Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to rise today to speak to the NDP motion concerning chapter 11. I do so as the former chair of the subcommittee on international trade, trade disputes and investment in the last session of parliament.
The general purpose of chapter 11 of NAFTA is to protect foreign investors and foreign investment from trade distorting discriminatory treatment. This general purpose would protect Canadian investors and Canadian investment in the United States and Mexico and would help to create jobs, prosperity and wealth for Canadians.
Protection for the ability of Canadians to trade is very important to Canada's prosperity. Exports of Canadian goods and services account for more than 45% of Canada's gross domestic product. Canada's economic success depends on open markets, a stable trading environment and a rules based system.
Investment is also very important to Canada. Since 1993 direct investment in Canada has more than doubled. This inward investment helps build a knowledge economy to prepare Canada to compete confidently on a global stage.
Last year we attracted a record $93.2 billion in new foreign direct investment. In 2000 our inward investment reached $291 billion. At the same time Canadian investment abroad grew from $98 billion in 1990 to $301 billion in 2000.
When Canadian companies look abroad for new opportunities they often invest to gain a foothold in foreign markets. In the year 2000 Canadians invested nearly $62 billion to expand our global presence abroad—