I want to welcome those from Havergal College from downtown Toronto. When I talked to these students, they hadn't experienced much of agriculture given their location, so I welcome the young people. This is a great opportunity, folks, to help them understand the significant role agriculture plays in Canada, not only because we eat its produce, but also because we're an export nation. When we're an exporting nation, and so something like the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership with its 12 countries, is very significant to the agriculture industry.
I might also tell our urbanized friends that they help promote the use our products every day by consuming them. When we consume them, we produce for domestic use, and that's within our country, within our provinces, and within our cities. Also, as we've heard from all our presenters, Canada is an exporting nation internationally.
On the TPP, every one of you has talked about the need to move it. My understanding is that when we negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CETA, or any of the other parts of the 51 trade agreements we have signed of late, this was done in some confidentiality. We've been accused of doing them in secret. Maybe you can correct me, but my understanding is that all of you were totally engaged during the discussions of the partnership. Is that a fair statement for all of you? I'm going to take the nods as a yes.
The criticism implies that you would negotiate this in public. We all know that isn't ever done, nor should it be done. What it does is allow us to move forward. Each of you has talked about the urgency of getting it done. You also said that it won't get done unless the United States signs off on it.
What is the advantage of having Canada step forward and get it done? As we talk to all the groups that come in, we will find that the stakeholders have all been engaged in this across the country. When we talk to the international trade group, we'll find that the stakeholders have all been engaged. What is the disadvantage of our moving forward, and stepping out, and getting this thing ratified?
Mr. Darling, this is for you, and then I'll talk to Ms. Citeau.