments on the independence and ethical behaviour of members of the tribunal, as well as establish a revised process for selecting members of the tribunal and an appeal mechanism.

Nothing in CETA prevents governments from regulating in the public interest, including by granting preferential treatment to indigenous peoples or adopting measures to protect or promote Canadian culture.

CETA will not necessarily lead to the privatization of public services. Canada has a great deal of experience using the negative list approach and is sure that CETA will give it free rein when it comes to policy making.

Articles 23.2 and 23.4 under the labour and trade chapter address labour rights and recognize the right of Canada and the European Union to set their own labour priorities and protections and stipulate that it is inappropriate to encourage trade or investment by weakening or reducing the levels of protection afforded in their labour law and standards.

In the chapter of CETA on trade and the environment, Canada and the European Union also reaffirm that environmental standards cannot be lowered in order to promote trade or attract investment. Those are two very important points for both us and the European Union.

CETA also recognizes the European Union's and Canada's right to define their own environmental priorities and levels of environmental protection and to pass or amend their own laws and policies accordingly.

What is more, CETA includes a commitment to co-operate on trade-related environmental issues of common interest, such as environmental assessments, climate change, and the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Our government has been tireless since the day we assumed office, pushing this deal forward and leaving no stone unturned. I would like now to recognize some of the people who have worked so hard on this historic agreement.

I would like to start, of course, with my Prime Minister, whose relentless advocacy, in public and in private, whose work directly with Europe's leaders, and whose work at home and abroad, were essential in getting to where we are today. I thank him for his leadership on CETA, and more generally for his voice in Canada and the world in speaking for the open society.

Many of my cabinet colleagues, as well as my exceptional parliamentary secretary, have worked extremely hard on this agreement, both in Canada and in Europe. Their engagement has been absolutely essential. In fact, my parliamentary secretary and our CETA envoy have spent a great deal of time over the past weeks and months across Canada, and particularly working with our partners in Europe.

Hon. members in this House, and particularly our Quebec caucus, worked very hard in the final days before the signing of CETA, personally reaching out to our European partners, to legislators in Europe in national and subnational assemblies, explaining to them how important this agreement was, and speaking about the shared values between Canada and Europe, including our shared membership of La Francophonie.

I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues for this absolutely critical work.

Our provincial and territorial partners have been extremely engaged in working on CETA. I am very proud to say that when we were in Europe a few weeks ago to sign CETA, the Europeans pointed to Canada as an example of effective federalism, of federalism that works. The degree of co-operation between the provinces and the federal government on this essential deal has been outstanding, and I would like to strongly thank the trade ministers of Canada's provinces and territories and their chief negotiators, who worked so hard on the agreement.

I would like to single out the role that Quebec has played in working on the agreement. The leadership of Quebec, including strong advocacy for CETA in Europe, was very important, and played a particular role in securing the support of francophone Europe for this deal.

I would like to thank my Quebec colleagues.

I would like to very warmly recognize and thank the exceptional work of our public service. We in Canada are extremely lucky to have outstanding public servants, and, as trade minister, I say our trade negotiators are the best of the best. They have done an outstanding deal on CETA.

I would like to personally recognize Steve Verheul, our chief negotiator for CETA. I would like to thank him for his years of dedicated work to ensuring that we as a country could conclude negotiations on this progressive gold standard agreement. It will serve as an international standard and also offer tremendous specific, concrete benefits to Canadian workers and Canadian businesses.

I would also like to recognize the hard work of the previous government on getting this deal done. Canada's strength is when we can work together across party lines, across this aisle, and pass the ball from one government to another and finally get it over the finish line. I would like to personally recognize the leadership of the former prime minister, Stephen Harper, on this issue.

CETA will set the bar for future trade agreements, and it forms the cornerstone of our government's progressive trade agenda. This is an agenda linked to our government's core focus here at home on reducing income inequality and enhancing inclusive growth that benefits all Canadians. CETA sends a clear signal, at an essential moment, to the whole world, that we in Canada believe in an open society. We believe in a society that welcomes immigrants and welcomes investments, and believes that by doing that we have more jobs and more growth. After all, at our core, we are a trading nation, a nation of immigrants, and we are very proud of that.

