Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation Act

An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam

Sponsor

Status

First reading (Senate), as of Oct. 16, 2018

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-79.

Summary

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

This enactment implements the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, done at Santiago on March 8, 2018.

The general provisions of the enactment set out rules of interpretation and specify that no recourse is to be taken on the basis of sections 9 to 13 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, provides for the payment by Canada of its share of the expenditures associated with the operation of the institutional and administrative aspects of the Agreement and gives the Governor in Council the power 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.

Part 3 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

Oct. 16, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Oct. 3, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Oct. 3, 2018 Failed Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (report stage amendment)
Oct. 3, 2018 Failed Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (report stage amendment)
Oct. 3, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Sept. 18, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam
Sept. 18, 2018 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (reasoned amendment)
Sept. 18, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-79, An Act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership between Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I too welcome the minister. However, I am quite stunned by the minister's speech today. It indicates to me that the previous minister and his team have not fully briefed him on the impacts of NAFTA for working people, which he mentioned throughout his speech. We had 400 witnesses at committee on the TPP and we received written comments from 60,000 Canadians, 95% of which opposed the trans-Pacific partnership under its previous iteration.

The minister should really be well aware that industry and labour groups in the auto and auto parts sectors in Canada are strongly opposed to the CPTPP. The auto industry is already facing potential U.S. punitive tariffs. It is in the crosshairs of NAFTA. It knows its sector inside and out and it knows how false the Liberals' claims are that the CPTPP will open up markets in the Asia-Pacific, particularly Japan.

I really encourage the minister to speak with those in the auto sector in Ontario. I also encourage him to look at the statistics around the jobs that potentially would be lost. Twenty-thousand auto parts jobs in Canada would be lost under the CPTPP. It is not just me saying that. It is groups like the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, Unifor, the Canadian Labour Congress, as well as the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association of Canada. If the minister speaks with his staff, he will find it has had several meetings around this.

The auto industry does not want this trade deal. As a former auto worker who represents a region filled with auto workers, I understand this impact. Why is the government ignoring them?

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Jim Carr

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome the member to this new relationship. I invite her to join us in a very constructive way to ensure the legislation passes in the interest of the entire Canadian economy.

We have been having conversations, as the member knows, with various sectors for quite some time now. We are confident that this agreement will give access to markets that these sectors do not now have.

She also knows that trade produces growth and growth produces jobs. We are interested in creating new wealth for Canadians and that this new wealth is translated into new job opportunities for Canadians working now and Canadians who are looking for opportunities to work because we have opened up export markets.

I know the member's party is not traditionally supportive of any free trade agreements. We could look at the conversation in 1993 around NAFTA, and it would be very similar to the conversation we are having today. However, the world has changed. Canada is an outward looking nation. We know that these agreements will create opportunities for the working people of Canada, and we invite the member to join us to ensure we get there as quickly as we can.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is great to back in the chamber, this place of democracy in Canada.

I listened intently to the minister's speech. One of the things I heard over the summer was about the business climate in Canada, particularly in northern Alberta, Peace River—Westlock, the riding I come from, where we are seeing mass amounts of capital fleeing the province of Alberta and Canada. I know the government wants to use this to say that Canada is open for business. What is the government's plan to ensure we can get some of these major energy projects up and running again, particularly in northern Alberta?

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Jim Carr

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, I have had the privilege for the last two and a half years, almost three, of working with the people of northern Alberta, working with the energy workers of northern Alberta.

In my travels around the world, and most recently in the Asia-Pacific, I know there is a real appetite to have more serious conversations about the resources that are so important to the member's constituents, his province and indeed for all Canadians. Therefore, the sustainable development of our natural resources and the exploration of new export markets for those resources is a very important part of the government's strategic role. I look forward to working with the hon. member to ensure we do it in the best way we can.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:25 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, we recognize that Canada is really dependent on world international trade. Since day one, the Prime Minister has been focused on Canada's middle class and those aspiring to become a part of it. In many ways trade is one one way we can enhance and grow that middle class.

