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

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 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 / 12:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to listen to the Liberals say, “Don't talk down our economy.” For the last three years, all the Liberals have done is talk. The reality is if they had signed the TPP three years ago, Obama would have signed it and we would not be in NAFTA negotiations, as we sit today, and a lot of these problems that Canadian businesses face would not be there. However, what did they do? They talked and they talked, and the reality is we are in crisis mode.

I know this member has been across Canada talking to businesses, labour groups and different people right across Canada. Therefore, he should not talk down our economy; rather, he should tell us what they are telling him in those meetings.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague because I know that he has also been on the road talking to businesses this summer and I am sure he is hearing some of the same things I have heard.

I have heard a number of things. The first thing is that we need to get a NAFTA deal done yesterday. The challenge right now is the uncertainty that it creates around businesses that normally like to plan two to three to five years out. Some of these businesses are saying they cannot even plan for the next three to six months because they do not know what is going on. I have heard story after story.

I have personally talked to over 150 stakeholders, business people, associations and chambers of commerce. This is not stuff I am making up, this is stuff I have heard from people on the ground. I know that my hon. colleague has also heard from people on the ground. They are saying that uncertainty is the killer of business. It is what kills businesses with respect to being able to figure out what they are doing next week, next quarter. As a matter of fact, I have heard a number of people say they have issues. One company I talked to in Welland had already laid off 25% of its workforce because of the uncertainty. A number of other companies in the steel and aluminum industry have said there is no way for them to figure out the tariffs going across the border and because of that they will actually have to lay off some of the people on our side of the country.

The challenge I have is that when businesses do not have certainty there is no way that they can plan for the future. I had a number of businesses that were actually going to invest and double the size of their companies here in Canada with no government money, and they have put their investments on hold. Members should think about that. These were companies that were going to invest in their own businesses, and that has been put on hold because of the uncertainty in this country.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been preparing for a long time to rise in this place to debate Bill C-79 at second reading, which is an act to implement the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership between Canada, and 10 other countries: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It is critically important that we have the opportunity to debate this implementing legislation, as the CPTPP is a massive agreement with far-reaching implications for Canadians.

The Liberals and Conservatives tried to bypass this debate we are having today. They tried to shove the legislation through without parliamentary oversight.

I am proud of our NDP caucus. It has stood up for full democratic debate and a vote on this agreement, one which has working people across our country very nervous. I have committed to auto stakeholders, supply management farms, building trades and the 60,000 Canadians who wrote to the trade committee to have this debate.

As many will remember, the CPTPP started out as the TPP, which included the United States. Canada was late in joining the negotiations, and we were forced to accept everything that had been negotiated to that point. To say that we entered with a weakened negotiating position underplays the terms we accepted on key issues, including on intellectual property, digital and cultural policies, and ISDS provisions that would allow foreign companies to sue domestic governments like those in Canada.

The agreement was negotiated with little transparency or accountability, as Canadians were left in the dark about the government's agenda. This is an unfortunate trend that has continued under the Liberals in the same way it was under the Conservatives.

A deal was finalized in October 2015 in the midst of a federal election campaign, when many Canadians were asking if the Conservative government had a mandate to do so. I remember this time well. Like many of my colleagues, I was knocking on doors and talking to voters across my riding. People in Essex—Windsor were very concerned about the TPP, and for good reason. Many are employed in sectors that would be negatively impacted by this agreement. In our region, we build cars and supply auto parts, work in tool and die shops, and manufacture steel pipe and tube.

Over the last few decades, my region, like many in Canada, has watched as thousands of good manufacturing jobs have disappeared thanks to trade deals like NAFTA, and the exodus of quality jobs to jurisdictions with lower wages and weaker labour standards.

It is not easy for people to lose their jobs. I know this first-hand. I am a 20-year auto worker, and I, along with many of my friends and co-workers, was laid off in the economic downturn of 2008. These are not just numbers on economic reports, but are in fact people's livelihoods: their incomes, their means of supporting their families and in turn their contribution to their communities.

