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

Sponsor

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, law.

Summary

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.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

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

February 14th, 2017 / 3:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Sturgeon River—Parkland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. Normally we do not recognize the absence of a member, but I know that the Prime Minister and all members of the House would join me in recognizing the incredible hard work of the member for Abbotsford on the Canada-EU free trade agreement.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to speak to the Canada-European Union free trade agreement. This is of course an outstanding initiative many years in the making. The reasons to support it are very simple.

At the bottom line, when the study was done in advance of the commencement of negotiations on this Canada-Europe free trade agreement, the study revealed that based on the assumptions it was looking at, an agreement of this nature would deliver an annual boost to the Canadian economy of some $12 billion. That is not small change. That is significant money and it would make a big difference in people's lives. What is also significant is that study was undertaken many years ago, and the likely benefits with the passage of time and the growth of economies are in fact much greater than that. That is the cornerstone we look at: a $12-billion boost in the economy, and that would mean a real difference in the lives of ordinary people, of workers, and of companies across Canada that would have the opportunity to benefit from that.

When I became Canada's trade minister, this negotiation was under way and I very quickly ensured that it became our number one trade priority, the focus of our policy and of our energies. I saw in this potential trade agreement the ability for us to do great things, to really be able to benefit, and that it was in fact a tailor-made opportunity for Canada. For Canada, we also benefited from the fact that it was a bit of a trial run in the negotiations for later negotiating with the United States, but it also meant that we in Canada were in a kind of privileged position. From a trading perspective, we were in a position better than that of any other country in the world.

We had already, through Canada-U.S. free trade and then the North American Free Trade Agreement, tremendous access to our neighbours to the south: the United States, the largest economy in the world. Together with the European Union, they are the two largest economies in the world. Should Canada get this agreement in place, we would be the only significant major developed economy in the world with free trade agreements in place with both the United States and the European Union, the two largest economies in the world.

Picture what potential and opportunity lie there. Suppose individuals anywhere in the world want to set up a manufacturing plant or a business in a place where they can have access to the two biggest markets in the world. They would look at the facts, at the agreements in place, and they would come to the inescapable conclusion that there is one good place to do that, and that place is Canada. That is why this agreement is so important. That is why this agreement would attract significant investment.

When I was trade minister, as we were promoting this I often spoke with potential investors and they talked about the things that made Canada attractive. Some of those things are not as strong now as they were then, including things like our very significant low debt which meant that taxes could stay low for the long term, and our low taxes that meant that it would be very competitive to work in Canada. Some of that has eroded in the past year or so under the current government and the trajectory it is on. That being said, we are still in a pretty good position there. We have other advantages including the most skilled workforce in the world. This additional piece of access to these two great markets is something that would make a tremendous difference to a lot of those investors, and the reason why they were looking at investing in Canada. That would mean jobs for Canadians.

There are other reasons why I think that the straightforward calculus in the study of the potential benefit here underestimates the potential that Canada has. That is because for Europe we have such a significant population, a diaspora from every single country in the European Union that we have the potential, through those ties and linkages, to really capitalize. We have ties of people and ties of language. In this country there are people who speak every single language in the European Union. We have ties of culture and even ties of family and ties of having done business in the past. Those linkages provide the structure on which we can build a transatlantic relationship of strong trade through those diaspora populations. It represents a real opportunity.

For Canada, our trading relationship has benefited, obviously, enormously from the proximity of the United States and our cultural similarity there, and that is why that is such a strong trading relationship.

In some ways it has been almost too easy for Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to say that they are just going to focus on the United States, because it is there, it is easy, its people have the same language, we watch the same television programs, they can talk to them about what happened on the Grammy Awards last night and we all know what each other are talking about. Canadians have chosen that route, sometimes to the exclusion of other opportunities in the world, all too often simply because it is that easy, and it is hard to criticize people for doing that.

However, with the Canada-European Union free trade agreement, we have an opportunity to do something a little bit different, because of the nature of that diaspora population, because of the strong affection of the people from those countries who live here in Canada and have roots in those countries. It is because of their desire to maintain those ties, and I think because of their recognition of their understanding of linkages and the ties they have through family, through people, and through knowing the culture. They recognize that there is a real opportunity for them without having to go through many of the challenges of familiarizing themselves with the way of doing business in a new country. They are already halfway there, and that provides a tremendous opportunity for them.

