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

October 5th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to wish teachers a wonderful World Teachers' Day.

I want to reply to my colleague's comment about how we negotiated successive agreements. We have one with Europe, which is amazing, given that it opens up a market of 500 million people. Then we have the CPTPP, which will open up another market of 500 million consumers. Lastly, there is the USMCA, which represents another market of 500 million people, since it covers all of North America. It is one free trade agreement after another. That being said, I sat on the Standing Committee on International Trade for two and a half years, and I realized that no deal is ever good enough for the NDP.

What international free trade agreement would the New Democrats agree to support?

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

October 5th, 2018 / 1 p.m.
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Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, again, I am honoured to rise in the House today to discuss 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.

Bill C-79 is our government's commitment to the swift ratification and implementation of the CPTPP. Implementing and ratifying the CPTPP would strengthen our existing trade partnerships with Chile, Mexico and Peru, and provide preferential access to seven new markets: Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. Doing so would improve market access to an estimated 500 million global consumers with a combined GDP of $13.5 trillion, representing roughly 40% of the world economy. These numbers are truly staggering and offer a glimpse into the endless opportunities afforded by the CPTPP.

This agreement would diversify trade to benefit the middle class and enhance our ability to compete and win on the global stage. As I have previously mentioned during the debate in this chamber over the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, any student of Canadian history knows our great country has been, in many ways, shaped and founded by trade. To this day, nearly 60% of our GDP and fully 20% of Canadian jobs are immediately tied to exports. Our government understands increased trade leads to economic growth and that economic growth leads to jobs for the middle class.

However, this simple fact is currently under siege. As the world slides toward protectionism and isolationism, a regression apparently favoured by some of my colleagues across the aisle, it is vital Canada remains an open society and a champion of open global markets. On this side of the House, we recognize the prosperity of hard-working Canadians and their families is directly linked to diversifying into new markets.

From the ratification of CETA to the recent conclusion of the USMCA framework, our government has long understood a commitment to free and fair trade is absolutely vital. As the only G7 country that is a signatory to all three of these agreements, once CPTPP enters into force, Canada would have 14 trade agreements that would provide preferential access to 51 different countries. Combined, this represents access to nearly 1.5 billion global consumers and over 60% of the global economy.

The complicated progression of this agreement on the global stage, as I have said previously, serves as further proof that these values are currently under attack from protectionist forces. In light of such pressures, I am truly proud of our government for having taken the lead in negotiating this progressive free trade agreement.

Before I continue, I would like to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade Diversification for their hard work on this file, as well as the members of the Standing Committee on International Trade for their insights and contributions. Moreover, as a former international trade lawyer myself, I would like to thank and congratulate former colleagues in the public service who helped make this important agreement a reality.

It was as a trade lawyer that I gained valuable first-hand knowledge into the tangible benefits that well-crafted trade agreements provide us with every day, and it is from that very same perspective I approach today's remarks. In particular, I would like to discuss six broad elements of Bill C-79 to highlight the very benefits this agreement would have for Canadian businesses, exporters, workers and families. My hon. colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles focused on the preservation of our cultural sector. In turn, I will talk about market access, the service sector, investment, government procurement, and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Speaking first on market access, implementing the CPTPP will eliminate over 95% of taxes being imposed on over 99% of Canada's total exports. From making our machinery, equipment and business services more competitive, to protecting and preserving our unique culture, we are improving market access for Canadian business and have secured an amazing deal for Canadians. In fact, the vast majority of related tariffs will be eliminated immediately upon enactment of Bill C-79. After that, we will see the gradual introduction of more products being included in this list of tariff exemption over a period of 10 to 15 years.

To cite just a handful of targeted market access benefits, Bill C-79 would enhance market access opportunities for Canadian pork, beef, fruit and vegetables, malts, grains, cereals, animal feeds, maple syrup, wines and spirits, processed grain, sugar, chocolate confectionary and processed foods and beverages. It would also eliminate 100% of tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood products, benefiting the salmon, snow crab, herring, lobster, shrimp, sea urchin and oyster industries. In addition, we would see the elimination of 100% of tariffs on industrial goods and consumer products. Finally, tariffs on all Canadian exports of forestry and value-added wood products would be eliminated.

Delving into services, the CPTPP emphasizes the importance of transparency and predictability in order to give Canadian service providers more secure access to CPTPP markets, including a range of sectors for professional, environmental, mining-related, IT and financial services. In the face of a rapidly-evolving and modernizing global digital economy, the importance of these changes cannot be overstated.

