Mr. Speaker, it is not only the textile industry that is being affected by the government's trade problems. I want to talk a bit about some of the things western Canada has run into on agricultural issues.
The U.S. farm bill turns billions of dollars over to its agriculture sector each year. This year alone $16 billion in direct tax subsidies will go to supposed producers and organizations. Two of the biggest rice producers in the United States are the biggest recipients of agricultural aid. The U.S. has a huge farm program and the Liberal government has never challenged any portion of it. The U.S. continues to subsidize its producers and our government says nothing.
With respect to BSE, there is a renegade group of troublemakers in the United States that have succeeded once in keeping the border closed. They are scheduled to go before the courts again in early March for an injunction to keep them closed to our beef, and our government is completely silent on this. We have not heard anything from it with respect to this issue.
The European Union will bring in export subsidies on its grain and Canadian producers will be affected by that. We have heard absolutely nothing from the government, but farm groups, the Wheat Board and others have spoken out.
Why is the government unable to represent Canadian interests in either domestic or international trade disputes?