CETA sends a message to the world that Canada and the EU reject protectionism and we are committed to a freer and more open global economy. At a time when so much of the world is saying no to trade and no to the global economy, I am very proud that on Canada's behalf, and through CETA, we can resoundingly say yes.

We are sending an unmistakable signal to the rest of the world that even now, at a time of some uncertainty, Canada believes in building bridges, not walls. Now is the time to embrace stronger partnerships with our friends around the world. Now is the time to pursue prosperity and economic growth with a progressive trade agenda, built from the ground up, to help strengthen the middle class here at home.

I welcome this week's debate on CETA, and I hope all members will support this important agreement.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:20 p.m.
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Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree we are a trading nation, and trade with Europe is too important to get wrong.

I heard the minister talk about the insecurity felt by all Canadians. This is extremely true. She also mentioned her duty to regulate in the interests of Canadians. There is 25% of the legislative changes that are to the Patent Act for extensions and changes to pharmaceutical patents that will cost all Canadians. She mentioned no stone unturned. The stone unturned is talking to Canadians. CETA will lead to increased costs of prescription drugs for Canadians.

When the Liberals were in opposition, they agreed with New Democrats that greater analysis was needed, as well as compensation to the provinces. However, the government has provided no analysis of just how much this would cost provinces, nor has it offered any compensation.

Is the minister comfortable signing off on CETA without any further analysis of how these increased drugs costs will impact Canadians and those in her own riding?

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:25 p.m.
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Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question and for her very hard work on this file. I am extremely comfortable, indeed proud, to advocate for CETA. I have absolutely no doubt that this agreement will bring tremendous benefits to Canadians. It will bring jobs and growth. A joint Canada-EU study that was done a few years ago found that CETA would bring GDP growth of 0.7% to the Canadian economy. When we look at where the economy is today, how hard we are fighting for even 0.1% of growth, to be able to sign and soon ratify an agreement that will give us almost 1% more in our GDP is something I am extremely proud to do.

As the hon. member knows, our government was very clear when I was trade critic, when we were in opposition, of our strong support for CETA. We have been true to what we said then in supporting it today and in getting it across the finish line. Of course, this trade agreement, like any trade agreement, will have some variable impacts across different sectors. That is something our government is working on and consulting on, and I am working very closely with my relevant cabinet colleagues on that.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:25 p.m.
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Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is quite a unique situation when the relay race is over and the minister gets to stand in the middle podium, so I welcome the opportunity to speak to this issue today. Having said that, she commented about an open society, and I could not agree more. There is a lot more media scrutiny, more social media scrutiny, on things like this, and there is very little factual information at times.

However, what pays for an open society? I would like the minister to comment on that. Trade is one of the major economic drivers of this great country, one in eight jobs in some sectors, and one in five jobs in other sectors, that rely on trade and the openness of trade to make that happen. The minister has often commented that this is the gold standard of trade agreements, and I could not agree more, having been part of the development of it. It is the chapters on labour standards, environmental standards, and the regulatory co-operation that facilitate that economic drive that will create and pay for an open society.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:25 p.m.
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Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member for Battlefords—Lloydminster and I find ourselves very much in agreement. I believe strongly, as does our government, that trade is a driver of economic growth in opening up trade agreements with the world. In this historic agreement with Europe, we are driving more growth to the Canadian economy. We will be creating more jobs for middle-class Canadians and those working hard to join the middle class.

I absolutely agree with the member opposite that it is through economic growth that we are able to support and sustain our open society. The member spoke about the labour and environmental standards embedded in CETA. Those are tremendously important for our government, and we are proud of the work we did to further strengthen those. He referred also to regulatory co-operation, which is an important part of CETA, but we will have to talk about that later.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:25 p.m.
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Simon Marcil Bloc Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, in her speech, the minister bragged about being an advocate for progressive trade agreements, and the Liberals have been bragging about being progressive from the beginning.