Speaking of investment, this government has gone above and beyond the original conditions set in the TPP to better protect our investors, using Canada's negative list approach. Investors will be protected by provisions such as expropriation and denial of justice, backed by robust mechanisms for the resolution of investment disputes.

On non-tariff measures, Bill C-79 proposes to implement provisions related to non-tariff measures. Non-tariffs measures, as members are aware, refer to provision introduced regarding technical barriers to trade that will protect the key market access gains written into the agreement for the unnecessary and discriminatory regulatory burdens.

Moving to small and medium-sized enterprises, this government recognizes the importance of SMEs to the Canadian economy, which to do this day represents approximately 90% of our private sector jobs in Canada that will benefit from the provisions of this agreement. As a result, we have made it a priority to support SME access to the relevant data and information, a first among Canadian free trade agreements.

Provisions such as improved transparency, enforceable provisions on state-owned enterprises to promote fair business practices and an electronic commerce framework for cross-border data flows and server localization requirements have been made available to better protect Canadian businesses and encourage them to enter into the global market. These new measures will not only place Canadian businesses on the global value chain, but help them compete and thrive.

When our government came into office in 2015, in keeping with our commitment to evidence-based policy-making that listened to the needs and interests of Canadians, we held extensive consultations on the CPTPP, including over 41,000 correspondences and 265 interactions and meetings with more than 530 stakeholders. We did so to ensure a deal that promoted the creation of new jobs and benefits for Canadian families. The end result of this process is an ambitious and progressive trade agreement that will not only benefit Canadian businesses, workers, and families, but will certainly serve as a landmark for global trade arrangements moving forward.

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

October 5th, 2018 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we understand that all of this debate is happening under a time allocation. Forcing down Parliament's throat another trade agreement is the typical tactics we saw from the previous government. When the Liberals were in opposition, they loathed time allocation, saying it was undemocratic.

Embedded in this more than 300-page trade agreement is investor-state protection. The Liberals have claimed investor-state protections are horrible and they are so grateful the U.S. trade deal does not include this. They like it in one place, but not in another. They want us to trust them; they are Liberals.

If it was so terrible in the U.S. trade deal, why are they so thrilled to have the exact same provision in a trade deal with so many more countries?

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

October 5th, 2018 / 1:10 p.m.
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Liberal

Ali Ehsassi Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to emphasize that provisions in each one of these investment agreements are very distinct. To take one and criticize it and then assume that all other agreements are exactly the same is truly not fair. In this agreement, if the hon. member does take the time to look at the provisions, he will see that the most progressive elements are very much contained it.

Bill C-79--Time Allocation MotionComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, an agreement has been reached between a majority of the representatives of recognized parties under the provisions of Standing Order 78(2) with respect to the report stage and third reading 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. I move:

That, in relation 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, not more than one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage of the said bill and not more than one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration of the third reading stage of the said bill; and that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for government orders on the day allotted to the consideration at report stage and on the day allotted to the consideration at the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required, for the purpose of this order and in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-79--Time Allocation MotionComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, depending on the answer that you give me, I may afterward seek the unanimous consent of the House to move a motion. My question has to do with the use of Standing Order 78(2). This tool has rarely been used in the seven-plus years that I have been a member of the House. I would like you to clarify whether it requires the support of the majority of the recognized parties in the House. I believe the Conservatives support that use of the standing order, despite their dislike for the Liberals' use of time allocation.

Bill C-79--Time Allocation MotionComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 3:55 p.m.
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NDP

Matthew Dubé NDP Beloeil—Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, given my better understanding of Standing Order 78(2), I want to ask unanimous consent of the House for a motion. It would allow us us to have proper debate, a 10-hour debate instead of four. The motion would be as follows: That, given the government's attempt to allocate just one day of debate at the report stage and at the third reading stage of Bill C-79 is likely to amount to less than one hour of debate at report stage and less than three hours of debate at third reading, in relation 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, not more than one sitting day, or five hours, whichever is longer, shall be allotted to the consideration at report stage and third reading stage of the bill; and that 15 minutes before the expiry of the time allotted to the consideration at report stage and the time allotted to the consideration at the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

I could hear my colleagues getting impatient, but I wanted to take my time for the interpreters.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

moved:

Motion No. 4

That Bill C-79 be amended by deleting Clause 11.

Motion No. 5

That Bill C-79 be amended by deleting Clause 12.