The impact of job loss on people and their families cannot be understated. Many of my co-workers struggled not only financially, but also with their own health and mental health in the aftermath of these desperate years. Marriages did not survive, keys were handed to the bank and some fell into addiction. Many struggled to find hope for themselves.

This is what workers in Canada face. Those occupying the 58,000 jobs under threat are facing this type of life going forward. When I say the TPP threatens to kill thousands of good Canadian jobs, we as parliamentarians must take that seriously. Once these jobs are gone, they are not easily replaced, and when they are replaced, it is usually with precarious part-time and low-wage work.

The people of the United States elected Donald Trump as their president, which was in no small part due to his attempt at luring people to vote for him under the guise that he understood the frustrations of generations of workers who had been left behind by unfair trade agreements. He promised to get rid of NAFTA and withdraw from the TPP.

Mr. Trump's message may have resonated with working people, but his proposed solutions completely miss the mark and will only make things worse for the very people he claims to represent. In fact, that is already the case.

After President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the trans-Pacific partnership in 2017, the remaining signatories continued to meet quietly behind closed doors, in secret. I find this beyond insulting to those who are involved in the current NAFTA renegotiations. I will never forget the betrayal that was expressed toward the Liberals when they signed us back on to the newly minted CPTPP in the middle of a NAFTA renegotiation round in Montreal. Stakeholders in labour were stunned to learn that while they were participating in NAFTA rounds in good faith, believing that the government had finally woken up to the reality of their valuable input into trade negotiations, they were blindsided by the signing, which the government failed to mention to anyone during the weekend. How is it that Liberals were spending day and night in meetings and that this massive trade announcement slipped their mind and they forget to mention it to the stakeholders in the room?

I want to talk a little bit about the TPP and compare it to the CPTPP. We have the old contents and we have the new ones. It will come as no surprise to most Canadians that they are largely similar. The Liberals will point to the mere 20 provisions that were suspended and the multiple side letters, as we heard the minister do earlier. All of these still remain uncertain for many Canadians and we have to keep in mind that all of these provisions were crafted without the input of key stakeholders.

The CPTPP contains the same harmful provisions on auto, dairy, temporary foreign workers, labour mobility and investor-state dispute settlement. The idea that the TPP was somehow transformed into something progressive is laughable. It appears to be a cynical attempt at misleading Canadians.

Trade agreements cannot be just made up of shiny fluff, the products of public relations and rebranding. They need to be meaningful to the lives of everyday Canadians. Canadians do not even know what was agreed to in multiple side letters, including those on culture and autos. How is it that we are debating this legislation and do not even have the full text still for us to be able to fully view?

I want to talk a little about these side letters. This is where Liberals will point to addressing all of the concerns that New Democrats have. It is time that these side letters are exposed for exactly what they are, aspirational language that has absolutely zero enforceability. It is also where the Liberals will point to the so-called progressive elements, which carry very little weight compared to the text in the main agreement. Side letters cannot supersede the text of the main agreement and a side letter is not enforceable through the agreement's dispute settlement mechanisms unless it is explicitly mentioned.

If a Liberal MP stands in this House and defends this agreement based on the side letters then they should be ashamed for fooling people they represent, or they clearly do not understand the way that trade agreements work at all. I hope that my colleagues on all sides of this House in auto ridings will keep that in mind when they are explaining to the people who will be losing their jobs.

Of the 20 suspended provisions, 11 come from the chapter on intellectual property. Many critics of the original TPP have welcomed these changes. However, it is important to remind Canadians that these suspensions are not set in stone and could enter into force at future dates. Suspensions are little more than a way to sell the agreement: “Do not worry. It is suspended.” This is a dangerous sense of security because those provisions could reappear in the agreement very easily.