However, the government voted against Motion No. 42 on the tax haven of Barbados, which was moved by my colleague from Joliette. It was that very tax haven that allowed the right dishonourable Paul Martin to save $100 million in taxes. The government is saying that it is signing nice, progressive agreements, which is great and the Liberals get some good photo ops out of it, but the problem is that they still have not resolved the diafiltered milk issue or that of compensation for cheese producers.

Will the government stop taking us for fools?

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:25 p.m.
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Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for raising many issues with one question.

The hon. member spoke about the canada-european union comprehensive economic and trade agreement, or CETA. I want to underscore that this agreement is truly the most progressive international trade agreement in existence. In fact, this agreement has the support of all socialist parties in a government coalition.

I would also like to point out that in terms of investment our government has made very significant and very progressive changes, and I am certain that they will serve as a model for all other international trade agreements.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:30 p.m.
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Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec


François-Philippe Champagne LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to stand today and congratulate our Minister of International Trade, who has done an astonishing job. She mentioned all of the people who contributed, but I think they would agree that she is probably one of the hardest working people in Parliament. She has broadened Canada in making sure that our trade relationships are growing. I cannot be more proud than to stand today on behalf of all of my colleagues to congratulate her. She is an astonishing figure, recognized not only in our country but around the world.

I would like to ask the minister what this agreement will do. As we know, our government is about Canadian families, the middle class, and jobs. What will this agreement do for all of the stakeholders in our country? I know that when the minister negotiates, one thing she remembers is the Canadian middle class and Canadian jobs.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:30 p.m.
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Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his overly kind words.

As a member of our Quebec caucus, my hon. colleague was very much engaged in this intensive outreach effort, particularly in the final days ahead of the signing of CETA, and being sure that we spoke to European parliamentarians, especially francophone parliamentarians.

I made a point in my remarks of specifying three Canadian companies that would specifically benefit from the lowering of tariff barriers, which will take effect immediately when CETA comes into force. It is something that will happen in a matter of weeks or months. It is not something far in the future.

I would also like to point out that CETA already is having a positive effect when foreign companies look at Canada and how they view Canada as an investment destination.

I was with the Prime Minister in South and Latin America over the past few days. We met with many companies there. They were very interested in how CETA now positions Canada uniquely as a country where investors have access to both the North American and the European markets. That is good for Canadian jobs.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:30 p.m.
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Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for her speech in the House.

However, I must point out that Quebec's agri-food system finds itself on the losing side of the canada-european union comprehensive economic and trade agreement. Producers feel abandoned by the Liberal government because it is not defending our supply management system under either CETA or the trans-Pacific partnership. The government has been in power for one year and has not yet resolved the issue of diafiltered milk.

Furthermore, the transition assistance plan is only providing $350 million. That is peanuts. The industry believes that there should be between $750 million and $1 billion in transition assistance.

Given that our producers are worried and feel abandoned by the Liberal government, can the minister give us a little more information?

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:30 p.m.
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Chrystia Freeland Liberal University—Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question and her work. I would also like to thank my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture. As my colleague said, a few days ago, the minister announced our robust plan to support dairy producers as they undertake this important transition and modernize their operations. I know that the hon. Minister of Agriculture has worked very hard and done a lot of consultation with dairy producers.

All Canadian provinces, including Quebec, strongly support this trade agreement. I was very proud to work with my Quebec counterparts.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:35 p.m.
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Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to stand in the House today to speak to Bill C-30, the culmination of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the EU, or CETA as it has become well known.

This landmark and progressive trade agreement, as the minister commented, is the result of years of hard work from 2009 to 2014 when we signed the agreement in principle. I welcome the opportunity to bring this deal that we struck as a government into force here today.

I congratulate the current trade minister for taking the next steps with this agreement, but I do wish she would do the same for the TPP. It is as progressive as, if not more so than, CETA. We would like to see it on the agenda soon as well.