Motion No. 6

That Bill C-79 be amended by deleting Clause 19.

Motion No. 7

That Bill C-79 be amended by deleting Clause 50.

Mr. Speaker, I wish I were rising today with some hope that we would be having more of a fulsome debate. It is very unfortunate that the Liberals and Conservatives have decided to join forces in a very rarely used provision in this House in order to ram through Bill C-79, the CPTPP.

It is quite baffling to me because the amendments really focus around the ISDS. In the CPTPP, we have fully signed on to the investor-state dispute settlement which today we heard from the Prime Minister he is happy to see gone in the new USMCA deal we have with the United States. Not only do I find this baffling, but Canadians also find this baffling. Of course, we welcome the elimination of this provision with the U.S. and Mexico because we have been the most sued country in the world under this provision. It has not worked well for us. I believe there are members on the opposite side who are also not happy with this provision.

I focus on this because it speaks to the hypocrisy and inconsistency we are seeing in this House when we see this approach to trade. On one hand we are saying that ISDS is a bad provision and needs to be gone, which is quite welcomed from the Liberals but quite shocking as well because it was not the Liberals who wanted it gone in the new USMCA. It was the U.S., and more specifically President Trump, who wanted it gone. We see this flip-flopping with the Liberals. How is it they are standing today pushing through debate on a deal that includes this very provision? It is baffling to me.

Not only is that baffling, but so is what we have given up in terms of dairy. Despite all the promises in this House from the Liberal government that it would completely protect our dairy sector in the new deal, the USMCA, we now know that is completely false. The Liberals have not protected it. They have knocked down two key pillars of supply management. We know that when we come back to this deal with the U.S. in six years it will be at the top of the list, and the Liberals will be happy to give it up again. They have betrayed family farmers in my riding of Essex and family farmers across this country. Why are we now signing a deal where we will further damage family farms and auto workers?

Speaking of auto workers, what we were able to achieve in the USMCA for auto workers is good. It is positive. We prevented that 25% tariff, and that is most definitely something Canadian auto workers are pleased to see. However, right on the heels of that, we are signing onto an agreement that is going to hurt auto workers. This is incomprehensible. How is it that the Liberals say they are going to protect people and workers in our country and the very next second they do the exact opposite?

I am not sure Liberals understand what they are signing onto. From the very limited debate we have had in this House, I would say that is clear. We should be having 10 hours of debate but it is now down to four hours of debate on an agreement that is thousands of pages long and will cost 58,000 Canadian jobs. It is bizarre to me that even the Conservatives do not want to debate this fully. They certainly have been saying that everything in this House deserves full debate, but today we saw that is not the case and they are happy to partner with the Liberals. Canadians are left shaking their heads to see the difference between Liberals and Conservatives in this House today in the approach to trade.

On the ISDS question I asked the Prime Minister today, it was interesting to me how he glowingly spoke about their being able to remove it, how fantastic it is, and invoked Jerry Dias and Hassan Yussuff. Yet, when I spoke with Jerry Dias on the phone this morning, he was shaking his head and saying that it is a betrayal for the Liberals to sign the CPTPP. How is it that on one hand the Liberals are saying they are going to stand by auto and on the other hand they turn around and do the exact opposite?

The Liberals are making fools of Canadians by trying to have them believe that in some way they care about working people in Canada. The CPTPP is a betrayal to working people. It is a betrayal to family farms. It contains ISDS provisions, which the government has now had a second coming on and has finally decided is not a good provision, but not to worry, they are still going to put it into the agreement over there. That is okay. We should just not look too closely over there.

Again, I have to point to the Conservatives, because the Conservatives have been up reading, I would say, by all accounts, what I consider to be NDP viewpoints on trade on the USMCA in the last few days, as though Canadians believe that the Conservatives stand up for working people, as though Canadians believe that they protect farmer, when they in fact are the architects of the TPP.

There is absolutely no comprehensiveness or progressiveness around the TPP. If we speak with the lead negotiator of the TPP, we will find that the text is identical. What has happened is we have a suspension of 20 provisions and we have some tweaks, and we have actually lost some of the side letters. There is no change to the text of the TPP whatsoever. By putting a new name on it that suggests otherwise is simply false. It is misleading to Canadians.

Canadians are not buying it either. When we had the original TPP, 18,000 Canadians wrote to the Liberal government. All but two of the 18,000 people told the government not to sign the CPTPP, and yet, here we are. Once again, we have this full consultation where there is an impression that when Canadians express themselves to the government, they will be heard.

