Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Surrey Centre.
I am happy to speak about pre-clearance, and what it means for my riding of Kildonan—St. Paul. Every time I am at home, I see more trucks on Winnipeg's roads heading to CentrePort. These are signs of growth, trade, jobs, and these jobs are, many of them, in my riding of Kildonan—St. Paul.
My good friend and fellow Ukrainian Canadian, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, has stressed how important it is to make our border thinner. The Prime Minister has worked with our American neighbours to bring our two countries closer together.
During her recent meetings in Washington, the foreign affairs minister stressed that making trade easier with Canada was a priority, including extending pre-clearance for product shipments. She is quoted in The Canadian Press as saying:
Our conversations focused on ways to make that border thinner. We talked about pre-clearance for cargo as an area that we might want to be working on, going forward.
Right now, Canada hosts 15 international pre-clearance stations at its airports. A Canadian government spokesman said:
Any U.S. pre-clearance activities in Canada have to be carried out in a manner consistent with Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
U.S.-Canada trade is very significant for Canada. U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totalled an estimated $662.7 billion in 2015 and exports were $337.3 billion, with imports at $325.4 billion. U.S. goods and services have a trade surplus with Canada of only $11.9 billion in 2015.
Looking at Manitoba trade exports, who was our number one partner? The United States, of course, with $16.291 billion exported to the United States while we import $9.527 billion worth of products.
Therefore, it makes good sense for Kildonan—St. Paul, for Manitoba, and for all of Canada to look at ways to make our relationship with the United States better.
I am very proud to say that our current Prime Minister had a very successful mission to Washington where he was able to make renewed friends with the new President, and in fact, talked about a number of issues including how we can enhance trade between our two countries, an issue that the President and our Prime Minister both recognized as having benefits for both countries.
Today, I want to focus on what more open borders will mean for businesses in my riding of Kildonan—St. Paul. Winnipeg's James Richardson Airport has had U.S. pre-clearance for many years, and in the last decade the increase in cargo pre-clearance has made a huge difference for Manitobans.
Also in my riding is Palliser Furniture, which produces outstanding furniture, and the owners and many of the workers at Palliser live and work in my riding. This is a growing company that has grown through Canada's policy of free and open trade. As our government moves to ratify the Canada-Europe and Canada–Ukraine free trade deals, it is possible that in the future I will be speaking about Palliser's location in Kiev and Warsaw.
In Winnipeg, we built CentrePort, North America's largest inland port. CentrePort is a hub that connects our local businesses with their partners all over the world through air, road, and train systems.
Our open trade policy means that CentrePort has been rapidly growing. At 20,000 acres, there is a lot of room for more investment. In the last year, CentrePort has seen several new developments, including the announcement of a new $25 million grain handling facility, and a partnership with Mexican business and government leaders to bring investments to Manitoba.
All of this growth has meant that CentrePort has had to expand its existing infrastructure, water, telecommunications, and natural gas, so there can be new opportunities for businesses and to create new jobs for all of the new workers.
In fact, new needs of CentrePort are roads and infrastructure. Particularly important for my riding is the Chief Peguis Trail, and I encourage the Conservative government of Manitoba to come to the table, to take our generous offer of building infrastructure in Manitoba to create jobs and new investments in Manitoba, like other western provinces where more infrastructure is needed.
Trading hubs like CentrePort are important because they keep our connections strong and our economy moving. In Manitoba, almost 40% of our economic activity is the result of trade with American partners. As a manufacturing hub, we export over $16 billion worth of goods every year. In fact, Manitobans trade almost as much with international partners as they do with Canada's other provinces. This has made Manitoba a centre for trade, which connects our world-class trade infrastructure with our world-class manufacturing.
One of its most interconnected imports is busing. In fact, many of us and our constituents ride those buses every day, with components that are built in Winnipeg. For example, New Flyer Industries, a highly innovative and dominant player in transit bus and motor coach manufacturing, employing over 4,800 people, produces buses and components for both Canadian and American jurisdictions. Buses and parts are built in Winnipeg and Minnesota, and provide stable, middle class manufacturing jobs on both sides of the border.
Manitoba is also famous for its aerospace sector. Winnipeg's connection to aerospace is so famous that its hockey team is called the Winnipeg Jets. It has the largest aerospace sector in western Canada and the third largest in the country, with companies like Boeing, StandardAero, and Magellan, with major plants in Winnipeg. These are high quality, middle class jobs. Aerospace workers are expert manufacturers, and build some of the world's most complicated machines. Annually, Manitoba imports over $660 million in jets and turbines, and exports over $550 million in aircraft parts, which is over $1 billion in trade.
The aerospace industry nears $2 billion in revenue each year, and directly employs over 5,000 Manitobans. Beyond the numbers, Manitoba's aerospace industry means a lot for Canadian innovation. In Winnipeg, General Electric and StandardAero, both U.S.-based companies, took advantage of Manitoba's unique weather and opened a $75 million cold weather testing facility. It also employs some of the brightest engineers.
Winnipeg is also home to the Centre for Aerospace Technology & Training. Once again, thanks to international partnerships with Red River College, StandardAero, and the federal and provincial governments, the Centre for Aerospace Technology & Training prepares Canada's middle class for the future.
We all know that manufacturing has been changing in a big way. Students use the latest manufacturing technologies, like 3D printing, to prepare for long-term, stable manufacturing jobs. For manufacturers in my province, improved pre-clearance means less lineups, a more efficient use of time as they travel across the border, and less traffic holdups. It is making it easier for people and cargo to cross the border.
As I have already said how important open borders are in my province, I am proud that pre-clearance will create more jobs for all Canadians.