Could my colleague provide for the House his thoughts on how trade agreements and trade in general enhance the opportunity for Canadians in all regions of the country to benefit and, in particular, for what has been the Prime Minister's number one priority, Canada's middle class^

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Jim Carr

Mr. Speaker, my fellow Manitoban understands how dependent we all are on international trade and how important it is for us to diversify markets. However, it is important to add another dimension to the answer and the discussion.

We spend an awful lot of time talking about how we distribute the national wealth. These are very important conversations. We all have ways we think we should be distributing this wealth that are equitable, that give opportunity to Canadians.

Also, we have to talk about creating wealth. The wealth is created in large measure by small and medium enterprise. Those enterprises that trade most freely, particularly in expanding markets, are the ones that create good jobs, the ones that create higher-paying jobs. That is the link between trade, wealth creation and jobs.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:25 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the minister of international trade on his new portfolio. There are a lot of issues with TPP, but the short question is about the investor-state provision. We are now opening ourselves up to completely groundless charges against Canada, which Canada inevitably loses. Such was the case with Bilcon, where our Environmental Assessment Agency did a great job; two ministers, federally and provincially, did a great job; and Bilcon managed to go to a secret chapter 11 venue. Even though Canada appealed, we lost, and we now owe Bilcon up to $580 million.

Why would we open ourselves up now to disputes from additional countries, including Malaysia and Japan? I do not think we will have much trouble from Brunei, but from large economic players. Their corporations can attack our laws, which are in place to protect our environment, labour rights, and public health.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:30 p.m.
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Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Jim Carr

Mr. Speaker, I just have a small correction, if I could, for my friend and hon. member: It is international trade diversification. That is a very purposeful and important word, and it leads to an answer to her question. Canada must always retain the capacity to respect the rules of the world trade order. As a matter of fact, I think we are on the verge of helping to lead a discussion on reforms to the WTO. It is also important that investors have confidence when they invest money around the world that those investments are reasonably protected.

I also look forward to working with my hon. colleague as we seek swift passage of this important legislation.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that we are finally here for this debate to, hopefully, get this important trade agreement ratified quickly. CPTPP is a trade agreement that will greatly benefit Canadians and Canadian businesses. It will help diversify and grow our economy, and most importantly, it will help create needed Canadian jobs.

I have to say that it has taken longer than we thought for the current government to be able to get this implementation process in place. Having said that, now that we have NAFTA in jeopardy and a series of other issues on other major trade files, we need Canada to successfully continue to diversify its export markets now. There is no time to wait. We could have easily done this earlier in the summer when the opposition leader asked the Prime Minister to immediately convene an emergency session of the House to approve this agreement. It was disappointing to see that the Liberals rejected that offer. However, we are here now and we are ready to get it done.

For Canadians watching at home, it is important to explain what the CPTPP is. It is important because one out of every five Canadian jobs depends on international trade, and these are essential trading relationships that help generate 60% of our GDP.

CPTPP stands for the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership. It is the successor to the TPP agreement signed by our previous Conservative government. It includes 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It was signed in March of this year and is still waiting to be ratified. Hopefully the government will finally get this job done.

CPTPP reduces tariffs in countries representing 13% of the global economy, or a total of $10 trillion. The Peterson Institute for International Economics estimated that the TPP, in the version signed by the previous Conservative government, would boost Canadian income by over $20 billion over the next decade. The agreement comes into force 60 days after at least six signatory countries ratify it, and the deadline to ratify it is in February 2019. After that, we lose our first-mover advantage, and Canada will have to play catch-up with the other signatory countries.

