Mr. Speaker, thousands of softwood lumber workers have been thrown out of work due to United States protectionism and the Liberal government's lack of action and foresight.
Another crisis in trade is at hand: Our agriculture sector could be crippled by the new U.S. farm bill that will soon become law. Along with the disastrous increase in production distorting domestic subsidies, the U.S. farm bill also calls for country of origin labelling to be mandatory within two years. For a commodity to be labelled as a U.S. product it would have to be born in, raised in and processed in the U.S. This will cause shock waves to resonate throughout Canada, affecting all sectors of our economy.
Canada's threatened agriculture and agrifood exports are worth $25 billion per year. The sector employs almost two million Canadians.
With NAFTA and WTO appeals taking years to settle, I call on the Minister for International Trade and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to get prepared this time and to challenge this policy the minute it is signed into law.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Veneman is in Ottawa today. She must hear this message loud and clear.