I can tell members that, as trade minister, I have worked extensively in putting together support for this agreement, which was near universal among those diaspora communities and among the chambers of commerce. For example, we had a Canada-Austria chamber of commerce and a German chamber of commerce. All of these groups already existed, and a couple more formed, so that we had one for virtually every single country in the European Union that was looking to encourage those ties and prepare for the day when we would get this Canada-European Union free trade agreement in place. By orienting them to think that way, to get ready for it, to prepare to capitalize on the opportunities that would follow, Canada has enormous potential to do that. It was one of those things I was working on when I was trade minister and of which I was very proud.

If we look at that potential for Canada, it is tremendous. The potential for this agreement is positive, as all trade agreements, if done properly and negotiated well. Canada has a tremendous track record. Certainly our Conservative government did very well with the agreements that it negotiated. They all have the potential to be win-win situations, where a rising tide lifts all boats, and people through good agreements benefit from what each other have to offer.

Of course, with Europe, there are other advantages. An agreement can be negotiated on good terms, because we have similar high environmental standards, similar high labour standards, and a similar high standard of living. Therefore, we are not looking at unusual disadvantages. We also have similar cultural and legal roots and systems, all of which means that we can work well and do business well together once that trade agreement is in place.

However, there are other very good reasons why this trade agreement offers opportunity for us, and it goes beyond the straightforward economic. I look at the Canada-European Union free trade agreement in some ways an an extension of positive foreign policy for Canada.

I think Canada is a model country to the world, but this is also an opportunity for us to continue what we certainly were doing in the previous government, which is working to advance our Canadian values on the world stage. We should be proud of what those Canadian values are. We should not be shy about advancing them on the world stage. Our support for human rights, the rule of law, democracy, and freedom are very important fundamental values.

Members may think that when we are talking about Europe, these are all settled questions. However, as we have seen through the scope of the past century, Europe has been wrought by conflict, and we significantly saw a period of half a century where Europe was divided between a Soviet-ruled communist-dominated east, and our free and democratic western models. Economically, there was no contest, which is one of the reasons, ultimately, that the Soviet Union and those communist systems collapsed, and I will speak more about that later.

However, we have an opportunity to provide, through a trade agreement and further ties, greater reinforcement and support for the development of a democratization and stabilization process of those countries. This is particularly the case in an era where we see a somewhat more assertive Russia under the leadership of Putin, where they are looking to expand their sphere of influence to try and have adverse influences on some of the countries around them.

I am thinking particularly of the Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; and, of course, there are the other former communist countries: Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. These are all part of the European Union. It is important for us to strengthen those economic ties, so that we can help to anchor all of those countries more firmly into the west.

There is an economic dimension, but there is a very strong political dimension. It is a geostrategic dimension. All of those countries already have EU membership. NATO membership has been incredibly important to them. This is an opportunity to layer on top of that, through trade agreements, further ties that are economic and people oriented, which will help to anchor them in the west.

As I said, that is becoming increasingly important. There was a time, when we thought the Cold War was over, that these were considerations that we did not need to concern ourselves with. As we know, sadly that has been changing, and it has been changing over time. If one looks at some of the risks that exist from an aggressive Putin government, the first example, of course, was the intervention of the Russians in Georgia. On the pretext of dealing with challenges in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia republics, which were restive republics, there was a lot of Russian interference. It might be added, in fact, that this was Russian occupation in the form of what were so-called peacekeepers and observers. Ultimately, a conflict was provoked in Georgia, which was, under leadership of Mikheil Saakashvili, pursuing a very strong policy moving to the west, moving to become part of NATO, becoming part of the European Union. In fact, even though it was not part of the European Union, they had that flag flying.

The objective of Putin was to try to stop them from turning to the west. He did successfully provoke a conflict, which I think has had the very unfortunate after-effect of making the balance of the NATO countries reluctant, particularly those in Europe, in taking on Georgia as a member of NATO, notwithstanding that was and has been their clear and expressed preference. We in the Conservative Party believe strongly that countries should have the freedom to choose their allies, that no other country, such as Russia, should be able to impose a veto on that.