The Prime Minister replaced his international trade minister earlier this summer and told Canadians that the government would renew its efforts to diversify our exports. This opportunity is now. In fact, the opportunity was there even in June when, on this side of the House, we stood ready to get this deal ratified when the House was still sitting. It is not just Conservative MPs but Canadians throughout the country who have been waiting for the Liberal government to wake up to the many threats that loom large over our national economy.

The Liberals are doing poorly on many fronts: market access for our natural resources, tax and regulatory competitiveness, and international trade diversification. They are also pursuing failed policies to increase taxes and drive down growth. They are trying to ram through a carbon tax and are going overboard with over-regulation.

Imposing the carbon tax on provinces, businesses and families has been a complete disaster for the Liberals. Now the environment minister says that any province that does not get on board with the Liberals' climate plan will not get its share of the government's $2 billion low-carbon economy fund. We ask, “Why are they blackmailing the provinces?”

Despite this, many provinces refuse to sign on to the Liberals' carbon tax. Even Alberta's NDP premier withdrew her support for Ottawa's national climate change strategy. Seeing this, the Prime Minister tried quietly to walk-back how much some large companies will have to pay under this new carbon tax, yet he still plans to impose the carbon tax on smaller businesses and families to make up for the taxes the big guys are not paying. This makes no sense and is fundamentally unfair. The carbon tax is bad for everyone, not just the companies that can afford it most. The fact of the matter is that the Liberal carbon tax has increased the cost of living for every Canadian, including driving already skyrocketing gas prices even higher.

On top of everything, the Liberals are refusing to come clean on the true cost of the carbon tax for the average family. What we know so far is that gas prices will go up by at least 11¢ a litre and the cost of living to heat one's home will increase by over $200. However, again, the Liberals will not tell us the overall cost to an average Canadian family, because they do not want people to know what this scheme will actually cost. The Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report recently that found that the carbon tax will take over $10 billion out of the Canadian economy by 2022, while other estimates argue that this cost could be as much as $35 billion a year. This will, without a doubt, hurt jobs, workers and their families.

The good news is that common sense is winning the debate on this issue. More and more Canadians realize that the carbon tax is unfair and will leave them with less and less of their hard-earned tax dollars. Foreign investors are concerned, because the Liberals are simply making Canada a less attractive place to invest. Investment from abroad went down by 42% in 2016 and a further 27% in 2017.

Even the CEO of CIBC, Victor Dodig, is sounding the alarm over falling levels of foreign investment in Canada, warning that the country needs clearer rules to shore up investor confidence. Last week, The Globe and Mail reported that during a lunchtime speech in Toronto Mr. Dodig said he is increasingly hearing from the bank's clients that opportunities for investment returns are better south of the border. He cited several reasons, from the U.S. tax cuts and regulatory changes to trade uncertainty. He also went on to say that Ottawa's criteria for approving large deals involving foreign firms are not always clear, creating uncertainty for potential investors. He pointed to the debate over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project as a prime example of Canada sending the wrong signals:

“That, to me, should be a siren call that that money is here. It will leave”, he said, “and I can't see any upside to it leaving....” Foreign investors “need confidence”, Mr. Dodig said. “They need an element of certainty. They need to know the rules. They need a clear understanding of how things get approved [here in Canada].”

The Globe and Mail article goes on to say that these comments are in addition to Suncor CEO Steve Williams, who told investors in New York, “There is clearly a question of confidence in Canada”, echoing Imperial Oil Limited CEO Rich Kruger, who said this summer that regulatory uncertainty and concerns about competitiveness are causing investment decisions to be delayed.

This is very worrisome. We can just look at what the Liberals have done with Canadian pipelines. It is absolutely stunning. When the Prime Minister was elected, three major energy companies had pipeline projects: northern gateway, energy east and Trans Mountain. They were prepared to build in Canada. Now, thanks to Liberal policies and decisions, we have none of these.

The Liberals piled on new regulations and red tape, and introduced an oil tanker ban and a bill that would effectively ban the future construction of pipelines, and that is on top of their carbon tax. These policies need to be repealed to restore investor confidence in the Canadian energy sector.

