Mr. Speaker, I listened to the comments of my friend. I am glad to hear his high level of support for this initiative.
He made some reference to the ongoing saga of the softwood lumber dispute. I note to him that the problem in this file is that the free trade agreement is not being respected, and that really is the problem.
In referring to human rights, my friend mentioned that these agreements were not perfect. This is exactly the case. Unfortunately, we can have a free trade agreement, be it bilateral or trilateral as NAFTA or the WTO, where a country cannot live up to its obligations. That is the reality. We do not have and probably never will have a perfect trade agreement.
I would like to ask my friend two questions. First, given such shortcomings and such problems which crop up from time to time, such as softwood lumber, and no doubt will crop up under the WTO, does he not think that a rules based trading system is by far the best way for a country to go, particularly Canada? Canada is so dependent on trade for its economic success.
Second, I would like to give him an opportunity to comment on the Kofi Annan comment made by one of my Alliance colleagues earlier, and I will add to that comment. Mr. Annan said that globalized and liberalized free trade, and he quantified it, would mean as much as $150 billion for the developing nations of the world.
My Alliance colleague asked my NDP colleague from Burnaby--Douglas the question and unfortunately he ducked it, as he did when I asked him. I have never heard that party attempt to answer the question. What is the reaction of my colleague from the PC/DR coalition to the comments of Mr. Annan?