The trade minister commented that she had just gotten back from Lima at five this morning. I just got back from Russia a little before that, so I have had maybe an hour's more sleep than she has. I do wish I could tell her that it is going to get easier, that the time away from family and so on will be made up for in the deals that we strike and the work we do on behalf of Canadians. However, it does not. We are in opposition, but there are still those international functions that we have to attend to continue that work to benefit Canadians and make sure that our future is bright.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention her parliamentary secretary, the long-suffering gentleman that he is. Having said that, he is a tremendous resource for us on the committee. He does a great job there. He is very stable, calm, and collected. Although he does not take part in much in the day-to-day operations, he is there as a resource when we go in camera and so on. I have had the opportunity to sit on a number of media panels with him, as well. He is a gentleman. Having been a trade professor for a number of years on trade, he understands the importance of trade to Canada's economic prosperity.

CETA at the time was cutting edge and one of the most ambitious trade agendas we had ever seen. That is why the Liberals have begun calling it the “gold standard”, which of course is true for other agreements that we did, like the TPP.

In the previous government, under the leadership of the Right Hon. Stephen Harper, my colleague and friend, the minister, the member for Abbotsford, and I were able to negotiate, together with a number of our cabinet colleagues and a number of people from what is now called Global Affairs Canada, agreements with 46 different countries. That was unprecedented in this country's history. I am proud to have been a big part of those successes and for the role that my staff played in that as well.

None of that could have been possible without all of the people who work with and for us, right from front to back benches, side to side, people of all stripes. At the end of the day, I would be remiss if I did not mention someone like Steve Verheul . I got to know Steve some 10 years ago, when he was our long-suffering representative at the WTO, carrying that sort of schizophrenic trade agenda that we had, protecting these portions and putting them up for trade agreements. Steve did a fantastic job. He is one of those soft-spoken, quiet gentlemen who always had his finger on the pulse of what was going on.

I remember a number of instances in Geneva over the years at the WTO, when the leadership at that time loved to take five major countries, sort of the same ones that have a veto at the UN, into a little, dark room at midnight to try to hammer out a deal that the rest of us would then accept. None of that ever worked.

It was amazing to be with Steve during those clandestine meetings that the director general called at that time. His BlackBerry was always lighting up with messages, “China said this; Russia said that; or America said this, how should I handle it?” Steve always had the answer, always had the way forward. If anyone was the arbitrator or mediator of what kept the WTO alive for a lot of years, it was Steve Verheul with his hand on the lever. We cannot say enough good things about Steve. He's world class. I am not sure what he will do for an encore after CETA. It has cost him some personal time and a tremendous amount of energy. As I said, I am sure he will land on his feet and continue to be be as well-respected as he is.

Even when the work is done, it is not complete. We saw this over this past year, as the minister stirred the pot and everyone told her not to do it. Our chamber of commerce told her not to renegotiate. I know that people from global affairs said do not do this. I will not say who they are because they could get fired. Also, the European business councils that I continue to be in touch with said not to do this.

We covered off all of these little warts and blemishes when we signed the agreement in principle some two years ago, and all of this was not swept under the rug but adjudicated and addressed at that point. With the minister going back in and sort of ripping the scab off, opening Pandora's box, it created the crisis we saw in Wallonia. At the end of the day, we have escaped with a deal that is more or less intact. It is pretty much, I would say 99.9%, exactly what we signed in principle over two years ago.

Since that time, it was not a stalled deal, as the Liberals like to say, but it was moving forward with a legal scrub and translation into a myriad of different languages and texts. Members know how important that is to do.

We see that here. A lot of times when we scrutinize our regs, one word in French will not correlate with a word in English, and we go back and change something that has been written incorrectly for years. A lot of work goes into the legal scrub with that many languages and different legal systems in the EU, the same as we have in Canada with civil law and common law. The European Union has a myriad of different legal options as well.

It is so important that we get this deal right. It was done right. We have 99.9% of it going forward. We do have a vacuum when it comes to the adjudication of future ISDS claims, and there is no doubt in my mind that there will be some. The NDP and some of its cohorts who came before committee, mostly on the TPP, love to say that Canada is the most sued country in the world. While that might be technically true, the reality is that out of several trillion dollars worth of economic activity, we have paid out $170 million in legal costs, and well over two-thirds of that is due to one little misstep by former premier Danny Williams when he took back an American company, saying that he did not like what it was doing and that he would nationalize it, which he did. Under NAFTA, WTO standards and so on, we paid out some $130 million for that. Canada is sued like every other country, but very few claims come to fruition and get paid out. As I said, that is out of more than several trillion dollars worth of economic activity. CETA is a little different from that, in that we have written guidelines.