However, nowhere has the Liberal mismanagement been more evident than in their handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. It would be difficult for them to top this one.

When the Liberals announced that they were nationalizing the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, Canadians were told that it was going to cost 4.5 billion of their tax dollars to allow construction to begin immediately. The reality is that taxpayers are now the shareholders of this monstrous Liberal boondoggle, and not one centimetre of pipeline has been built. It is absolutely unacceptable that Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for $4.5 billion of pipeline that may never be built, and that is in addition to the estimated cost of somewhere around $9.3 billion to actually twin the pipeline. Also, recently, the Federal Court of Appeal found that the government had failed to consult indigenous people on the Trans Mountain expansion and overturned approval of the project.

Thousands of Canadians have lost their jobs because of Liberal failures. We gave the Prime Minister another opportunity to outline his plan on how he will get the Trans Mountain expansion built and Canadians back to work. We tried to do this through an emergency meeting of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and, yet again, the Prime Minister forced the Liberal MPs to shut down a study of the government's handling of the Trans Mountain expansion. His government has been given multiple chances to reassure Canadians, but instead he has chosen to rely on empty rhetoric.

Our hard-working men and women in the resource sector, whose jobs and livelihoods depend on these projects, deserve to have a competent government that does not get in the way of resource sector jobs at every opportunity it gets. These workers deserve a concrete plan to ensure that the Trans Mountain expansion is actually going to be completed. The failure to get the Trans Mountain expansion built is now threatening other expansions in the oil and gas sector, adding to the total number of jobs at risk. The Trans Mountain pipeline is crucial to oil and gas workers across Canada and to the regional economies that stand to benefit from its expansion, including 43 first nation communities that have benefit agreements worth over $400 million, which now hang in the balance. I also mentioned that right here in Ontario, there are all kinds of businesses close to my riding and in southwestern Ontario that would also benefit from building pipelines.

How do we persuade potential trading partners that our country is open for business, when Liberal policies prove the opposite? The Liberals have not been able to address Canada's faltering position on the global economy. It is a position they put us in with their policies. It is one thing after another with the government. In fact, it is difficult to think of an example of a foreign policy win for the government since it took office in 2015.

That is why I hope that ratification of the CPTPP goes through smoothly. We cannot afford any more issues and delays.

Time and again the Liberals have demonstrated their lack of seriousness to our potential international trading partners. Last year, the Prime Minister touted a free trade agreement with China. What happened there? The Prime Minister's visit to Beijing actually set back our trading relationship. It also failed to address any of the concerns Canadians have about trade with China. The Prime Minister then skipped a critical meeting at the CPTPP, angering our Asia-Pacific partners like Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. There was also his embarrassing trip to India that still haunts us to this day. It is time for the government and the Prime Minister to take trade and our relationships around the world seriously.

I want to dedicate some time to speaking about our trade relationship with the United States, who at one point was a signatory to the original TPP agreement. It is important to note that the United States is Canada's most important trading partner. Twenty per cent of Canada's GDP is tied to our commercial relationship with the United States, and over 74% of Canadian exports go to the United States.

It is no secret that the government is in the midst of very difficult NAFTA negotiations. At this stage, the Americans seem to have already struck an agreement with Mexico and are using that as leverage. This could potentially impact millions of Canadian jobs. Canadians are concerned that our government was not at the table while these decisions were being made. It seems like we were on the outside looking in while major sectors of our economy and millions of Canadian jobs have hung in the balance.

We are heavily dependent on our American neighbours. This makes any tariff action against us very painful for our economy. American tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum are just another example of why we need to expand foreign markets for Canadian manufacturers. The CPTPP is one effective avenue for this expansion. It has the potential to boost Canadian income by billions over the next decade. That is why we cannot risk looking our first mover advantage. We do not want to jeopardize jobs and supply lines by not being part of the first six ratifying signatories.