However, the government is falling down on that day after day in this House. The Liberals will consult, but they have already made up their minds on exactly what they are going to do. Whether we are talking about indigenous rights, workers' rights or family farms, that is what the Liberals are doing. No one is fooled by what is happening in this country right now.

I want to talk about the mandate letters that came out. The progressive elements were included initially in the mandate letter for the international trade minister at the time, the fresh mandate letter of 2015. It included all of these progressive trade elements, like a gender chapter, environmental rights, indigenous people, labour rights, all of these wonderful things that Canadians would really like to see as part of our deals. In the CPTPP, sadly, none of those things exist. Not one of those things ended up being in the actual agreement.

To include “progressive” in the title is a farce. There is no indigenous chapter or language. The words “climate change” are not even mentioned, and by the way they are not in the new U.S. deal either. The USMCA does not even mention the words “climate change”. There are no labour provisions in the CPTPP that will help working people.

There are regressive provisions. Now, we are going to be in competition with countries like Malaysia, where the wage is frightening to our Mexican partners in the new U.S.-Mexico deal. The wages are so low, the treatment is so low, and there are no labour standards and no environmental standards.

What happened to the government's gender lens it was going to apply to all of the work it does? It has completely evaporated. It does not exist in the CPTPP.

The promise that was made to people about the type of trade, the type of consultation and, quite frankly, what happened in the new trilateral deal that we have in the USMCA, did not happen at all in the CPTPP. None of those people were in the room. In fact, in a Montreal round when that particular deal was being negotiated under the NAFTA name, the minister and all of the officials were there meeting with stakeholders all weekend long, talking about the new deal we were going to have with the U.S. and Mexico, and they left those meetings without saying one word about the CPTPP. They flew away and signed the CPTPP.

Again, we have this incomprehensible mess of a trade agenda that the Liberals are presenting to Canadians, and we have Conservatives in this House who are happy to join hands and go down this path. I want working people in Canada to know, I want farmers in Canada to know, I want everyone who struggles to pay for their prescriptions to know, and I want everyone who cares about our environment to know that today, the Liberals, along with the help of the Conservatives, have turned their backs on them. They have exposed themselves for the free traders that they are, and there is nothing they will not sign and nothing they will not give up.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is always interesting to have an opportunity to listen to the member. She always has lots of energy behind her speech. I appreciate that. It is very evident she has done her research.

I would like to bring her back to 2015. Her party was not in support of CETA. It is not in support of the CPTPP and is not in support of the USMCA. I remember back at election time when the leader at the time said he had not even read the deal, which was the TPP at the time, and said that the New Democrats were not in favour of it. He did not even know what was in it yet.

When she speaks about the 58,000 jobs lost, our government will work closely with that industry to support them with compensation. However, she is not talking about the hundreds and thousands of jobs that will be created through these deals. These deals are very important for Canadians not just today but this will lead to prosperity for the next 30 to 100 years.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, that comment was completely void of fact. The member talked about reading the agreement. Perhaps he should read it himself and understand what his own government, through Global Affairs Canada, is saying about the deal, because the job losses are acknowledged by Global Affairs.

There is very little increase to the GDP, some $4.2 billion in 22 years. Economists call that negligible. We trade that in one day. To say that over 22 years, to give up all these jobs, to jeopardize family farms is something he supports, the member should go back, read the agreement and understand what he signed on to. I can assure him that I have.

He mentioned CETA. Here we are a year on from signing CETA and we have lost exports to our CETA partners. They have increased imports. There is a flood of imports and our exports are lower now than when we signed a year ago.

His government can keep opening doors with bad trade deals all it wants, but the only thing that is happening through those doors is a flood into our country, which is costing us jobs. Our Canadian exporters are not seeing the benefit of trade for multiple reasons, which the government fails to address. I would encourage the member to go and read the CPTPP.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us not beat around the bush. This agreement is basically a beautifully written corporate rights document, allowing them to ship capital to all of these different countries, and it is going to leave Canadian workers in the lurch.

What I want to hear from my hon. colleague is the incredible imbalance that exists between corporate rights and labour rights. From my understanding, corporations were given a beautiful tribunal in which to settle their scores with local governments that dare to legislate in the public interest. However, if labour leaders have a complaint, they have to prove that complaint had an impact on trade before it even comes into effect. If the murder of a labour leader for fighting for human rights in other countries does not have an impact on trade, it will not kick in under this.