We will see the elimination of some 94% of the agricultural tariff lines, and that will allow us to export our goods into a $20 trillion economy.

The European Union is a mature market, unlike the TPP, which is an advancing market. We need both. I often call the CETA agreement the “family reunification trade agreement” because a lot of areas in Canada were settled by Europeans almost a century ago.

I see my friend, the chair of the committee, nodding his head. His family came across and took advantage of the Canadian opportunity. CETA will enable us to work with our cousins at home to bring in different products and facilitate that. I am sure we will be able to get a lot more Scottish, Irish, and English products, all of that good stuff that my colleague's family grew up on. We look forward to that.

We have done an economic agenda. The minister made a nod toward that some years ago. That agenda showed that this agreement would return about $1,000 per middle class family and 80,000 new jobs. That is almost enough to make up for what the Liberals lost this past year. The sooner we get this done the sooner we will be back to zero and can move forward with TPP and start to recoup what we lost and gain what is available in that regard.

It is a unique investment. It is a unique opportunity, in that the European Union has a number of trade agreements with countries around the world, but this is the first one that addresses some subsets of labour standards and environmental standards. It provides the EU with a proper way to negotiate new access to some of our GM products. It is a regulatory package that will allow our beef and pork producers to export their produce using different types of wash facilities and so on. There are still some details to be worked out with respect to that, but at least there are guidelines to move forward with the European Union in a timely way so things are not tied up for months and years.

We will see immediate results once CETA is implemented. Our process here is a bit more arcane than some of the Europeans' processes. They will have to work through all of their 28 member states, as we will with the provinces. The minister also pointed out that when we were negotiating this agreement, my friend and colleague from Abbotsford, and of course Steve Verheul, sat down every time it was required with the provinces and territories that were there, along with industry, which had signed non-disclosure agreements. We had some of the biggest fan clubs. The number of those fan clubs for the CETA deal almost measured up to the number of people the Liberals take along with them on environmental deals. These people were there to get the work done and to make sure that the provinces were looked after. I do not see any type of push-back. Some negotiations are still going on with Newfoundland and Labrador on the payments that will be required. That province has stipulated that a certain amount of fish caught in our waters has to be processed in Canada. There will be some changes in that regard.

Kathy Dunderdale, who was the premier at the time, said that all of the $250 million belongs to her province, which was never true. It is for all of Atlantic Canada to drive efficiency and effectiveness in our fish processing system. The Liberals have that one to work out yet before they will get Newfoundland and Labrador onside, but it is certainly in the works.

It is important that we look at trade writ large. We are fully in favour of CETA. In our view, we could not have done any better. A few steps at the end had our heart in our mouths, but in the end it has all worked out, other than for the vacuum we are going to see in the adjudication of any ISDS claims. There is still work to be done in that regard.

The important part of all these trade agreements is that we take more and more eggs out of that American basket. We rely on the Americans for 75% of our overall trade, 98% when we talk about energy products and, depending on what the issue is, we are very much tied to their economic value. As they pull back on the TPP, there is no reason to believe that we cannot join the other six countries that are gung-ho guaranteed to move forward on it, that we cannot join them and rewrite TPP without the Americans. Let us get it done.

Why would we wait for President Obama to decide whether his legacy will be bad or not? He has gone from being in a lame duck session to a dead duck session, so we have to start moving forward, get this done, join Mexico, Japan, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. All of them have got it working through their parliaments right now. We have to look at trade writ large. We need that diversity to move away from those holdings in the American market.

We see that when the Americans arbitrarily bring forward things like country-of-origin labelling. There are whispers down there right now again that they will reinvent that. They cannot. We won that fight at the WTO. They would have to change it considerably to bring back anything that looked like Buy America or country-of-origin labelling. As much as that raises red flags, they are only at half-mast, because we did win that particular fight, and we would certainly take up that fight again. We would from the opposition side, I can guarantee that.