We all know that this agreement has broad support. Several industry groups representing agriculture, agrifood, and forestry have all come forward in support of the CPTPP. That said, we would work with all sectors to minimize the risk under the agreement. However, we maintain that on balance this agreement is good for the broadest range of Canadian manufacturers.

Economic modelling by both the Canada West Foundation and the federal government confirm that there would be hundreds of billions of dollars in immediate benefits for Canadian firms if we are among the first wave of signatories to ratify the agreement.

I want to go back to American tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum for a second, because they tie in with the urgency of diversifying our trade.

American tariffs have caused great concern among our workers in the Canadian steel and aluminum industries. Thousands of jobs and the livelihood of Canadian workers and businesses are all being threatened. This is even more worrisome considering the U.S. government's repeated threats to impose a 25% tariff on the auto sector. The longer we go without a deal on NAFTA and the closer we get to auto tariffs being imposed, the more anxious Canadians will get and the less certain they will be when it comes to making business decisions. The most pressing priority, and I believe we are all united on this, is to protect Canadian jobs and industry by having tariffs removed from Canadian steel and aluminum, and by stopping new tariffs from being imposed.

That is why we made it clear to the government that we would continue to work with it to bring forward concrete ideas to defend local jobs. Defending local jobs is exactly what my colleagues and I on this side of the House did during the summertime. We travelled across Canada to meet with workers, businesses, and labour groups to determine how best to respond to threats posed by U.S. tariffs and the continued trade uncertainty around NAFTA. We met with over 200 stakeholders from the steel, aluminum, automotive, and manufacturing sectors across four provinces.

We heard from stakeholders that they want the government to do three things: first, conclude negotiations and sign a NAFTA deal as soon as possible; second, provide immediate support to companies struggling to stay afloat; and third, take steps to improve Canada's competitiveness by reducing red tape.

Businesses need certainty. That is why the first recommendation to sign a NAFTA deal was by far the most repeated one by stakeholders this summer. We also heard that businesses have already cut orders, that shifts are being reduced, workers are being laid off, and that others will lose their jobs in the next couple of months.

I also want to mention that despite the government's promise of $2 billion in aid, we found that no one has been able to access any of this money. The $2 billion was earmarked for additional debt offered by EDC and BDC, as well as employment insurance programs like work sharing and retraining.

The challenge I have with the $2 billion is that $1.7 of that was to go to EDC or BDC in the form of additional loans, not tariff relief. We had $250 million to run the strategic innovation fund, and when we dug into that, we found it was for companies doing over $10 million in sales and employing over 200 people. Let us think about that.

No SMEs could get any access to the $2 billion fund. Then we see monies committed for work sharing. Work sharing, to me, sounds a lot like a postmortem of what is going on. It sounds like the horse has left the barn and we are just trying to save the furniture now. Work sharing is a good program, but we need to make sure that people can expand their businesses, not find ways for them not to be able do it. That is the challenge I have with the $2 billion.

We read a great article by David Akin in the The Globe and Mail last week. He said that only $11,000 has gone out, and yet there has been almost $300 million collected in tariffs.

The other thing we found out from talking to businesses is that the tariffs are not actually tariffs, but a surtax. They are actually not eligible for any kind of duty deferral or duty remittances, or any of these kinds of things. It is actually an additional tax.

We have over $16 billion's worth of items being tariffed, anywhere from 25% to 10%, depending on what the products are, which would, if we calculate that out, be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2 billion in additional tax revenue, and yet we have not seen one nickel of that going back to SMEs. There is $2 billion of tax revenue coming in, in the form of surtaxes, and right now we have no plan, other than what was a perceived announcement, on how our small- and medium-sized enterprises are actually going to access any of that kind of tariff relief.

