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

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:35 a.m.
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NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, as we know, the Liberal government is very big on consultation. It does consultation and at the end of the process, if the consultation is not in agreement with the government's position, it will just go ahead and do whatever it wants anyway. We saw this with electoral reform.

In this instance, the Liberal government promised it would do consultation. Not only did it not do meaningful consultation, it passed the buck over to the committee. The committee did some work on this and 95% of the submissions to the committee were against this deal. Why is the government pushing ahead, given that the limited consultation done by the committee indicated the public did not support the deal?

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:35 a.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we were the first committee to travel across Canada and hold open-mic meetings. Yes, we listened to Canadians. Yes, Canadians are happy. We have created 500,000 jobs since 2015. Opening up the market in Asia, which represents 500 million consumers, and the market in Europe as we did is unprecedented. It goes without saying that opening these markets will result in more middle-class jobs. In my riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, SMEs will benefit on the export side.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:35 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has finally seen the light and understands how important it is to quickly ratify the CPTPP.

At long last, Canada may soon ratify the agreement reached in 2015. We hope this will happen quickly. Members will recall that the CPTPP was one of the Prime Minister's first missteps on the international stage. I would like to quote a few articles, including this one:

Prime Minister a no-show at meeting.”

I would like to give the House a quick reminder of what happened.

“Ten leaders from countries remaining in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were left “red-faced” by Canadian Prime Minister...when he did not turn up at a TPP-11 leaders meeting.”

Here is some of the reaction:

Shinzo Abe announced that “the signing was off” because the Prime Minister would not attend.

Steve Ciobo called it a 'disappointing development'.

Some ministers said that the Prime Minister got “cold feet” because of looming elections in Quebec.

What motivates this party's actions? Not the national economy. The answer is political trends and partisanship. Why do I think that? Because when the other countries reached an agreement last spring, we could have made short work of Bill C-79 here in the House. The government could have introduced Bill C-79 back in May, and we could have started working on it then. Had that been the case, we would already have ratified the agreement, and we would have been one of the first six countries to do so. However, the government sat on the bill until the last week before the break, at which point it was too late to start working on it.

The official opposition moved two motions for the unanimous consent of the House to get on with studying the bill quickly and adopting it as written. Obviously, that did not happen. Now the government says it is going to act fast. I just do not get it. This has all been such a disappointment. Anyway, if the past is any indication, we know that they do not always walk the talk.

I have a lot more to say about this, but I will not have enough time because I am sharing my time with the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. He has a lot to say about Bill C-79 too.

Our leader, the Leader of the Opposition, sent a letter to the Prime Minister this summer, asking him to act more quickly so that we would not miss the opportunity to be among the first six countries to sign the CPTPP.

I would now like to read a few excerpts from the letter our leader sent to the Prime Minister. I think it is important that Canadians know where we stood at the time and why we were asking him to act quickly.

These actions by the United States threaten the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Canadians. This is even more worrying given the U.S. government's repeated threats to impose 25% tariffs on the auto sector. On this file, Canada's Conservatives' most pressing priority is to protect Canadian jobs and industry by having tariffs removed from Canadian steel and aluminium and by stopping new tariffs from being imposed.

The same is true today. He also wrote:

Conservatives have always supported diversifying our trading relationships around the world, which is why the previous Conservative government had the foresight to conclude free trade negotiations and investment agreements with 53 countries, including the countries of the original trans-Pacific partnership and the 28 countries of CETA, which concluded in 2014.

Our leader continued:

...it is even more urgent that we act to expand and diversify our trading relationships.

That is why he called on the Prime Minister to:

...request that the Speaker recall the House of Commons pursuant to Standing Order 28(3) as soon as possible this summer [exceptionally] to debate and pass Bill C-79, the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership implementation act.

The leader cited the Peterson Institute for International Economics which:

...estimated that the original TPP, which was negotiated and concluded by the previous Conservative government, would boost Canadian income by $20 billion over the next decade.

This request was flatly rejected by the government. We do not understand why.