The original TPP's chapter on intellectual property contained harmful proposals that would have impeded Canadians' access to affordable medicines. These include extended patent terms for medicines, 70-year copyright terms, minimum terms of data protections for biologics and rules that would have encouraged the pharmaceutical practice of evergreening. If the United States were to rejoin the pact, the suspended provisions could be be brought back to life with the consensus of treaty members. This is very dangerous. It could lead to more stringent patent terms and higher drug costs for Canadians. In fact, we are anxiously waiting to see right now if a revised NAFTA will contain some of these same or even worse proposals. Canadians are very worried about this. At a time when the government should be introducing universal pharmacare and not just studying it again, and working to lower the cost of Canadians' prescription medications, they could in fact be setting us up for the opposite.

Now I want to talk a little bit about the rebranding and about the “P” in the CPTPP that stands for progressive. How can the Liberals brand this deal as progressive? Let us talk about some of the issues that exist in that. The new mandate letter, I should point out, for the new International Trade Diversification Minister omits any reference to this Liberal so-called progressive agenda, which is quite telling I think.

The CPTPP has no chapters on gender or on the rights of indigenous people, which is something that the government said was important in the course of NAFTA negotiations. Why has it disappeared from the CPTPP? The CPTPP does not even mention the words “climate change” and its labour provisions are extremely weak. It contains provisions that will weaken Canada's supply-managed sector. It contains harmful ISDS provisions that have been destructive for environment and corrosive to the sovereignty of our government. None of those things are particularly progressive. I will give my colleagues a quote from Scott Sinclair at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He stated:

If the Trudeau government’s rhetoric about progressive trade and inclusive growth means anything—which is an open question—then it requires a genuine rebalancing of trade treaties to better protect workers, citizens and the environment, and to confront the 21st century challenges of extreme inequality and runaway climate change.

The next thing I would like to discuss a little is the consultations. Certainly the Liberal government is in favour of consultations, although the meaningfulness of those consultations has really come under scrutiny, particularly over the NAFTA talks that happened over the summer.

As I have said, the Conservatives signed us on to this deal in 2015 during the campaign. As soon as the Liberals took office, they promised that their new government would be different and that it would consult with the public. Instead of undertaking meaningful public consultations, the government passed this on to the international trade committee, of which I am the vice-chair. Our trade committee's so-called public consultations were widely criticized for restricting public participation in a variety of ways. For example, we received over 8,000 submissions from Canadians, but we struggled to translate and adequately review all these submissions. The fact is that the committees, not just my own, have limited resources, and are not equipped to do true public consultations. The Liberals love to say that they are consulting, but their shallow definition of what constitutes public consultation is very troublesome. This was shown in the recent court ruling on the pipeline and the government's failure to properly consult indigenous people.

On the TPP, the trade committee hearings allowed for a one-hour time slot for the public to make presentations. Every city we toured was filled with people who wanted to speak about the TPP. In Montreal, 19 out of 19 public presenters were opposed. In Quebec City, three out of three were opposed. We heard from more than 400 witnesses and received written comments from more than 60,000 Canadians, of whom 95% were opposed to the TPP.

According to Global Affairs documents obtained by The Council of Canadians, only two out of 18,000 Canadians wrote to the government in support of the TPP. I want to repeat that: two out of 18,000 people who wrote the government expressed support. That means only .01% of everyone who participated in these email consultations supported the deal. It is no wonder the Liberals are using the guise of public consultations as cover to sign Canada on to the job-killing TPP.

Let us talk about the timing. At a time when the Trump administration is threatening to implement devastating auto tariffs, both the Conservatives and Liberals are championing a trade deal that would put 58,000 Canadian jobs at risk, 20,000 in auto parts alone. The leader of the Conservative Party asked to recall the House of Commons in the summer in order to ram through the TPP trade deal, which would decimate these industries, industries that are already endangered under Trump's outrageous tariffs. There could not be a worse time to be ratifying the CPTPP. Destroying one industry in hopes that another one will eventually grow is not diversification; it is a death sentence for our domestic sectors. Conservatives may be comfortable turning their backs on the auto sector, as it appears the Liberals are, but New Democrats will stand strong with them in these very difficult times.