However, one of the lessons that was learned from the Georgia experience was that one of the critical decision points was the decision of the NATO members not to extend a membership action plan to Georgia, which seemed to be the event that triggered, that shone the green light for Putin to move in there and create instability.

Similarly, we saw the same thing happen in Ukraine. It was following the Euromaidan uprising to restore democracy and freedom there, and, again, a desire by the people to turn to the west, that provided the excuse, and the basis or the motivation for Putin to move on to the annexation of Crimea, and, of course, the occupation of parts of the Donbass region with the conflict that continues there, which indeed may be escalating in recent days and weeks.

That is why it is so important for us, on another trade agreement, to continue that process towards the trade agreement with Ukraine. It is, again, part of that process of anchoring them, as their population overwhelmingly wants to be anchored, to the west, to the European Union, to NATO.

However, the clear strategic objective of Putin is to try to prevent that from happening and to create a situation of military instability.

We have an opportunity within the European Union, through this agreement, to keep that from being repeated in places like Poland and the Baltics. They have very genuine and well-based fears that this could happen. There are countries like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, that are on the front lines against Russia and have experienced Soviet occupation in the past. We have an opportunity, through our current efforts there, to change that. We have a military deployment there, for which I congratulate the Liberal government. There is a very wise initiative that it has undertaken to provide a deployment to Latvia, to show that we, Canada, are committed strongly to our NATO partners. We are showing resolve under article 5 and sending a clear signal that, should an effort be made to instigate an asymmetrical aggression or something like that in the Baltics, we would resist that. We can, through our free trade agreement, also provide those strong linkages there.

That is important in the Baltics, particularly if we look at the geostrategic situation right now. Right across the border, they have what is called the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, the Pskov battalion. That is literally right across the border from the Baltics. Why should we be concerned about them? These are the most aggressive end of the Russian military. They were involved in the Chechin campaigns. They were there in the Georgian campaign. They have been there in the annexation of Crimea and the Donbass. They have conducted very aggressive military manoeuvres on a continual basis on the borders and in the air space of the Baltic countries.

For that reason, everything we can do to show our strong economic and trade ties to these people will help advance our foreign policy objectives for stability in that area. There are also growth opportunities in these countries. When we have trade agreements, we want to have them with high-growth economies. Where do we find high-growth economies that are compatible? Those former Communist countries of the European Union, because they were held back for half a century, have been doing catch-up, and that means high economic growth and great opportunities for trade agreements.

For example, the European Union's average economic growth in the decade or so from 2004-15, was 1%, but listen to these numbers. Bulgaria, over the same time, had 2.8% average economic growth annually. Czech was 2.4%; Estonia, 2.6%; Latvia, 2.7%; Lithuania 3.1%; Poland, on fire, 3.8%; Romania 2.9%; and Slovakia 3.9%. These are tiger economies.

I look at a country like Estonia, a real model tiger economy, and it has a 10% debt-to-GDP ratio. We in Canada are pretty proud of our 31%. The European Union averages 85%. I might add that our 31% was at the end of the Harper government, in contrast to the Chrétien government when it was at 64%, a number I think we are heading back to pretty quickly under the current government. The fact is, that is a positive example of where there is economic growth. It is a country with policies such as two years of fully paid maternity leave and a low flat tax rate. These are the kind of people we want as our compatible trading partners. These are the people from whom we can benefit. These are high-growth economies for the foreseeable future.

When we look at trade agreements around the world, the logical thing is to look to those high-growth economies. Because they were held back for 50 years, that also means that their trading relationships are not as lengthy and established. So much in that Soviet era was, of course, to Russia and back. They want to turn more and more to the west, and that means we have more opportunity to create new economic ties, to benefit from that, and to help them benefit from those kinds of economic ties.

One of my focuses as trade minister was to always deal with those countries, to look at building those ties, to look for the opportunities that exist there. There is the country of Slovakia, with a tremendous auto parts industry. We have a pretty good track record on auto parts and auto assembly ourselves. These are the kinds of linkages that we should be looking for, not just the old, big companies. I know people like to worry about the Bombardiers and the SNC-Lavalins. However, we have an opportunity, through our diaspora communities and our smaller populations, to get into those countries. Their desire to do it in a free enterprise trading way is so strong because of that half a century of being left behind and what that did to their living standards, what that did for their thirst for freedom, their thirst for free enterprise, their thirst for opportunities to advance themselves.