At the end of the day it was a good win, but it takes time and there is trade hurt when that is done, so having regulatory packages built in to things like CETA and TPP that really nip those types of negative movements in the bud are very important to take advantage of, and we intend to make sure those are there.

Having both CETA and the TPP in our park would give us access to 80% of the world's GDP, almost a billion consumers who are willing to buy. The difference between CETA and the TPP is that CETA is a mature market. It has been around for a long time. It has trillions of dollars in market potential for us. All we have to do is double or triple a couple of things that we have the capacity to do and we are talking a huge win on both sectors.

The thing with the TPP is it is an emerging market. We are talking middle classes that are growing, their palate is changing, and they are asking for more types of westernized cuisine. In some cases, God help them, but in other cases, it is good for our exports. We will ship them all the burgers and beer they can handle and make money doing it.

It is in our best interests to have that diversity in our trade portfolio, having both the mature markets that take certain cuts of the beef and having the opening markets to take other cuts. We have countries in that Pacific Rim that will make use of a lot of products that we do not when it comes to a livestock animal or when it comes to grain products and pork products and so on. It then adds to the value of that product here in Canada. It changes our processing somewhat. We have to learn to sell what they want, not what we have, but that is just an educational thing that the market will take care of.

It is one of consistency. Canada has been a trading nation since beaver pelts were currency. We are going back a long time. Having said that, trade is still currency. It is still what drives our economy. The little discussion that the minister and I had was on moving forward on trade, setting the standard, and the social side of it that we have to talk to people about. There is a lot of angst out there on media websites and so on about what could go wrong, but there is very little on what goes right in these types of agreements, driving our economic agenda.

We have seen in the last few days our Prime Minister roll over and say, “Sure, we will sit down and renegotiate NAFTA, why wouldn't we?” but at the end of the day we do not start with a position of surrender to having any kind of positive drive on that. Certainly, NAFTA is 20-some years old. There are things in there that need to be modernized. There are things happening now that were not even discussed 20-some years ago, the digital age and all of those things that need to be addressed.

Yes, there are certain things that we need to look at, certain things we need to get on top of, and if we can roll in irritants like the softwood lumber agreement into a new, improved, long-term NAFTA agreement, everybody would benefit. We would not have these legal fights that cost billions of dollars and hurt our industry overall.

Before the Prime Minister sidelines our economic activity by saying we will take whatever the Americans give us, we should be negotiating from a power position. We have resources the Americans are envious of and require. Keystone XL is a case in point. We saw the president of the day in the U.S. veto it, not based on science or on his economic standards, because it has passed all of that, but based on the fact that his major fundraisers were against it.

Hopefully with the new president, who really does not require the same fundraising, we will see some movement on that. He has already been very positive in that regard, but if the Americans are to take that sector of our energy and our resources, then they have to take our energy and our resource sector writ large. What is very important in renegotiating things like NAFTA is to set the standards of what it is we will not take less than, rather than just saying, “Hey, let us do this” and leave it open-ended.

We are seeing a lot of the TPP countries questioning what the Americans have up their sleeve when it comes to trade and when they start talking about renegotiating NAFTA. It is one thing to do it during a political cycle when one is campaigning hard. At that time, we saw Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and president wannabe Bill Clinton both decry NAFTA. They said they would never sign it, they would tear it up, that it would never be in their best interests. Within months, both of them signed it and never looked back. However, they all took credit for it stating, “Look at what wonderful things we did.”

NAFTA was a negotiation by the Conservative government of the day, which faced the wrath of Canadians at the election at one point. That was one of many issues that led to its downfall. However, to be progressive and to have an open society we have to do what we are good at. We are good at trade. We are good producing grapple grommets. The one thing we have never come to grips with is doing some value-added to the grapple grommets before we ship them out of the country and get that side agreement on labour standards, and so on.