Let us talk about tariffs. We know the CPTPP would lead to the elimination of tariffs on a range of imported goods and exports in sectors like aerospace, metals and minerals, chemicals and plastics, industrial machinery, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and agrifood, fish and seafood, and forestry and value-added wood products. However, it is important to note that we are already 97% tariff-free with CPTPP countries, so we are talking about three per cent of the tariffs being reduced inside this.

I understand this is significant for some in our agriculture society, but I also know our agricultural communities are struggling not just with the tariff reductions but the non-tariff barriers. Earlier, my colleague spoke to the fact that we have to do more. We have to address and tackle the true barriers, because too many Canadian exporters cannot access existing markets, let alone potential new markets, and there are many ways the federal government can support them.

I have heard CETA mentioned in this House today, and certainly the numbers out of the Port of Montreal. What is not being mentioned is the fact that since we signed CETA a year ago, our exports to those countries have gone down. Do we know what has gone up? Imports from CETA countries. There has been a flood from those countries. Again, Canada is in worse shape with those countries today after signing CETA than it was a year ago. Something is wrong here, and Canadians know it.

I also want to talk about the fact that, as I said, the auto sector is in dangerous times. Over the summer, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visited the Windsor-Essex region, which is the epicentre of the steel and aluminium trade dispute. He heard from workers and businesses that are very worried about the increased tariffs and unfair trade deals. He committed to them that at every turn, the NDP will stand up for Canadian workers and against the job-killing CPTPP.

Industry and labour groups in the auto and auto parts sector are strongly opposed to the CPTPP. The auto industry is already facing those punitive tariffs and simply cannot stand any more pressure at this point. They know their sector inside and out, and they know how false the Liberals' claims are that the CPTPP will open up markets in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, they have tried desperately to get the Liberal government to listen to them, to listen to the fact that they will lose jobs and that they are in jeopardy. Unfortunately, the Liberal government has refused to do so and is barely acknowledging the fact that they will be harmed.

The other thing I have to mention is supply management. How can we have a government that repeatedly stands and says that it will protect supply management when in CPTPP it is giving up percentages? At least under the Conservatives there was money attached, some type of compensation to help them. That has completely evaporated under the Liberal government. We are in a precarious time in NAFTA right now in our negotiating phase, and one of the largest issues on the table is supply management. Why, then, would the Liberals bring the CPTPP, which is damaging our supply management, as the very first piece of proposed legislation to put through the House, knowing that we are at this critical juncture in NAFTA? It is baffling, and our farmers are not fooled by the Liberal government and this death by a thousand cuts.

We find ourselves in this extraordinary time in our relationship with our largest trading partner and this delicate renegotiation of NAFTA. It seems like incredibly poor political timing to be pushing through the CPTPP, which some view as poking the bear, with the bear being Donald Trump.

I had a meeting with farmers in my office on Friday night. They are extremely worried about the future of supply management in Canada and in my riding of Essex. They hear Liberals repeating the same lines over and over—that they created and will protect supply management—but to farmers like Bernard Nelson in Essex, protecting our dairy sector means that we do not open a percentage of our market. Whether it is in CETA, CPTPP, or now NAFTA, it is a slippery slope toward the beginning of the end. Bernard and I agree that this approach is death by a thousand cuts and will hurt Canadian farmers.

Diversification is important, but it must be done in a responsible way. Ratifying the CPTPP is the opposite of this. How can Liberals be fighting for a better deal in NAFTA for the very sectors that they are willing give up in the CPTPP? I can tell members that the Liberals must stop signing onto neo-Liberal trade deals like the CPTPP and embrace a truly progressive trade policy that does not leave working people behind. The NDP is determined to continue fighting for truly fair and progressive trade that respects the rights of Canadians. It is time to put the interests of people first, including manufacturing workers, rural communities, and local and small family farms.