That is why support for the Canada-European Union free trade agreement is not surprisingly strongest in exactly those countries. They share with us those same geopolitical strategic imperatives, and also that same desire for success and economic growth, and opportunity and advancement.

I am very proud to stand in support of what I think is one of the proudest legacies of our Conservative government. I am very proud to see the current Liberal government continuing to ensure that it is put in place, to show to the world that Canada is a country that is proud of its free trading track record, at a time when there are forces of protectionism under way. We were lucky to have Stephen Harper at the helm in 2008 when the global economic downturn took place. If it were not for his forceful voice in the room at meetings like the G20 meeting in Pennsylvania, at that critical time, we might have seen a wave of protectionism. However, we did not see that.

We saw a commitment to keep borders open and to keep trade strong. Those forces against that are still there, but Canada can and should remain a model. We have willing partners to do that in the Canada-European trade agreement, and I encourage everyone in the House to support it.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:25 p.m.
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Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, my riding is built on trade, as most of our ridings are. However, a lot of people in my riding have expressed doubt to me about the value of free trade, which is something I do not necessarily agree with them on, but their perspective is not completely unreasonable. My riding's main industry is forestry, and it has had a pretty rough ride with respect to trade.

I wonder if my colleague from York—Simcoe could tell us how free trade helps the middle class in this country.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, we saw the benefits of it after the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement, and now the North American Free Trade Agreement. We saw unprecedented growth. I remember the great debate in the 1988 election when we heard how we were going to lose our culture industries, lose the CBC. That did not work out that way. We were going to lose all of that fine wine we have, such as Baby Duck, and there was some crackling rosé, or something like that. Those wines somehow did get lost, but the replacement was an unbelievably high-quality wine industry, not just in places like the Okanagan, but in Niagara. We have seen that industry spread all across the country.

The opponents of free trade commented throughout about the spectres of the terrible things we will lose. Guess what? We received even better things, in terms of jobs, economic growth, and prosperity. I could go through sector after sector. Under the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement or NAFTA, we did far better with the auto industry than we did under the old Auto Pact. That is another example of how we have succeeded.

Canadians can compete. Canada can do well. Canada has the best workforce in the world. Canadians have ambition and drive. We need to open the doors and encourage people to walk through those doors, and we will see increased prosperity for Canada.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:25 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for his kind words about the Okanagan wine industry. That is an industry that has benefited from free trade.

I wanted to ask this question of Liberal members today, but I see that in this last day of debate on this important legislation, the government is not putting up any speakers, so I will ask the member for York—Simcoe.

We debated the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement last week. The NDP is happy to support that agreement. We are very much in favour of trade agreements that benefit the people of Canada. However, we have some strong concerns about CETA. Although we do 40% or more of our European trade with Great Britain, the U.K. is now pulling out of the European Union. We have no analysis of how that might affect Canada, but we have given concessions to the European Union for this agreement.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact that we have an agreement already negotiated and in place that the U.K. is part of provides a basis for us to continue on the same terms, or to negotiate even better terms if that country leaves the European Union. This is not something I consider a negative thing but rather a positive thing. We already have a head start on negotiating a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom that, say, the United States simply does not have.

Again, I talk about the privileged position that this agreement will give Canada compared with other potential locations for people to locate their investments in. We will be in a tremendous spot to be able to do that, even if we determine to have the exact terms in the Canada-European Union free trade agreement continue with the U.K. It is a potential negotiating approach for others as well.

I am not concerned that the U.K. will turn its back on Canada. This gives us a head start on having such a free trade agreement, and that is good news for Canadians.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government, under the watchful eye and governance of Stephen Harper, signed many trade agreements. Many things went into not just signing the agreements but putting into place investments that would ensure our goods and our people could benefit from those trade agreements.

I wonder if our hon. colleague from York—Simcoe could comment on the gateway program and the marketing programs that our Conservative government under Stephen Harper invested in, to ensure our small and medium enterprises could not just get access to those markets, which is important, but to teach our small and medium enterprises how to take advantage of such trade agreements.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member points out not just one of the most significant elements of our infrastructure program but that the gateways, Atlantic and Pacific, were really good models for identifying what we need to be good at trade. What kind of infrastructure needs to be in place? How do we make our ports work as effectively as possible to ship containers? How can we put ourselves in a position, once we negotiate these trade agreements, to support the trade that follows? Time is money in any kind of business, particularly trade. When shipping goods, that is particularly important.