We have already seen major changes in our automotive sector. As a political neophyte, I remember during the NAFTA discussions thinking that our our wine industry would be decimated before it even got up and running, and yet it has become an international success story. We cannot go anywhere in the world without seeing some Canadian wines on display. We take international awards every year for the great quality products that we ship out. Therefore, there is from trade that underlying driver of efficiencies and innovation, which make us even stronger and better. Certainly, there are transition times required. We have seen that with our dairy industry and the compensation package that has been offered for the 17,000 tonnes of cheese that will be coming in on an annual basis. However, that will not grow. It is a static number. At the same time, we have unlimited access back into the European market once our guys figure out how to do that with a global cost-pricing structure. They have done it for pizza kits here in Canada, so we know they can do it moving forward.

At the last Paris show that I was involved in, there were 30-something Canadian groups there marketing their products. That was a tremendous opportunity. Although maple syrup is well known, many of them were winning awards for their fine cheeses. Therefore, we know we are world class. We know we can step up and provide whatever is required by the world. We know we can grow our trade. However, we need a government that is ready, willing, and able to take those steps. We are seeing some final steps here, such as getting to the podium to accept the medal after the relay race is done. I was happy to be part of that relay race. However, at the end of the day, there is a lot more trade that needs to be looked at and moved on expeditiously, including the trans-Pacific partnership. We hope we will see these types of actions moving forward on the TPP soon.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:50 p.m.
See context


David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague, who was a minister for a long time and is well aware of these issues. As he knows, NAFTA has been updated numerous times since it was brought in 20 years ago. There have been something like 11 updates. Therefore, I do not think it is unfair for the Prime Minister to say that we are willing to hear what the issues are and discuss them. There is nothing wrong with that.

Another point I have is this. The member referred to the beaver as currency. As an aside, we have traded the pelts, but everybody hid the fact that beaver is really good meat.

With respect to CETA, every country in Europe has agreed on this. It is extraordinarily difficult to get Europe to agree on anything across every country. I wonder if the member can speak to the importance of that and what it really means for this agreement.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:50 p.m.
See context


Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the takeaway from that intervention is to eat more beaver. We will have to see it coming up on menus around the world. We have them out in our country, but I have never gone that way. We never run out of beef or pork, so I have not had to try that, but a lot of people do and still enjoy it, and that is good.

Absolutely, the CETA agreement is the gold standard, and it is tough. That is what led us to begin the undertaking of an agreement with those 28 member states of the European Union.

Some years ago, before I got into politics, I was involved with an industry that was trying to export into the European Union. I will talk about it in the context of farm machinery. We would get an agreement with Germany to export x piece of equipment, and then we would get demands from France, Poland, and other countries that wanted to have that piece of equipment as well, and then we would start all over again. The whole idea of a CETA is one set of regulations. Once we pass the hurdles with our product in x country, it is then accepted by the other countries of the European Union. It also has one currency, as well as other things.

The one thing that has thrown a bit of a monkey wrench into this as we move forward of course is Brexit. How is that going to play out? How do we come to terms with it? It is not really up to us to drive that. Rather, it is up to the British and the European Union to decide on when they do or if they do, and also, if the divorce becomes final, what parts of CETA aspire to the British side, do they start renegotiating all over again, or are they still part of the Common Market?

Therefore, the work is not done. We have the initial stages of CETA. It is a good agreement, a world-class agreement, and a progressive agreement. We agree with all of that. However, the work is never done, and that is what is going to keep guys like Steve Verheul in business for a few more years.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2016 / 12:55 p.m.
See context


Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the takeaway from that exchange is that the Liberals cannot find anything good to talk about in CETA so they want to talk about other trade.

My colleague and I sit on the trade committee together. We do not always agree. I am sure that is no surprise to this House, but I do respect him greatly and the work that he does on the committee.

Under the previous government there was a compensation program for the losses that would be incurred under fish processing in Newfoundland and Labrador. I cannot imagine how Liberals from Newfoundland and Labrador are not standing up and explaining to Canadians and people in their own provinces where this money is to compensate them for the real losses that they would incur in this deal. This deal is not all gold stars to be put all over. There are serious concerns from sectors in Canada.

My question is this. Is the member concerned that the Liberal government has not yet explained whether and how it will compensate Newfoundland and Labrador for expected fish-processing losses?