I'll be extending some Mr. Shipley's comments. I think we're thinking some of the same things.
To the students in the room today, you'll see that this is a group project. A lot of government is a group project, where we try to get opposing opinions and try to get the best ideas forward. That's really what this exercise is about. It's more than an exercise. It is very important to our country, when you talk about the size of agriculture and the numbers of jobs and families that depend on agriculture.
From my years around different boardroom tables, I'd say that we've seen and heard the positives, but we haven't heard the negatives. We haven't yet heard what the risks are. With the 51 trade agreements we've had in recent years, our balance of trade has gone from a positive $51-billion surplus to a $12-billion loss. Our balance of trade hasn't been favourably affected by the trade agreements, so there is a risk to trade agreements. There's an opportunity, but there's also a risk.
When you talk about the soy markets in other countries being that much bigger than ours, can we compete when we open ourselves up to the larger markets, or will we be net importer of products from other countries?
This is maybe a general question back to that. I'm looking at Mr. Everson and thinking of the soy market. What would be our competitive advantage if we were to open up that market and eliminate tariffs? You could see that get us onto the playing field, but in which direction does the ball go? Does the ball come in our favour or does the ball go in favour of the other people?