I am very proud of the investments we made in our gateways that have put us in a position to capitalize on agreements like this. I know that the next step, one that, as I indicated, has been a little more frustrating, is getting Canadian businesses to step up and take advantage of the opportunities. That is why the Canada-European Union agreement is so important, because we already have the people-to-people ties. We have the infrastructure in place. We are putting the legal agreement in place. Then we can encourage folks to take advantage of these people-to-people ties, capitalize on the potential for trade, and through that, give us the economic growth, the job creation, and the increased standard of living that would come from all of these things.

Canada is a relatively small country. If we trade only with ourselves, we will be a very poor country. We depend on trade with the world. This is a tremendous signal to the rest of the world that it can, indeed, benefit from a trade agreement, even at a time like now.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:30 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I concur with the member when he says that Canada would be very poor if we did not have the ability to trade. It is our trade that enables us to do as well as we do economically and socially, I would argue.

One thing worthy of at least noting is that given the current climate in North America, once this trade agreement is in place, Canada could actually be a fairly important linchpin, if I could use that word, in the trade corridor between Europe and North America.

I wonder if the member might provide his thoughts on just how important Canada's positioning would be because of this agreement.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Peter Van Loan Conservative York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it would act less as a corridor into the United States, and I am not sure that is the best avenue, than as a location for investment.

I go back to the point I made. Money is mobile. Factories move. This is why we are very concerned about things like a carbon tax and other tax hikes the Liberal government has been proposing, because those things hurt our competitiveness.

People can move wherever they want in the world. One thing this agreement would do for us is give people a location where they could invest and ensure that they would have access to the United States and to Europe for the goods and products they produced here.

When people look at where they are going to invest, would it make sense to invest in a country in Europe if they would not necessarily have access to the United States, such a huge market? They would have only half the access they want. If they want to be in both places, this is the place to be once the Canada-European Union free trade agreement is in place. It would brings jobs here. It would bring foreign investment here, which is a positive thing. I know not all parties in the House have always felt this way, but we in the Conservative Party believe in that, because that kind of investment means jobs that help people in local communities, that help families have more prosperity and the rising standard of living that we as Canadians believe is so important for the future of our families.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise today in the House to speak to Bill C-30 and about the important role trade plays in our Canadian economy.

This is one of the few bills I can praise the current government for. It is something I wish I could do more often, if the Liberals would follow the Conservative path.

They obviously picked up on the great work we were doing as a government and have been able to help carry it through. Maybe the Liberals can take some of those lessons on things like balancing the budget or lowering taxes. One can only hope that maybe their understanding and recognition of the importance of trade will extend to other things that are important to our economy and to our fiscal situation in this country. Again, that is me being an optimist.

Let me get to the heart of the matter we are speaking to today, which is trade itself. Canada is a trading nation, and trade really is the lifeblood of our economy. In fact, one in five jobs in Canada, and about 60% of our GDP, are linked to exports. We do not have to look very far or very hard to figure out how important trade is to our economy and to opportunities for Canadians, based on those statistics.

History has shown that trade is the best way to help us create jobs and growth and long-term prosperity here in Canada. As trade increases, so does our nation's economic success, which obviously then puts more money into the pockets of hard-working Canadians. That is really what it is all about, at the end of the day. People talk about a strong economy and opportunities. What it all boils down to is putting more money into the pockets of Canadians to feed their families and provide better opportunities for their children. That is really what we are speaking about when we talk about trade and economic prosperity.

Under our previous Conservative government, the Stephen Harper government, one of our key accomplishments was that we launched one of the most ambitious pro-trade plans in our country's history. It was probably the most ambitious, in fact. I would like to take a moment, while I am on that point, to add a note of praise. I have heard others who spoke do the same, but it is important that it be said, because credit should be given where credit is due.

I look at the member for Abbotsford, who was the former minister of international trade, and the member for Battlefords—Lloydminster, who was our agriculture minister, and the great and hard work they put in. I know the travel schedules those two individuals and others had to undertake to accomplish some of the things that were accomplished under the Stephen Harper Conservative government. Under the leadership of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself, some great things were done, but it was a lot of hard work on the part of those members in particular. I want to note the legacy they created, because I think that is important. The two of them remain here in the House and continue to work hard in opposition to encourage these kinds of things to continue.