I wonder if my colleague could expand on that and on the complete imbalance and negligence of the Liberal government to stand up for workers around the world.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for working very hard on the agricultural file and making sure that farmers' voices are heard in the House, because certainly we have folks on both sides of the aisle who, with the CPTPP, are happy to throw our farmers under the bus. Even the compensation to farmers that originally existed under the Conservatives has completely evaporated under the Liberal government. It is gone. There is nothing for the market share that has been opened. I thank him for that work.

What he is saying is completely factual. We are already tariff-free with 97% of the CPTPP countries we have signed on with. This deal is not about trade. This deal is about enshrining rights that go against our own sovereignty in our country through ISDS, which the Prime Minister admitted in the House today is a regressive provision that needs to be removed. Why then, less than an hour after the Prime Minister left the House today, are the Liberals signing on to an agreement that includes this regressive provision?

Human rights, which my colleague mentioned, is another important issue that we can address effectively in trade deals. This Liberal government and the Conservative one before it failed to do even that basic minimum to enshrine human rights, and that is a shame.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:25 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting amendments to Bill C-79. The Green Party is naturally opposed to agreements that are designed to protect the rights of investors and big foreign corporations.

On that, I am proud to say that we are the only party in the House that has consistently and always opposed investor-state dispute resolution agreements in every trade deal that has come through here.

I want to thank the hon. member for Essex for her work on this as well. It is very clear that the New Democratic Party does oppose investor-state agreements in the context of the CPTPP. In that, we were only joined by the Bloc Québécois today in objecting to shortening the debate. Even though the NDP, the third party in this place, was prepared to bend and allow a shortened debate, its amendment, which was rejected in this place, would have allowed debate that went for five hours as opposed to being shortened to almost no hours. It was amazing to me that the compromise position of the NDP was not accepted and that the large parties in this place, the Liberals and Conservatives, were all too quick to rush this bill to conclusion.

The trans-Pacific partnership, which we are entering into in this rushed fashion, has been refashioned as the comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership agreement, but it is very clear that it is not progressive, and it may not even be comprehensive.

I want to focus initially, as others have in this place, on what we celebrate, and I do want to be clear that I celebrate the achievements that were just achieved in replacing NAFTA with what has now been rebranded, Trump style, the USMCA. However, parts of the USMCA remain troubling. I should mention what they are. There is the erosion of supply management that protects not only our dairy farmers but other protected agricultural sectors. It presents a threat to human health in Canada if dairy products contaminated with bovine growth hormone are allowed to enter our marketplace. We remain concerned about the USMCA giving longer patent protection to pharmaceutical companies, thus driving up drug costs. We remain concerned about other sectors that are impacted by the new USMCA. However, we are relieved that the auto sector will survive this. We are relieved that many other sectors have not been negatively impacted as much as Trump had threatened.

The big good news out of the USMCA is what the Prime Minister mentioned earlier today, which happens, ironically, to be the subject matter of the amendments I argue in this place today. What the Prime Minister celebrated today, and I could not be more overjoyed, and “overjoyed” is the word to use, was the end of chapter 11 in NAFTA.

Chapter 11 was the world's first investor-state dispute mechanism. It was the debut of a concept that is so inherently anti-democratic that it is astonishing how it has managed to creep into nearly every trade agreement Canada has signed since. Now, essentially, the grandfather of all investor-state dispute resolutions is gone, but the illegitimate progeny continue to contaminate democracies around the world.

I will never forget how Steve Schreibman, a noted trade lawyer in Canada, described ISDS when he was fighting for intervenor status on behalf of Sierra Club Canada in one of the many chapter 11 cases that we ultimately lost. It was the one brought by S.D. Myers of Ohio, which claimed, believe it or not, that it was an investor in Canada, although it had never actually built anything here. It claimed that its rights had been infringed, because Canada banned the export of PCB-contaminated waste. We lost that case. Members may not believe it, but at the time an investor-state dispute resolution panel ruled that Canada had violated chapter 11 by banning the export of PCB-contaminated waste to the U.S., it was illegal under U.S. law to allow its importation. In this area of trade law, the only precedent to help figure it out is to reread Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, because none of it has ever made any sense.

I was about to quote Steven Schreibman in that case. He said that chapter 11 investor state dispute mechanisms are “fundamentally corrosive of democracy”.