We were ready to get to work and spend part of the summer ensuring that this bill is passed as soon as possible. Why it is so important for us to be among the first six countries? It is simple. It is because after the first six signatures, after six countries enshrine the agreement, the CPTPP comes into effect within 60 days. If we are not there during that time, all the good agreements for exporting and importing with those countries will already have been concluded with the first six signatory countries. Canada will be left with crumbs.

The last one to arrive at the table in a large family gets whatever is left and often that is nothing at all. That is why we think it is absolutely urgent and necessary to ratify the CPTPP quickly.

We will obviously work with the government to adopt the CPTPP as quickly as possible, because it is important to our industry and to farmers. The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance held two press conferences. They held a press conference and send out a press release to explain why we must adopt the CPTPP as quickly as possible. According to research commissioned by the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, this trade pact could increase Canadian agri-food exports by nearly $2 billion annually for a variety of agriculture products including beef, pork, grains, canola, pulses, soybeans, barley, sugar, and processed foods.

That is the reality. We are talking about the economy. Canadian jobs will be in jeopardy if we do not move fast enough. We are deeply disappointed that the government took too long to finally grasp how important it was to sign the CPTPP as quickly as possible.

I hope the government finally gets it, for the sake of the people who produce these agriculture products, including beef, pork, grains, canola, pulses, soybeans, barley, sugar and processed foods.

I would like to move on to another sector covered by the agreement that is raising some serious concerns. I am referring to the supply management sector. The agreement requires Canada to make concessions on supply management. Under the old agreement, the previous Conservative government foresaw that there would be consequences for producers in supply-managed sectors. That was why we instituted a 10-year compensation plan.

The compensation plan provided up to $4 billion for producers in supply-managed sectors. We created it because we felt it was important to recognize that even though we had succeeded in negotiating a global economic agreement that was good for Canada, we had had to sacrifice part of the supply management quota, and producers deserved to be compensated accordingly. We allocated $4 billion, including $450 million for facility upgrades.

The response of the current government has been to offer no compensation program whatsoever. No wonder people are worried today. No announcements have been made on this subject, and no empathy has been shown towards producers in supply-managed sectors, even though they have willingly sacrificed part of their quotas for the good of the Canadian economy.

The government created a little $350-million program to modernize farms and support processors. The Conservatives' plan allocated $450 million, in addition to more than $3 billion to protect quotas and offset the losses that supply-managed farmers could experience once the TPP is implemented.

In short, the official opposition will support ratifying the CPTPP as quickly as possible, because this agreement is important to our economy. Once again, I hope that the Liberal government will not screw this up come signing time, and I hope that everyone will be there. I hope that we do not end up being a laughingstock on the world stage.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. He is always very enthusiastic, and I appreciate that. I want to welcome him back. This is so important.

I do want to point out that just three countries have ratified the agreement so far. Six countries must do so before the agreement can come into force. We are moving quickly right now, so Canada should make the list and not end up seventh among the four, five, or six major countries. I would like to hear the member's thoughts on the middle class and small businesses.

Does he think that Canadians, across the country, small businesses, and the middle class will benefit from this agreement that will bring in $4.2 billion in its first year?

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, we hope that this agreement is ratified as quickly as possible. We hope that the other countries do not move more quickly than we do, but there are no guarantees of that. Who can guarantee that three other countries will not sign and ratify the CPTPP next week. That is the problem. We had the opportunity to beat them to the punch. Canada has the second-largest economy of the CPTPP countries. Does it seem right that we are among the last of the first group of six to ratify it? We are going to benefit a lot more from this agreement than many other countries, and yet the Liberals waited until the last minute. They put our economy at risk for purely political reasons.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not how the member is getting those numbers from an injection of over $4 billion dollars into the Canadian economy. I think the government must be looking at international trade agreements in a very partisan way to be saying things and coming up with numbers like that. I think that exports will help to stabilize our agricultural industry. Right now, there are a lot of problems on the global agricultural market. This will help to maintain jobs and create new ones. I can guarantee that.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend my colleague on his speech. I know how hard the member for Mégantic—L'Érable has worked in the agriculture sector as the shadow minister for agriculture and agri-food.