Under the leadership of those individuals, we were able to conclude free trade agreements with 38 countries. Examples are Colombia; the European Free Trade Association, which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland; Honduras; Jordan; Panama; Peru; South Korea; and the 28 member states of the European Union. There were some pretty significant advancements there.

We also concluded, signed, or brought into force foreign investment promotion and protection agreements, FIPAs, with 24 countries. That was more than any other government in Canadian history as well.

One of our historic achievements was the Canada–Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was Canada's first free trade agreement in the Asia Pacific region, which is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. South Korea is not only a major economic player and a key market for us in Canada but also serves as a gateway for Canadian businesses to the entire Asia Pacific region. This agreement is projected to increase Canadian merchandise exports to South Korea by 32% and to boost Canada's economy by $1.7 billion.

Additionally, in November 2013, our Conservative government released the global markets action plan, which was our pro-jobs, pro-export plan. It was aimed at creating new opportunities for Canadians, through trade and investment, by targeting emerging and established markets with broad Canadian interests.

Obviously, when we look at our record, we strongly support international trade, and we support international trade initiatives that will generate increased economic activity, jobs, and a collaborative relationship between Canada and emerging economies.

Canada should also strive to maximize the benefits we have as a free trading nation and establish trading relationships, beyond North America, with these emerging markets. To that end, it is important that the government vigorously pursue the reduction of international trade barriers and tariffs. This is why we supported Bill C-13, the trade facilitation agreement, which received royal assent not long ago. The trade facilitation agreement will simplify customs procedures, reduce red tape, expedite the release and clearance of goods, reduce costs associated with processing, and make international trade more predictable for Canadians.

Predictability is certainly key. We see the effects when we lack predictability when we look at the current government and its never-ending, constant changes to regulatory processes for energy project reviews. We can see what the lack of certainty creates when the chill is put on investments. Certainty is certainly key when we look at providing opportunities for businesses to help grow the economy. They need to have certainty.

Canadian investors, importers and exporters of goods, and small and medium-sized businesses will certainly benefit from the implementation of the TFA.

Another trade agreement that was successfully negotiated by the previous Conservative government was the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. This agreement will continue to strengthen the Canada-Ukraine partnership in peace and prosperity. Total bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Ukraine averaged $289 million in 2011-15. It is expected to expand by 19% as a result of the implementation of this trade agreement. With this agreement, Canada and Ukraine will eliminate duties on 99.9% and 86% of our respective current imports, thereby benefiting both Canadian and Ukrainian exporters and consumers. Our GDP will increase by about $29.2 million under that agreement, and Ukraine's GDP will expand by about $18.6 million. Canada's exports to the Ukraine will increase by about $41.2 million.

Canada's export gains will be broad-based, with exports of pork, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, other manufactured products, motor vehicles and parts, and chemical products being some of the leading industries. Our previous Conservative government also established market access for beef in Ukraine in July 2015. Canada exported about $35.5 million worth of agriculture and agrifood and seafood products to Ukraine in 2014. These obviously show some of the benefits of trade and trade agreements and what they can mean for Canada.

Let me get to the trade agreement we are talking about today, the Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement. Negotiated by our previous Conservative government, CETA is by far the most ambitious trade initiative Canada has ever concluded. Once this agreement comes into force, Canada will be one of the few countries in the world to have preferential access to the world's two largest economies: the European Union and the United States.

The Conservative Party strongly supports international trade initiatives that will generate increased economic activity, drive prosperity and job creation, and foster greater co-operation between our democratic allies.

A joint Canada-EU study concluded that a trade agreement with the EU could boost Canada's economy by about $12 billion annually, and increase bilateral trade by 20%. It is important to put some sense to what that means for the average Canadian and Canadian families. It is the economic equivalent of adding about $1,000 to the average Canadian family's income. It would add about 80,000 new jobs to the Canadian economy. That is something that the government has failed at to this point. This would be something to help create some jobs to put people to work, and provide new opportunities for Canadian families to increase their income.