I move, seconded by the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following:

the House decline to give second reading to 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, because:

a) 95% of the more than 60,000 Canadians who made submissions on the deal were opposed to it;

b) experts have said that this deal could cost Canada 58,000 jobs;

c) the negotiations were shrouded in secrecy, despite promises of transparency from the government on trade deals; and

d) the agreement contains weak labour and environmental standards, and puts our public services and cultural sectors at risk.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:20 p.m.
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Steven MacKinnon Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I listened attentively to my colleague's speech.

It is always great to hear a speech on trade from the New Democratic Party. It basically writes itself as it unfolds.

All of the experts around the world point us to the need for Canada to diversify its trade. All of the experts point us to those Asian and South American economies that are growing incredibly quickly, where managed trade relationships, structured trade, and privileged access to those markets is an absolute imperative for Canada. We have achieved that. We have achieved significant protections for key Canadian industries and significant advantages for key Canadian sectors.

The question that I have and that I always have for my friends in the New Democratic Party is this: what trade deal are they able to support?

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the type of trade agreement that we will support is a good one, one that works for Canadians, one that is balanced, one that does not throw one sector under the bus in favour of another—balanced trade.

Our country and North America have been gripped by this issue over the summer, with the uncertainty with the United States. Certainly my region, being on the border, feels this very keenly.

I would invite the member to come to my riding at any time to speak to people about what Canadians think about responsible trade deals. I understand the need to diversify and we support that strongly, but it must be responsible. The CPTPP is not.

I will just point really quickly to the labour aspect. I heard the minister talk about labour earlier, and about how he felt that the labour section was an improvement. I am not sure that the Liberals are aware that in the original TPP, the U.S. had negotiated a 12-page labour reform to allow Vietnamese workers to have free and independent collective bargaining. That has disappeared. The U.S., under President Obama, struck a labour consistency plan with Malaysia and Brunei in an effort to ensure that both countries lived up to fundamental labour standards. Canada was not able to maintain those.

It seems as though when we went back to the table for the CPTPP, we made zero effort to improve this deal for Canadians. That was a missed opportunity, because essentially what the Liberals picked up was a Conservative negotiation.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is good to see you in the Chair again.

I would like to comment on the speech by my friend from Essex. Last fall, when the Liberal government did not mention the auto industry and its importance in NAFTA for six months, it was actually that member and I who were pushing from both sides of the opposition, as part of Team Canada, to say that the auto industry, the hundreds of thousands of jobs, needed to be the centrepiece of NAFTA.

Why can the member now say that the auto manufacturing jobs in Windsor are not going to benefit from the TPP? If we are not part of the TPP, we will not be able to compete with Mexico and we will not be able to compete with the global auto industry. We cannot choose only one deal and not others. We have to have confidence in our auto supply sector and in our auto assembly sector.

Why does the member for Essex not have that confidence?

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have complete confidence in our Canadian auto sector to be able to compete globally, absolutely, but when we are setting up trade deals where it is actually identifying to us that this is not the case, we need to listen. On the CPTPP, the auto sector was not part of the consultations under the Conservatives nor under the Liberals.

It is not me as the member for Essex who is saying that this deal will harm auto. It is the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association. It is the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association. It is Unifor. It is the Canadian Labour Congress. This is not a reflection of me and what I think will benefit my region. This is what we are hearing from the stakeholders. It is baffling that in NAFTA all of these stakeholders are in the room and are part of the conversation driving where we are going to potentially go in a better NAFTA, but in the CPTPP, none of that happened under the Liberals or the Conservatives.

It is not me who is creating these questions of what is going on in these trade deals. It is the behaviour of the Conservatives and the Liberals in their negotiations and forgetting about the people who need to be in the room when talking about the jobs that they represent.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:25 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, I would like to provide some clarity for my friend across the way. When it comes to trade agreements, as has been cited, the NDP members have been consistent. They have consistently voted down trade agreements.