I would like the member to explain what he thinks makes the CPTPP so imperative right now as the Liberal government has bungled and failed in our relationships with other countries which have been trusted trading partners in the past. India, Japan and Italy are now pulling back from accessing the Canadian market which is costing us some very vital export markets for our producers. Now, because of how the Liberals have bungled NAFTA, our main trading partner, the United States, is also at risk. Losing that market could be costly to the Canadian agriculture sector.

With everything that is going around and how mismanaged our relationships have been with our trusted trading partners, why is CPTPP that much more important right now?

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with my colleague. The CPTPP is very important, and the Liberal government must take our international trade relations with all of our partners seriously.

Just look at the Prime Minister's trip to India back at the beginning of the year. Shortly after that trip to India, we got hit with harsh tariffs. The Prime Minister was there, but he did not broach the subject with the Indian prime minister. They did not talk about it at all, and as a result, our pulse exports to India are down $300 million this year. When he was there, the Prime Minister could have tried to deal with the situation before it got this bad. The fact that the Prime Minister skips out on signing ceremonies and visits countries but does not talk about major agricultural issues with our partners is causing problems, like the one we are having with India right now.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House to debate Bill C-79, the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership implementation act. I would like to thank the member for Abbotsford for the excellent work he did on this agreement during his tenure as the international trade minister under the previous Conservative government.

I would like to begin by underscoring how important this bill is to our farming communities. According to the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance, passing this legislation could boost the value of Canada's agri-food exports by $1.84 billion. This agreement will open up a whole new market where Canadian farmers will be able to sell their products.

In addition, given the uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations, it is even more crucial that we pass this bill so that we can further diversify our trade. When the United States starts imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, Canada needs to find new markets for its products. When Canada loses access to a market and to thousands of jobs, it just makes sense to find a new market where we can sell the same products.

Furthermore, the countries that Canada will get access to through this agreement have a combined GDP of about $13 billion. These countries include Japan, which has the third-largest economy after the United States and China. This represents a market worth about three-quarters of the U.S. market. The CPTPP is an incredible opportunity to diversify Canada's trade and improve Canadians' economic well-being.

When we look at all the benefits that the CPTPP will have for Canada once we pass this bill, it is hard to understand why the Liberals chose to ignore the opposition leader's request to recall the House of Commons to pass Bill C-79. The Conservative Party leader made that request because the agreement will only come into force once it has been fully ratified by six different countries. Mexico, Japan and Singapore had already ratified it by the time the request was made, so only three other countries needed to sign on for the agreement to come into force.

If the Liberals had recalled the House to pass this bill during the summer, as we requested, Canada could have secured the earliest possible access to the new markets. Instead, they decided to take a chance that three other countries would ratify the agreement, costing Canada thousands of jobs. With NAFTA, the government sat on its hands while the other countries negotiated a free trade agreement, and it almost let the same thing happen with the CPTPP.

The Liberals had no reason not to recall the House to pass this bill. The fact that they ignored this request shows that they do not take Canadians' economic well-being seriously. In fact, this Liberal government seems almost determined to make life harder and harder for Canadians.

First, the Liberals are imposing a carbon tax, but they do not want to say how much it will cost Canadians.

This tax will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will only make Canadians' lives more difficult by encouraging investors to invest outside Canada, in countries with different environmental regulations.

Second, the Liberals are incapable of building pipelines like Trans Mountain and energy east. These pipelines would have brought new jobs to Canada and benefited all Canadians.

Finally, the Liberals refused to recall the House to guarantee that Canadians in every sector would have access to a larger market.

These three examples show that the Liberals are not fighting for the middle class and those seeking to join it. Instead, they show that the Liberals do not take Canadian jobs seriously. It seems that every time the Liberals announce a new policy, it discourages investment in Canada and stifles the creation of new jobs.

In closing, I would like to explain why I support the bill and free trade.