When CETA comes into force, nearly 100% of all EU tariff lines on non-agricultural products will be duty-free, along with close to 94% for agricultural products. The agreement would also give Canadian service suppliers the best market access the EU has ever granted any of its trading partners. That is great news for the 13.8 million Canadians who are employed in the industry. It accounts for about 70% of our country's GDP.

Under CETA, Canadian firms could bid on contracts and supply their goods and services to the three main EU level institutions: the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council, as well as the EU member state governments, and thousands of regional and local government entities. The Canada-EU trade agreement would give Canadian suppliers of goods and services better access to the EU's $3.3-trillion government procurement market, which would provide them with significant new export opportunities.

Investment plays a key role in the Canadian economy. CETA would provide Canadian and EU investors with greater stability and transparency for their investments. The stock of known foreign direct investment by Canadian companies in the EU totalled about $210 billion at the end of 2015, representing about 21% of Canadian direct investment abroad. Conversely, in that same year, known foreign direct investment from European companies in Canada totalled more than $242 billion, representing 31% of total foreign investment in Canada.

This is a landmark agreement. It has resulted from years of hard work, especially by our world-class trade negotiators who did all the heavy lifting on this.

I would like to focus in and speak to the benefits CETA would bring to my home province of Alberta. Times are tough in Alberta right now, so when we hear any good news on the economic front, it is something we can greatly appreciate. There is no question Alberta stands to benefit from the preferential access to the EU markets. The EU is already our province's fourth largest export destination and our third largest trading partner. Once in force, CETA would eliminate tariffs on almost all of Alberta's exports, and provide access to new market opportunities in the EU. CETA also includes provisions that would ease regulatory barriers, reinforce intellectual property rights, and ensure more transparent rules for market access. Alberta exporters could benefit from all of these improved conditions. When we look at some of the opportunities there, the main merchandise exports from Alberta to the EU are agriculture and agrifood products, advanced manufacturing, metals and mineral products. Some of our other exports include chemicals and plastics, fishing and fish products, forest products, and information and communications technology.

I would also like to take a minute or two to talk about one very specific opportunity that we have already seen open up as a result of this agreement.

In 2014, when negotiations had proven to be successful toward this agreement, a beef processing plant in my riding reopened. It had been a farmer-owned plant that had closed down in 2006, and had been sitting vacant since then.

In 2014, we were able to announce that there was a buyer, Rich Vesta from the United States, who is well known in the beef industry and has brought a lot of great opportunities to some of the businesses he has been involved with in the United States. He decided to purchase this facility and bring it back online. He chose to do that largely based on this agreement. He saw an opportunity for specific cuts of beef to go to some niche markets that would be based around some of the trade agreements we had been able to sign for Canada, in particular, the opportunities that CETA would create. Even before being implemented, we already could see the benefits of these opportunities.

That plant had been sitting there dormant since 2006. I was able to tour it recently and it is nearing its opening. It is expected to open later this month, in fact. When I toured it a couple of months back, I could see it was really coming together. I heard about all of the innovations and improvements being made. This is going to be an absolute world-class facility. The processing innovations that it is going to bring to Canada are amazing. They are all based on trade opportunities being created by some of the trade agreements under the Conservative government and the hope generated by this particular agreement as well.

We can already see the success stories and I am sure they will continue. It is something that people are very excited about and proud of in my home community of Airdrie, as well as Balzac in Rocky View County, where the facility is located. It will create jobs for people in the area. Many people are struggling right now and trying to find work. Not only will this create opportunities for people, but down the line there will be opportunities, such as more buyers for our cattle as well. Small cow-calf operations would benefit, right up through feedlots, etc., because it would create opportunities for everyone. People are really excited about what it would mean for my area.

I will take a minute to speak about some of the opportunities and benefits that CETA would bring to the forestry sector in Canada, which is another example. The EU is actually the world's third largest importer of forest products. In 2015, it accounted for about 14% of global forest product imports, or about $46 billion. While most Canadian forest products already enter the EU duty-free, when CETA comes into force, Canadians will also enjoy quota-free market access. This means Canada would have a preferential trade advantage with the EU that many competitors will not have.

