Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you witnesses as well.
Mr. Chair, everyone knows that this government has an ambitious trade agenda, because we strongly believe that trade creates jobs and also provides opportunities for businesses, specifically for SMEs. That in turn creates jobs here in Canada. I believe this is a win-win situation. This free trade agreement will benefit both Canada and Jordan by opening markets for Canadian and Jordanian exporters, by providing unprecedented access to our respective markets, and by eliminating tariffs on a number of key products.
Mr. Chair, I don't understand the NDP's position that by opening new markets we will lose the jobs here in Canada. It's quite funny that during the leadership convention last week they hired a Spanish company over a Canadian company. Perhaps they need to “walk the talk”.
My question is for Mr. Vogt. Just as in the case of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, we believe that engagement with Jordan through free trade will help raise the standard of living and improve Jordan's labour and environmental standards. However, the NDP believe “the only way we will get countries like Colombia to elevate their standards of labour and human rights is by not allowing them to play in that sandbox of globalized capital trade”.
We have seen improvements in Colombia since we signed the free trade agreement with Colombia. My question is—