Mr. Speaker, following today's historic address by Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, I rise in the House today to reaffirm the importance of NAFTA to the flourishing trading relationship on the North American continent.
Since NAFTA's implementation, merchandise trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States has more than tripled, reaching $946 billion U.S. in 2008. Today, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico trade roughly $2.6 billion U.S. in merchandise on a daily basis. That is about $108 million U.S. per hour.
NAFTA has proven that liberalizing trade is an important tool in promoting transparency, economic growth and economic stability. It has been such a success to the North American continent that countries, such as Colombia, now also want to open their own markets to benefit from the economic prosperity on the North American continent.
I call upon parliamentarians to do what is right for Canada and for Colombia and to pass the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement. Colombia is more than just its past civil injustices. It is time that those opposed to this agreement stop focusing on--