Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to support Bill C-79, the implementation of the comprehensive progressive trans-Pacific partnership.
We live in unprecedented times. Steadfast relationships we have had for years are being challenged, ideology is taking the place of facts and compromise and trust in international institutions and agreements are reaching a new low. These pillars, which are threatening us as never before, are really the very source of Canada's success diplomatically and economically.
Canada has a proud history organizing multilateral agreements and ensuring they will bring more than just military or economic security. Lester B. Pearson once said about NATO that it should, “promote the economic well-being of their peoples and to achieve social justice, thereby creating an overwhelming superiority of moral, material, and military force on the side of peace and progress.” Trade agreements like NAFTA and CPTPP are excellent examples of what Lester Pearson was talking about.
In the time I have today, I would like to delve into the importance of trade to the future of Canada.
The CPTPP is a major trading bloc, comprising 11 countries, representing 495 million people and a combined GDP 13.5% of the overall global GDP. This is where the next century of growth will occur and the CPTPP is a bridge for Canadian goods and services into this important and expanding market.
Canada is the fifth largest agricultural exporter in the world, and the industry employs 2.3 million Canadians. That is one in eight jobs in Canada. When CPTPP enters into force, more than three-quarters of agriculture and agri-food products will benefit from immediate duty-free treatment, with tariffs on many other products to be phased out over time.
This is very important for my riding of Guelph, which is an agricultural centre for Canada, both in research and in production. This is going to create new market access opportunities for Canadian pork, beef, pulses, fruit and vegetables, malt, grains, cereals, animal feeds, maple syrup, wines from Niagara, spirits, processed grain and sugar.
CPTPP will eliminate 100% of the tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood products. The vast majority of tariffs would be eliminated immediately, while a smaller number would be phased out over periods of up to 15 years. Tariff eliminations will make Canadian exports of a wide range of products such as salmon, snow crab, herring roe, lobster, shrimp, sea urchins and oysters more competitive, while providing protein to a growing part of the world.
Coupled with Canada's new oceans protection plan, which will help preserve and sustain Canada's coastal waters and fish stocks, the CPTPP will also offer Canadian fisheries a sustainable industry that can supply these growing Asian markets.
The CPTPP will benefit more than just Canada's agricultural sector. This agreement offers plenty of opportunities for Canadian industry. Under this agreement, 100% percent of tariffs on industrial goods and consumer products will be eliminated. The majority of Canadian industrial goods exported to CPTPP countries will be duty-free immediately upon entry into force of this agreement, with most remaining tariffs on industrial goods to be eliminated over 10 years.
Guelph is home to Japanese based employers Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing and DENSO Manufacturing. Even Sleeman Breweries is owned by Sapporo from Japan. This provides us excellent business connections by one of the key countries in the CPTPP. Canada being one of the first of the six signatories and core supporter of the comprehensive and progressive deal that was renamed by Canada, would be a further win for Canadian business and put us where we need to be.
Just as we cannot delay in getting this stable national democracy without progress in living standards, likewise we cannot have one world at peace without general social and economic progress.
The recently announced LNG development project includes Japanese partner Mitsubishi, showing Japan's commitment to investing in Canada's energy market to provide it a stable and trusted future supply of energy that has 25% less CO2 per energy content than diesel and half the CO2 to BTU that bituminous coal has. The $40-billion investment is Canada's largest external investment in the history of our country.
The CPTPP has measures to promote civil society and address concerns around labour and the environment. There is an entire chapter on labour and basic workers' rights. Rights guaranteed in the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work must be reflected in law and practice for member nations. This includes the elimination of child labour, forced labour, discrimination and respect for freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively. Provisions in this chapter are also enforceable.
The CPTPP agreement includes provisions to enhance environmental protection in this region and to address global environmental challenges, which is one of the most ambitious outcomes negotiated by Canada to date. Provisions in this chapter are enforceable through the dispute settlement mechanism of the agreement. Again, it is another first for Canada.
Another way the CPTPP promotes the well-being of the middle class in Canada and other CPTPP nations involved is through a stand-alone chapter on small and medium-sized businesses in the text of the treaty. This is a first for any Canadian trade deal.
This chapter includes provisions to ensure that SMEs have access to information specifically tailored for their use, making it significantly easier for Canadian SMEs to explore and navigate the CPTPP markets and to develop trade with those nations. It also includes enforceable provisions on state-owned enterprises to promote fair business practices.
The world needs more Canada. Canada must use all the tools available to bring positive change to the global community. To confine ourselves simply to the diplomatic sphere denies us one of the most powerful levers at our disposal, namely, our economy.
Trade agreements are an excellent way for achieving these goals. They build on economic growth. They include social and environmental progress. At the same time, they benefit the middle class in the nation's involved.
Once the CPTPP enters into force, it will be one of the largest free trade agreements in the world and it will provide enhanced market access to key Asian markets. However, it is also part of a suite of agreements that we have around the world that include CETA, with us trading with Europe, and now includes the new USMCA agreement that is in stages of development with the United States and hopefully will come into force in the near future.
Canada must be a part of all these agreements. We are actually the only G7 country that is a part of all of these agreements. They give us the opportunity to grow our manufacturing industry and help our farmers and our intellectual properties reach new markets. They benefit Canada economically as well as socially and environmentally.
I am looking forward to supporting the legislation in the next bit. I am looking forward to helping in whatever way I can through the businesses and the people in Guelph.