Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak once again to the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, CPTPP, and the benefits to Canadians from coast to coast to coast and across all sectors of our economy.
As my hon. colleagues have noted, the need for Canada to diversify our trade and investment has never been stronger. Trade has long been an engine that drives our economy, and we have a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on new markets, which this government is opening up across the board. Canadian jobs and prosperity depend heavily on our connectivity with other countries around the world. This is why our government has committed to expanding Canada's access to markets beyond North America.
CETA has opened up markets across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe and the CPTPP would provide us with incredible new opportunities throughout Asia and the Pacific. We are also engaged in ongoing free trade agreement negotiations with the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur as well as exploratory discussions with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The CPTPP would be a cornerstone of Canada's ongoing diversification agenda.
Combined, the 11 CPTPP members represent a total of 495 million consumers and 13.5% of global GDP. Canada's exports to our CPTPP partners totalled nearly $27 billion in 2017. The CPTPP would provide Canadian companies, large or small, with a tremendous opportunity to continue to expand their business in Asia. Implementing and ratifying the CPTPP would strengthen our existing FTA partnerships with Chile, Mexico and Peru, and provide preferential access to seven new markets: Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. Once this agreement enters into force, and we are moving swiftly to that end, Canada will have 14 trade agreements that provide preferential access to 51 different countries. Combined, these represent nearly 1.5 billion consumers and over 60% of the global economy. Estimates project that the CPTPP would boost Canada's economy over the long term, and that growth will be driven by increased exports of goods and services and increased investment into Canada.
This means more jobs and more prosperity for hard-working Canadians and their families. The CPTPP would deliver 10 new markets on a level playing field so more Canadian businesses can expand their customer base and increase their profit margins. That is what happens when tariffs come down and access is open. Most of these tariffs, 86%, in fact, would be eliminated immediately upon the entering into force of the agreement, so that our exporters can take advantage of new business opportunities in CPTPP markets right away.
The CPTPP would also establish mechanisms to address non-tariff barriers such as technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Our exporters often cite non-tariff barriers as one of the most significant challenges when seeking to gain entry into a new market. In this regard, the CPTPP would help our exporters gain preferential access to large and fast-growing markets in Asia by establishing rules on these barriers to trade, creating a more predictable and transparent trading environment.
As a result of the CPTPP, Canadian exporters would be able to level the playing field with their competitors who currently enjoy preferential access to markets like Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Likewise, the CPTPP would allow companies to gain a competitive edge over those from countries that do not have the same level of access. The agreement would not just help Canadian companies export to Asia, but also help them establish customer relationships, networks and other joint partnerships, which are essential to doing business in the region.
This will offer Canada the opportunity to further integrate with Asia's regional and globally connected supply chains. It is in these supply chains where we anticipate the potential for remarkable growth.
Canada will also be at an advantage to export more agriculture and agri-food, fish and seafood, industrial machinery and everything in between. Quality made-in-Canada goods are in demand for a rapidly rising middle class throughout the region and there is no country better placed to provide those goods than Canada.
New markets for our agriculture and agri-food products mean more opportunities for Canadians to export fruit from British Columbia, beef from Alberta, wheat from Saskatchewan, pork from Manitoba, icewine from Ontario, maple syrup from Quebec, blueberries from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and potato products from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, just to name a few.
Opening up new markets for our fish and seafood industry means more opportunities for salmon, halibut, lobster, clams, mussels and snow crab, supporting close to 76,000 Canadian jobs based mostly in rural and coastal regions from coast to coast to coast.
Opening up new markets means opportunities for Canadians employed in the diverse and productive resources and manufacturing sectors from across the country, such as aerospace, chemicals, cosmetics, industrial machinery, medical devices, information and communications technologies, metals and minerals, pharmaceuticals and plastics.
The benefits of the CPTPP do not stop there.
The agreement will also provide Canadian companies, service providers and investors alike with transparency, predictability and certainty in their access to CPTPP markets through its dedicated chapters covering trade in services and investment.
The CPTPP will provide preferential access for Canada's service providers across a broad range of sectors, including legal, architectural, engineering, transportation, environmental, education and financial services.
This access will be further supported by what is called a “ratchet mechanism”, which locks in the level of market access provided to Canadian service providers under the CPTPP.
This, combined with provisions on national treatment and most favoured nation treatment, means that Canada's access to CPTPP service markets can only improve over time as our partners implement policies towards greater liberalization, including when they complete FTA negotiations with other countries around the world.
I would like to talk about some of the more progressive elements of the CPTPP that support our government's commitment to ensuring that the benefits of trade are widely shared. I want to talk about these because these issues have been at the heart of pushback on trade.
On labour rights for example, the CPTPP includes a dedicated chapter that enhances workers' rights and ensures that economic development does not come at their expense. It also encourages parties to promote equality and the elimination of discrimination against women in the workplace.
When we truly level the playing field, we give more people the confidence to compete and succeed and the reassurance that comes from knowing the government has their backs.
Canadians recognize there is no better time for our economy than now to diversify our markets. Our government is committed to expanding market access for our businesses, for our workers and ensuring that we, at the same time, uphold values that Canadians care deeply about.
It is really important that the House pass this legislation as quickly as possible. I am willing to work with my Senate colleagues and our government is ready to assist them in passing the bill.