In general, free trade is a good thing. It certainly has played a role in major changes around the world. For example, free trade has resulted in the rate of extreme poverty dropping from 44% to less than 10% since the early 1980s. Free trade has increased the life expectancy at birth from 53 years in 1960 to 70 today. There are fewer wars around the world because of free trade. When countries trade, they become more dependent on one another economically. When countries trade, it is no longer profitable to be at war. It is much more advantageous to keep the peace so that we can reap the mutual benefits of trade between countries.

These are the many reasons why the previous Conservative government signed free trade agreements with many countries. It did so with Panama, South Korea, Honduras and many others. That is why the Conservative government negotiated the TPP and the free trade agreement with the European Union. On this side of the House, we support free trade for practical reasons and on principle.

Free trade also helps promote freedom. I have always advocated for human rights and freedom in my work here and elsewhere. Free trade is an essential form of freedom. Free trade implies that people have the right to buy and sell across borders as they see fit.

For all these reasons, I will vote in favour of this bill. Once again, I want to point out that my Conservative colleagues, like the member for Abbotsford and the former prime minister, worked hard to ensure Canada's prosperity.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / noon
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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 commend my colleague across the way for his ability to communicate in French. It was done quite well.

I appreciate the fact that the Conservative Party has recognized the value in supporting the legislation and has assisted us in moving forward by supporting the time allocation motion. The whole trade file has been a very important for this government, virtually from day one. We saw a lot of the work from the previous administration that was finalized and signed off by this government at the economic union. That was very helpful.

We recognize that trade negotiations and discussions evolve. However, it is really important for us to recognize that the biggest benefactor of this is the middle class, the economy and those aspiring to become a part of the middle class as we try to expand the markets. These trade agreements are all about that, providing opportunities and a potential for ongoing expansion of our economy.

Could my colleague across the way provide his thoughts on how important it is that we pass the legislation relatively quickly, given we would like to be one of the first six countries to sign on, which is an important aspect of the legislation in itself?

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is great that my Liberal colleagues agree with the Conservative Party and that they support the work we did as a government. I agree that it would be ideal if we could move this bill forward. However, it was not good when the government decided to deny our leader's request to hold a special sitting in the summer. We could have gotten started on this bill before September. Unfortunately, the government chose not to. Now, we must certainly move this bill forward very quickly.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, the issue of the provisions the hon. member refers to is quite clear. If we have a free trade agreement, there needs to be a mechanism to ensure that measures are followed. That is why, for example, in the NAFTA negotiations, we are calling for the same thing from the United States, namely to protect the impartial mechanisms that are used to assess requests from companies, individuals and governments. I do not understand what makes the NDP think we can have free trade agreements without a mechanism to ensure that measures are followed. In the meantime, it is clear that the NDP does not support any free trade agreement.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I spent four weeks in Quebec this summer to improve my French. I am glad to have francophone colleagues who can help me practice my French. I think it is important for all members to be able to present their arguments in both official languages and to speak in such a way that we can all understand each other.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.
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Pam Goldsmith-Jones Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs), Lib.

Mr. Speaker, our government strongly believes that the comprehensive and progressive trans-Pacific partnership agreement, or CPTPP, will help increase and diversify Canada's trade and investment in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific markets and improve Canadians' economic prosperity. At the same time, the agreement will ensure that the benefits of trade are widely shared, in particular by making it easy for small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

Exports are essential for the health and vitality of Canadian businesses and Canadian SMEs play a key role in increasing trade and economic growth in Canada. Indeed, SMEs are the backbone of the Canadian economy. They represent more than 99% of all businesses, 90% of all private sector jobs and 10.7 million workers and they generate nearly 40% of Canada's gross domestic product.

I forgot to mention, Mr. Speaker, that I will be sharing my time with the member for Winnipeg Centre.

Only 11% of Canadian SMEs benefit from foreign markets, however, and our government is committed to helping increase that. Exports are vital to the growth of Canada's economy. That is why our government will help small businesses expand into new markets abroad by promoting exports through the negotiation and implementation of the free trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, between Canada and EU; and now the CPTPP.