Canada is a trading nation. We need to trade with the world. If we want to grow our middle class, we need to have trust and faith in Canadian companies, including our automotive industry. We have the finest workers in the world in Canada. By taking on trade agreements, we are bringing in potential opportunities for growth in many industries.

No matter what the trade agreement, with one possible exception which I think might have been Jordan, the NDP has never supported the middle class by voting in favour of a trade agreement. Why not?

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the member listened to my speech today where I identified that 58,000 jobs are under threat in the CPTPP, some 20,000 auto supply sector jobs. If those are not middle-class jobs, I do not know what is. The people who are defending middle-class jobs in Canada are the New Democrats and we are listening to the auto sector.

When the member speaks about consistency, the only thing consistent on that side is the inconsistency. We have NAFTA where they pulled everyone into a big tent and they are having all these conversations with people and listening and trying to do better, but with the CPTPP, absolutely zero of that happened. When the member talks about consistency, I think he should look in the mirror with the rest of his party on how they are approaching trade agreements.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put some facts before the House. The auto sector is the largest Canadian manufacturing sector. Canada is the 10th largest vehicle producer in the world. We have 125,000 people directly employed by the auto sector. We are responsible for $103 billion in factory sales around the world.

On the CPTPP, the government has negotiated rules of origin where the regional value content for auto parts in cars that would qualify for tariff-free entry into Canada is between 35% and 45%. That means that parts that go into cars have to be made 35% to 45% in countries like Vietnam and Malaysia and they can source 55% to 65% of their parts from non-CPTPP countries, including China, India, Bangladesh, or wherever. That means one thing. It means extremely cheap labour is going into vehicles made in those countries that are then going to qualify for tariff-free entry into Canada. That means it is going to damage the Canadian auto sector.

I would like my hon. colleague to comment on whether she thinks that the Liberals' rules of origin on auto are going to help or hurt Canadian auto manufacturers.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:30 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is where we really have to look into the actual pieces of this agreement and how it will work.

Right now we are in the middle of negotiating rules of origin in NAFTA and in the CPTPP we could potentially be signing ourselves on to rules that would allow better access, less Canadian content from CPTPP countries than we are going to accept from NAFTA, our largest trading partner. This is mind-boggling. I would point out to Liberals and Conservatives who sit in auto ridings, such as the member for Whitby opposite, these jobs are under direct threat. Losing tens of thousands of auto sector jobs will decimate communities across our country. The labour provisions in CPTPP are so extremely weak.

The side letters would do nothing. As I mentioned earlier, side letters have no enforceability, no impact whatsoever on the actual trade agreement. When we are pushing for better in NAFTA with arguably the biggest player on the planet, the United States and Donald Trump, in the most difficult negotiations that we face, why are we agreeing to these extremely weak provisions with countries where we have minimal trade? It makes no sense.

I want to point to CETA, which has been mentioned in the House several times today. We find ourselves a year after signing CETA with less trade going from Canada to CETA countries than we did one year ago when we signed it. It is time for Canada to start having trade agreements that have positive benefits for its communities and for jobs for Canadians. This deal would do the opposite of that.

We should not be signing this deal at this point in time.

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:40 p.m.
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Omar Alghabra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand here on the first day of the fall parliamentary session to express my gratitude for being appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for International Trade Diversification; to commit to working with my colleagues on this side of the House and across all party lines, as well as with our colleagues in the Senate, to ensure the passing of the bill, Bill C-79; and to ensure I work with stakeholders and all Canadians for the benefit of all Canadians to grow our economy, create jobs and to ensure our values are protected.

It is a great pleasure to rise in the House today in support of Bill C-79, the implementing legislation for the comprehensive progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, or CPTPP.