Some of the SMEs are going to have the conversation, asking how they are going to get the money back. They are being informed that they will be told in 60 or 90 days, whatever the case may be. I heard one company say that it may be up to 200 days. Let us think about that. Some of these companies will not be around if that is allowed to continue.

We talked to companies. I was with one of our members in Concord. We asked an aerospace company about what would happen if we did not resolve the issue around tariffs, and they said that it represented an existential threat to their company. They have parts whose prices have now gone up almost 100%.

We see what has happened because of tariffs. We see steel and aluminum prices, steel in particular, going up anywhere from 25% to 50% across the country. That presents a real problem.

I just do not think that piling on more debt, as I mentioned before, or easing workers' transitions into unemployment are adequate solutions. Companies affected by steel and aluminum tariffs are struggling to stay afloat, and need immediate support. This tit-for-tat with the United States makes it even more urgent that we seize every opportunity to expand and diversify our trading relationships.

On this side of the House, we have always supported this. The previous Conservative government had the foresight to conclude free trade negotiations and investment agreements with 53 other countries, including the countries of the original trans-Pacific partnership and the other 28 countries of CETA, which concluded in 2014. Speaking about CETA, another Conservative trade accomplishment, last week the Financial Post reported that CETA has boosted container shipping and promoted a hiring spree at the docks in Montreal.

Once again, the minister mentioned that there had been some increased activity at the docks in Montreal, and it is certainly great to see in Canada that the European free trade agreement is doing exactly what it was designed to do. I would caution, though, that as we have seen imports expand by 12%, our exports have only gone up by 1%. That means there is more work for government to do to get our companies prepared to be able to sell into these markets.

The Financial Post went on to say that the employers association that handles training for the port workforce, as well as the Montreal Port Authority, attributes much of the container flow to the CETA agreement. That is a good new story, but there is still more work that we need to do to expand our exports.

It is also said that the extra dock traffic spurred the association to start hiring 50 more longshoremen and 15 more auditors, resulting in several key terminals nearly doubling their operating time to 17 hours each work day. This is an incredible accomplishment and evidence that benefits come from diversifying Canada's trade.

Canada's Conservative Party is the party of free trade, and we understand the importance of reliable access to markets for Canadian business and workers. In conclusion, I would like to say that given the importance of the bill to Canadian livelihoods, it is crucial to the public interest that Canada ratify the CPTPP agreement as soon as possible.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Omar Alghabra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with my colleague across the aisle on this and other important legislation that will benefit the entire population of Canada. I would like to start by advising my colleague not to talk down our economy. There is absolutely room for debate and discussion, but this constant talking down of our economy while all experts and economists are talking about the growth rate of our economy, one of the fastest in the G7, with the lowest unemployment in 40 years, and the doubling in foreign direct investment from last year. These are good measures. Yes, there is room for debate, absolutely, and let us debate that.

Given that the previous TPP left so much on the table, does he not agree that this version of the TPP, the CPTPP, better protects Canadian interests in intellectual property, jobs, environmental standards, and labour standards? I am curious if he agrees with me or not.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to working with the parliamentary secretary as well.

One of the things I need to say is that it is not a question of talking down the economy. I personally talked to almost 150 stakeholders at over 26 meetings across the country this year, and what I heard over and over again is the fact that we have huge uncertainty in our economy. People are not making investments here because they say that our taxes and regulations are too high. They are saying that the regulatory pathway for how we approve energy projects makes no sense, and I was not necessarily just talking to energy people.

The fact remains that we have a whole bunch of issues on the table that make Canada less competitive. We talk to industries right now and they say they are not looking to invest in Canada. They are actually thinking of moving their investment dollars south of the border. When we look at high taxes, not even including the carbon tax, regulatory uncertainty, and increased red tape, it is true.

