Mr. Speaker, first, I listened carefully to my colleague's comments. He noted that much of the trade that exists between Canada and the United States, and our number is $1.3 billion two-way trade a day across the border, existed before the FTA.
I remind my colleague that over the past 10 years export sales in goods and services, as a percentage of our GDP, has gone from 25% to 45%. That is a tremendous growth. There is no other way to put it than much of that is attributable to the FTA and to NAFTA. Some 90% of the 2.1 million jobs created in this country since we came to power in 1993 were directly related to our exports in goods and services.
The hon. member raised the subject of Ireland, which is pretty close to my heart, its subsidies and the good work they have done. I saw them firsthand and there is no question that is true. Canada has been a player in that, contributing significant money through the international fund of Ireland.
However does the member not understand that we cannot fairly compare and draw an analogy between the FTAA, which is in its infancy and really has not even been struck yet as we are only talking about it, and the EU which has been 40 years in its evolutionary stage.
Canada has a fund for development in the Americas that has been recently created by the Minister for International Cooperation. Is the member not aware of that fund? Is the member not aware of the concerns raised by President Fox and other leaders, and the steps that were taken in Quebec to create a fund for development in the Americas, exactly the same kind of ideas that he spoke about vis-à-vis Ireland? They have to have time to mature.