At a time when protectionism is on the rise, Canada's participation in the CPTPP sends a strong signal that Canada is open for business with the rest of the world, that our government is opening doors for our citizens and businesses to create more jobs and offer more choices, and that our government is committed to a fair, rules-based international trading system. Now, more than ever, it is essential for us to ensure that the trade agreements Canada implements respond not only to the needs of our commercial interests, but also bring tangible benefits to all Canadians. This agreement is about creating economic growth, high-paying jobs, more choices for Canadian consumers, and above all making sure all Canadians benefit, not just a few.

My hon. colleagues will know that the CPTPP represents an opportunity for Canada. Implementing and ratifying the CPTPP will help diversify Canada's trade and investment toward the Asia-Pacific region and solidify Canada's role in the economic landscape of Asia.

The CPTPP will serve as a cornerstone of our government's trade diversification strategy, connecting Canadian and investment to this dynamic and fast-growing region. In a region as deeply integrated and adaptable as Asia, the benefits of the CPTPP extend beyond enhanced market access to new and growing markets. Canadian exporters will also benefit from increased access to diverse and regionally integrated value chains with global reach.

Asia is important to Canada, and we see the CPTPP as a crucial step in our ambitious free trade agenda in the region. To this end, Canada has also engaged with China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, in exploratory discussions toward potential free trade agreement negotiations. We also have ongoing comprehensive economic partnership agreement negotiations with India.

Ambitious and high standard agreements like the CPTPP will help strengthen the rules-based international trading system and create a level playing field for Canadian businesses. It will also help us ensure the benefits of trade could be widely shared across all segments of society.

Diversifying Canada's free trade network will help ensure Canadian exporters could have preferential access to major markets beyond North America. The CPTPP will build on the achievements in our recent free trade agreements like the Canada-EU CETA once it entered into force. Canada will have preferential access to 51 different countries through 14 trade agreements, representing nearly 1.5 billion consumers and over 60% of the global economy.

The 11 CPTPP members represent a total of 495 million consumers and 13.5% of global GDP. Canada's export to our CPTPP partners totalled nearly $27 billion in 2017. The scope and ambition of the agreement means businesses of all sizes in all sectors and regions of our country will find new opportunities to do business in Asia.

The CPTPP is projected to boost Canada's GDP by $4.2 billion over the long term. That growth will be driven by increased exports of goods and services and increases in investments and international partnerships. This means more jobs and more prosperity for Canadians.

Implementing and swiftly ratifying the CPTPP will allow Canada to strengthen our economic ties with 10 key markets in the Asia-Pacific regions, including our current free trade agreement partners in Chile, Mexico and Peru, and seven new FTA partners in Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

For example, Canadian businesses will begin to enjoy the benefits of new preferential access to Japan, the world's third largest economy and our fourth largest trading partner. In 2017, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Japan reached $29.3 billion. Japan is also Canada's largest source of foreign direct investment from Asia.

The CPTPP will provide preferential access to Japan, eliminating or reducing tariffs on a number of key Canadian exports ranging from canola, beef, pork and salmon to lobster, lumber, steel and aluminum products. This will level the playing field for Canadian exporters with respect to competitors that already have preferential access to Japan, such as Australia. This will also help Canadian exporters gain a competitive advantage over exporters without preferential access, like the United States, and Canada does not currently have an FTA with Japan.

Canadian service providers will also benefit from enhanced access and greater predictability and transparency in Japan and other markets. The CPTPP will create new opportunities for Canadian service providers in sectors such as professional, research and development, environmental and transportation services.

Canada will also have new access to the rapidly-growing economies of Malaysia and Vietnam. Vietnam has been Canada's largest trading partner within the association of the southeast Asian nations since 2015 and has a forecasted GDP growth of over 6.3% in 2018. The CPTPP will provide preferential access to Vietnam for key Canadian exports in agriculture and seafood, including beef, pork, canola, ice wine and lobster, as well as in other sectors like forestry and industrial products. Financial service providers will also benefit from unprecedented access to the Vietnamese market.