What we are trying to point out to the government is that it needs to do more work if we are to be competitive, attract investment dollars, and continue to grow our economy.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague and I serve as vice-chairs on the international trade committee. I take his point about the tariffs. It has been a very difficult summer in Ontario and southwestern Ontario. People are losing their jobs. Small shops are closing. It is quite devastating. We in the NDP have called for a national tariff task force, and I hope my colleague in the Conservative Party will join us in the effort to address all of the issues he highlighted and the fact that only $11,000 has been paid out to people who are struggling incredibly, when almost $300 million has been collected. This is a broken system, and we have people who are losing their jobs.

My question focuses on the auto sector, which is under attack right now. I often said throughout the summer that it is as though Donald Trump has custom made these tariffs for southwestern Ontario in particular, but certainly our auto sector. We have the steel and aluminum tariffs, the threat of the 25% auto tariff, NAFTA uncertainty, and now we have the CPTPP. It puts 58,000 manufacturing jobs at risk in Canada, including 20,000 in our automotive parts supply chain in Canada.

Does the member think that our auto sector in Canada has not given enough in trade agreements? Will the Conservatives not defend the auto sector and stand with the NDP against this trade deal that would harm the sector significantly?

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had a chance to be in the member for Essex's part of the country this summer and to tour the Chrysler plant and to listen to some of their concerns. I know she is well aware that Chrysler employs over 6,000 people there, as well as another 4,000 in Brampton. They are very concerned. Ninety-five per cent of the cars they produce go to the U.S., so the talk about the threat of a potential 25% tariff is something that concerns them greatly.

On top of that, we have a whole bunch of other issues around the table. We have supply chains in the immediate area of these auto plants, and they are concerned as well. Certainly, the steel and aluminum tariffs have been major issues, not only for steel and aluminum producers, but also for those people who supply the industry.

As we move forward with any kind of trade deal, one of the things we need to be mindful of, which the auto sector did say it has some concerns about, is non-tariff barriers. Those are issues that we need to constantly fight against as we look at some of these things. We need to go into this agreement with eyes wide open, realizing there will be more work to be done to make sure the deal continues to do what it is supposed to do.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in listening to the trade debate, I appreciate the Conservatives are supporting this legislation. However, they seem to be stuck on misinformation that goes back to the era of Stephen Harper. I know they are great fans of Stephen Harper. Every time the name comes up they tend to applaud their new leader, who kind of tries to emulate Stephen Harper.

There is a bit of misinformation. The member opposite tries to give the impression that Stephen Harper signed 50-plus trade agreements. The reality is that the EU agreement, which had over 28 nations, was never finalized under Stephen Harper. In fact, it was off track, it was going nowhere.

The good news is that the current government minister was the one who got it back on track, and it was this Prime Minister and the efforts of this cabinet that got the deal done. The good news is that the minister who was responsible for getting it back on track is the one who is negotiating NAFTA. That is good news for all Canadians.

I would ask my colleague this. Does he not agree that achieving a good deal is the type of thing we should be striving for, first and foremost, for all Canadians?

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind my colleague from Winnipeg North that those trade deals we brought wrapped in a bow and put them at the Liberals' doorstep. All they had to do was walk them across the finish line. All the heavy lifting had been done. However, that almost got screwed up, believe it or not. It was unbelievable in terms of the Prime Minister walking out, leaving the former trade minister at a table trying to explain where the Prime Minister was. It was like, “What happened?” There were no comments. I think actions like that have created a conflict that did not previously exist.

Quite frankly, when we look at what the differences are with the CPTTP, other than the name, which is mostly all that is different about that, the same strong regulations around labour and environment are still there. There are a few sidebar agreements, but most of these are non-binding. Therefore, at the end of the day, the deal that we have in place under CETA was largely negotiated by the former government. Yes, the current government still had to ratify it. As a matter of fact, the individual member states still need to do that today. TPP was the same. The current government should be thankful for all the heavy lifting that was done by the former government to get us to where we were. The Liberal government almost messed up some of those agreements. However, thank goodness it finally saw the light and was able to move these things across the finish line.