Here we are in this place celebrating today, and I do celebrate. I want to thank, on the record, the Minister of Global Affairs for her extraordinary work in bringing through a concluded agreement with an administration as incoherent and unpredictable as the one that currently occupies the White House. Regardless of political stripe, Canadians should celebrate that. We have much more in common as Canadians than differences with those trying to score political points against the government for managing to navigate anything in the topsy-turvy world one encounters when dealing with the President of the United States.

We celebrate this big achievement that chapter 11 of NAFTA is gone. Why, then, are we inserting chapter 9 in the CPTPP, which does the same thing, but with different countries? With the advent of CPTPP, if we pass Bill C-79 as it is without accepting my amendment, we will now be subject to the same corporate rule, where foreign corporations from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico—we already had a Mexico ISDS under NAFTA—New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam have superior rights to domestic corporations.

There is another truth that must be told about these agreements, because, really, Canada is not at risk from TPP investor-dispute mechanisms from Chile, Mexico or Vietnam. I say that because there is a pattern. Here is the pattern, which we know from hundreds of cases reviewed by two major European Union think tanks, the Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute. They looked at hundreds of these cases that allow foreign corporations to sue domestic governments. Was there a pattern? Do governments tend to win? Do corporations tend to win? That is not the pattern one finds, but there is a pattern: the larger economic power always wins.

When Philip Morris, a U.S. corporation, decided to sue Uruguay because it dared to put health warnings on cigarette labels, Uruguay was going to lose, and it did. When it is a U.S. corporation, such as Ethyl Corporation, SDMyers, AbitibiBowater or Bilcon, the very worst case, the U.S. corporation will win and Canada will lose.

Canadian corporations, on the other hand, trying to sue in the U.S. nearly always lose, because we are a smaller economic power. That is why it is extraordinary that it was the U.S. that wanted to remove this agreement and Canada that used it. I hope we were using it the whole time, holding it back knowing it was a bargaining chip we were prepared to play, but we should never have fought to hang on to chapter 11 of NAFTA. It is so deeply offensive.

Here is the evidence. “Profiting from injustice” is the name of the study, and the subtitle is “How law firms, arbitrators and financiers are fuelling an investment arbitration boom” and gaining enormously financially. It is basically, like the words used earlier in this place in a different context, ambulance chasing. Basically, law firms, arbitrators, financiers and individual lawyers have made out like bandits on chapter 11 cases and other ISDA cases. The arbitrators are for-hire judges. There is no court. They are individual lawyers who are arbitrators, who, in the same firms, often represent corporations suing countries. There is no justification for leaving this in the CPTPP.

We have another precedent besides removing it from NAFTA, and that is that in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the EU, individual countries have opted out of ISDS while still joining in the overall trade deal.

Investor-state dispute resolutions are anti-democratic. They have nothing to do with trade and everything to do with transferring democratic rights to corporations. We should pass my amendment, please, and take ISDS out of the CPTPP.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:35 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, I can appreciate that the leader of the Green Party has been consistent, along with the New Democrats, on trade and trade agreements. Both parties just do not feel that trade agreements are something we should be moving forward on.

I want to give a specific example of why an agreement of this nature is a great benefit. It is all about enabling communities and businesses to gain access to markets. The leader might recall a company called HyLife, which is in rural Manitoba. It is a pork-processing plant. It exports, I believe, 90% to 95% of its product out of the province of Manitoba to Japan, I believe. Without those exports, that company would not exist. That company provides literally hundreds of jobs in the small but beautiful and dynamic community of Neepawa. It provides opportunities for many farmers and others.

Canada is a trading nation. One of the ways we can have those good-quality middle-class jobs is by allowing more trade to occur. Countries around the world recognize that if they want to advance the middle class and advance trade, what they need to do is secure those markets. That is what this bill would do.

I would ask the leader of the Green Party to maybe reconsider and recognize that there are significant benefits too.

Motions in amendmentComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

October 3rd, 2018 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Winnipeg North will know that in my speech, I focused on the investor-state dispute mechanisms, which have nothing to do with expanding markets, access to markets or trade.

However, since he raises the example of hog barns in Manitoba, I want to remind him that farmers in Manitoba did not want massive hog farms. In town after town, they tried to protest them. The former government of Gary Doer suspended the right of municipalities to say no to mega-farms for hogs. The result is the contamination of Lake Winnipeg and significant toxic eutrophication because liquid hog waste has contaminated it.

These issues are complex. The small family farms created more jobs and more healthy ecosystems for Manitobans than massive hog barns, which leave the pollution behind for the people of Manitoba, while shipping the product out.