I'll start off by saying Canada is a trading nation, right? One out of six jobs links to trade. It's the equivalent of about three million jobs that are linked to trade in Canada. That's two-thirds of our GDP, approximately, all linked to trade. It's an important part of our GDP, of what we do every day. I would start off by saying that.
You also look at the quality of jobs. When you look at the quality of jobs, the rates of pay tend to be higher for companies that export, so all around, it's good. It's good for Canada and it's good for our partners.
The other reason that it's important for us to be involved in negotiations, especially when they're ongoing negotiations in groupings, is to maintain a level playing field. For example, we're discussing with the Pacific Alliance right now. They are discussing potential free trade agreements with a number of other countries to also become associated states. If we weren't part of that discussion, they'd have a leg up on us.
It's the same thing with Mercosur. As they are discussing with other countries, we may want to also consider being involved in those negotiations.