As well, bilateral dialogue on forest products would enhance Canada's ability to influence the development of EU measures, reducing the potential negative impacts of EU measures on Canadian exports, and help ensure continued access for Canadian forest products to the European Union. That would provide Canada with a really unique window into the regulatory development process in the EU. Canada would then be able to raise industry concerns with proposed regulations at a very early stage. That would be of benefit to our forestry producers as well.

We are also looking at a new phytosanitary measures joint management committee that would facilitate discussions between Canadian and EU experts. It would provide a venue for experts to resolve issues impeding trade before they become major problems.

CETA would also establish a framework for co-operation on the full scope of animal health, plant health, and food safety provisions.

Tourism is also something that I focus on greatly. It is pretty important in my riding. We already have great links and ties between Canada and the European Union countries when it comes to tourism. I have often said that tourism breeds trade and trade breeds tourism, so opportunities would be created by those links that already exist. This agreement would help to build on all of those things.

I stand today to show my support for CETA and for the opportunities that it would create, the jobs it would create certainly for small and medium-sized businesses in our country and right on through. I appreciate the opportunity to speak in support of the bill.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate many of the words from the member across the way, but it is important for us to recognize that the legislation on the EU agreement which is before us today is something that has been worked on for the last number of years. It was great to see the co-operation between the current minister and former minister in getting everything signed off and getting us to the legislative point. To try to give the impression that it was a done deal is somewhat stretching it, I suspect, but it is equally important for us to recognize there was a great deal of work that was in fact done prior to this government.

The member made reference to other trade agreements. In particular, he made reference to the Ukraine agreement which we just passed on Friday. Seeing that legislation pass is a very positive step forward. Maybe the member could draw a comparison between the Ukraine trade agreement and the EU trade agreement and how Canada's middle class will in fact benefit by both.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, first, I would concur with the statement that there was work done obviously by both parties. The previous Conservative government did a lot of hard work, a lot of heavy lifting to get us to the goal line, and yes, I would certainly acknowledge the work done by their government, which was able to push it across the goal line. It is a positive thing. We are glad to see that the Liberal government has taken up the work on something that we believed was so important for the economy. As I said during my speech, I certainly would hope their government would seek to do that more often, that they would seek to build on the record and important work that was done by our Conservative government, in particular, with respect to balancing the budget. The member talked about building on some of the work that we did. We left them with such a great position, in terms of the fiscal situation, with a balanced budget, but they just blew it, absolutely blew it, in less than a year. Certainly one would have hoped they maybe would have chosen to follow our example and that work in some of those areas as well, such as balancing the budget, lowering taxes, things like that.

However, at the very least, we can give some credit where it is due. On at least one area of our economy, they have been able to follow some of the work that we have done on some of these trade deals and that is a huge benefit. I just hope they might pick up on some of—

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

February 13th, 2017 / 12:55 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, in this speech, the member for Banff—Airdrie mentioned, as did the other member, the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement which we debated last week. Again, that is a trade agreement the NDP could get behind. However, we have some serious reservations about CETA, one being the investor-state dispute mechanisms that would allow international corporations to sue Canadian governments outside the normal court system. Also, there is the fact that it would raise prices of prescription drugs. That would make it not only more expensive for Canadians to remain healthy but would make it more expensive for provincial and federal governments to bring in a much-needed universal pharmacare system which Canadians have been calling for.

I wonder if the member would comment on that.

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

February 13th, 2017 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, there certainly was one thing I heard the member say that was new and novel, and that was a trade agreement the NDP could get behind. It is nice to hear there is always hope. In one instance, the NDP chose to see something that was good for the economy, for Canadian businesses, for Canadian workers and support it. However, it is not something we often see from New Democrats, which is unfortunate. With Canada being a trading nation, it is so important to ensure there are opportunities for free trade with as much of the world market as possible.

Diversity in markets that we can trade with is key as a country like Canada relies so heavily upon our trade with other countries. In an increasingly global world, there is no question that this is a key thing. It is quite unfortunate that the NDP does not really see fit to support more Canadian businesses and Canadian workers through the importance of trade.

The New Democrats should try to focus on that and think about the jobs and opportunities this creates for Canadian businesses and families. I talked about some of the benefits during my speech about Ukraine agreement and the EU agreement and what it would mean. When we talk about the European Union agreement, I said that it was about $1,000 for the average Canadian family, about 80,000 jobs created for Canadians. Is that not important to the NDP?