The CPTPP will enable Canadian SMEs to enter the dynamic Asia-Pacific market through agreements that simplify the export process and increase SME participation in global supply chains. This agreement will strengthen our economic ties with some of our current free trade partners, such as Chile, Mexico, and Peru, while providing preferential market access to seven new free trade partners: Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei.

In addition, the CPTPP will eliminate tariffs and improve market access for Canadian companies, including SMEs. Upon implementation, 86% of signatory countries' tariffs will be instantly eliminated. This will apply to Canadian exports to CPTPP countries, with an average value of $28.3 billion per year between 2015 and 2017. Once the agreement is fully implemented, signatory countries would eliminate 99% of their tariffs. This will apply to exports to CPTPP countries that average $32 billion per year between 2015 and 2017. This increased market access will make our SMEs more competitive and position them for success. It will also create opportunities for Canadian SMEs to diversify their exports at a time when this is extremely important.

The agreement provides for enhanced market access agreements for our financial services and service sectors and a comprehensive set of investment protection provisions based on a strong dispute resolution mechanism for investments. These provisions will greatly benefit SMEs as they are disproportionately impacted by non-tariff barriers.

In addition, the CPTPP will be a first in Canada in terms of free trade agreements in that it contains a chapter that specifically guarantees that small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to take advantage of the opportunities it creates. This separate chapter highlights the importance of SMEs, which are the backbone of our economy and an engine of economic growth.

These provisions will ensure that our entrepreneurs and small businesses have access to information tailored to their needs, making it easy for Canadian companies to explore and navigate their way around CPTPP markets and prepare for their successful business ventures.

Through the efforts of the committee, as well as collaborative mechanisms, CPTPP signatories will be able to share best practices on how to support their businesses and to co-operate through seminars, workshops, and other capacity-building activities aimed at helping their businesses seize the opportunities created by the agreement.

The CPTPP will increase market opportunities for Canadian companies of all sizes and in all sectors and regions of the country. In the coming months, we will reach out to small and medium-sized enterprises across the country to ensure they have the knowledge and tools they need to take advantage of this historic agreement. At the same time, we will work to help Canadian SMEs to grow, expand their activities, increase their productivity and be innovative and export oriented so they can prosper and create good jobs for the middle class.

Asia is important to Canada and to our small and medium-sized enterprises. Indeed, that region's contribution to the global economy continues to grow and Asia's importance as a destination for Canadian exports has more than doubled.

The CPTPP is a cornerstone of our government's commitment to trade diversification. It will enable Canadian businesses to trade and invest in this dynamic and rapidly-growing region. Since Asia is a highly integrated and adaptable region, the benefits of CPTPP go well beyond access to new markets. This agreement will provide Canadian companies of all sizes with opportunities to enter into various regionally integrated value chains that are global in scope.

Ambitious agreements with high standards, such as the CPTPP, will help to strengthen the rules-based international system and its solid institutions, promoting global value chains and ensuring a level playing field that maximizes the benefits of trade for everyone.

By responsibly expanding our economic ties with our Asian partners, we are delivering on our promise to create economic growth opportunities that will benefit Canada's middle class. This agreement will create opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises to expand their activities, prosper and create good jobs for the middle class. We are here to help Canadians, to help them move forward, to grow and succeed abroad, while creating an environment conducive to sustainable and lasting growth for all.

Second ReadingComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

September 18th, 2018 / 12:15 p.m.
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NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like ask the hon. member the same question I previously asked the member for Edmonton Centre.

Both the Conservatives and Liberals deeply supported the NAFTA agreement. One of the remarkable things about the NAFTA agreement were the two side agreements, one on labour and one on the environment. The side agreement on the environment, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, had very strong provisions. It established a council of environment ministers of all the parties to the agreement and extended a lot of rights and opportunities to the public of all of the signatory parties to be engaged, including filing petitions for action on failed enforcement.

Could the member respond to this? Why has her government decided to significantly downgrade environmental protections, yet claims to put environment on par with economic development and trade?