More broadly speaking, Canadian companies will be able to invest with even more confidence in CPTPP markets, benefiting from greater predictability, transparency and protections under the agreement. Securing preferential access to CPTPP markets means that almost all Canadian products can be exported to our CPTPP partners without facing tariffs. Upon full implementation of the agreement, 95% of tariff lines of CPTPP parties will be duty free, covering 99% of Canada's current exports to CPTPP markets.

Preferential access also means a level playing field for Canadian products with respect to their competitors and will provide Canadian companies with a leg up on others that do not have the same level of access to CPTPP markets. This will translate into increased profits and market opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes in all sectors and in every part of our country.

As a result, implementing and ratifying the CPTPP will help create high-quality jobs and support Canadian farmers, fishers, miners, manufacturers, engineers, architects, investors and more. It means more opportunities for Canadian agriculture like beef, pork, wheat and canola. It means more opportunities for fish, seafood and forestry. It means more opportunity for Canada's diverse and innovative manufacturing sector, like aerospace, chemicals, cosmetics, industrial machinery, medical devices, metals and minerals, pharmaceuticals and glasses. It will also provide benefits for consumers, with lower prices and more choices at places like the grocery store.

The benefits of the CPTPP do not end at new market access. It also features a comprehensive set of rules that covers barriers beyond tariffs that Canadian businesses face when they trade and invest abroad. These include chapters that address technical barriers to trade and phytosanitary measures, as well as dedicated chapters covering cross-border trade in services, electronic commerce, temporary entry investment and government procurement.

In addition, the CPTPP includes provisions on state-owned enterprises and transparency in anti-corruption, which will help foster a fair and competitive business environment to help ensure that Canadian companies can trade and invest in CPTPP markets on an equal footing with their competitors.

In sum, the CPTPP is a robust trade agreement which rules will provide much-needed certainty for Canada as we look to diversify our trade and investment towards Asia.

I am proud to say that our government paid meticulous attention to the details to ensure that the interests of Canadian workers, businesses and culture are promoted. We made sure that we signed a good deal, not just any deal. The CPTPP also supports our government's commitment to ensuring that the benefits of trade are widely shared and can be enjoyed by Canadians across all regions and all segments of our country.

The CPTPP will help Canada promote labour rights and environmental protection as we enhance our trading relationship with our partners. The agreement's dedicated chapters on labour and environment ensure that CPTPP parties cannot lower their standards in these areas as a way to promote or attract trade and investment. In a first for Canada, both the labour and environment chapters are fully enforceable through the CPTPP dispute settlement mechanism, allowing us to ensure that our trading partners remain true to their commitments.

In other parts of the agreement covering areas like services, investment—

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

September 17th, 2018 / 1:55 p.m.
See context

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Omar Alghabra

I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker.

Our government is committed to helping small and medium-sized enterprises grow and create high-quality, middle-class jobs through trade and innovation. The CPTPP will help Canadian SMEs, which account for nearly 40% of our GDP and employ 10.7 million workers across the country, better tap into international markets and global supply chains.

The CPTPP is also Canada's first agreement with a dedicated chapter for small and medium-sized enterprises. The CPTPP includes commitments that promote the sharing of information online to help facilitate trade, as well as rules aimed at reducing costs and enhancing predictability and fairness so SMEs can gain access to CPTPP markets.

These are just some of the ways in which the CPTPP builds upon its ambitious market access outcomes for businesses so benefits of enhanced trade investment can be dispersed more broadly and support sustainable and inclusive economic development and job growth in Canada.

The CPTPP is the beginning of a new chapter in Canadian trade relations. As we seek new markets and diversify our trade, we can be excited about embarking on this new chapter together as we continue to open new markets and opportunities for Canadian businesses, workers, and consumers, and ensure that the benefits of trade can be felt in all parts of the country.