House of Commons Hansard #319 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.


Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to provide some clarity for my friend across the way. When it comes to trade agreements, as has been cited, the NDP members have been consistent. They have consistently voted down trade agreements.

Canada is a trading nation. We need to trade with the world. If we want to grow our middle class, we need to have trust and faith in Canadian companies, including our automotive industry. We have the finest workers in the world in Canada. By taking on trade agreements, we are bringing in potential opportunities for growth in many industries.

No matter what the trade agreement, with one possible exception which I think might have been Jordan, the NDP has never supported the middle class by voting in favour of a trade agreement. Why not?

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.


Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the member listened to my speech today where I identified that 58,000 jobs are under threat in the CPTPP, some 20,000 auto supply sector jobs. If those are not middle-class jobs, I do not know what is. The people who are defending middle-class jobs in Canada are the New Democrats and we are listening to the auto sector.

When the member speaks about consistency, the only thing consistent on that side is the inconsistency. We have NAFTA where they pulled everyone into a big tent and they are having all these conversations with people and listening and trying to do better, but with the CPTPP, absolutely zero of that happened. When the member talks about consistency, I think he should look in the mirror with the rest of his party on how they are approaching trade agreements.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.


Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put some facts before the House. The auto sector is the largest Canadian manufacturing sector. Canada is the 10th largest vehicle producer in the world. We have 125,000 people directly employed by the auto sector. We are responsible for $103 billion in factory sales around the world.

On the CPTPP, the government has negotiated rules of origin where the regional value content for auto parts in cars that would qualify for tariff-free entry into Canada is between 35% and 45%. That means that parts that go into cars have to be made 35% to 45% in countries like Vietnam and Malaysia and they can source 55% to 65% of their parts from non-CPTPP countries, including China, India, Bangladesh, or wherever. That means one thing. It means extremely cheap labour is going into vehicles made in those countries that are then going to qualify for tariff-free entry into Canada. That means it is going to damage the Canadian auto sector.

I would like my hon. colleague to comment on whether she thinks that the Liberals' rules of origin on auto are going to help or hurt Canadian auto manufacturers.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.


Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is where we really have to look into the actual pieces of this agreement and how it will work.

Right now we are in the middle of negotiating rules of origin in NAFTA and in the CPTPP we could potentially be signing ourselves on to rules that would allow better access, less Canadian content from CPTPP countries than we are going to accept from NAFTA, our largest trading partner. This is mind-boggling. I would point out to Liberals and Conservatives who sit in auto ridings, such as the member for Whitby opposite, these jobs are under direct threat. Losing tens of thousands of auto sector jobs will decimate communities across our country. The labour provisions in CPTPP are so extremely weak.

The side letters would do nothing. As I mentioned earlier, side letters have no enforceability, no impact whatsoever on the actual trade agreement. When we are pushing for better in NAFTA with arguably the biggest player on the planet, the United States and Donald Trump, in the most difficult negotiations that we face, why are we agreeing to these extremely weak provisions with countries where we have minimal trade? It makes no sense.

I want to point to CETA, which has been mentioned in the House several times today. We find ourselves a year after signing CETA with less trade going from Canada to CETA countries than we did one year ago when we signed it. It is time for Canada to start having trade agreements that have positive benefits for its communities and for jobs for Canadians. This deal would do the opposite of that.

We should not be signing this deal at this point in time.

Member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond HillPrivilegeGovernment Orders

September 17th, 2018 / 1:30 p.m.


Leona Alleslev Conservative Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise on a point of personal privilege.

When I became an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, I swore an oath to give my life to serve Queen and country, to serve and defend Canada and the values for which it stands. When I left the military, I hung up my uniform but I never unswore my oath, and now I serve Canadians by representing them as their member of Parliament.

I stand here today deeply concerned for the future of our country. After three years of hope and hard work, I find myself asking: Am I doing everything I can to serve the citizens of Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill and my country? Canadians expect and deserve nothing less. The citizens of my riding and all Canadians need a government that delivers foundational change for the things that matter.

The world has changed dramatically in the last three years. We find ourselves in a time of unprecedented global instability. We are seeing fundamental shifts in the global economy while trade relationships, international agreements, and defence structures are under threat.

Canada faces a perfect storm of serious challenges at home and abroad. Here at home we see large amounts of capital investment leaving Canada while tax structures, federal infrastructure problems and politics prevent us from getting goods to market, deter companies from expanding and undermine our competitiveness. This is not a strong economy.

Beyond our borders, our position remains vastly diminished. Our foreign policy is disconnected from our trade relationships and our ability to deliver on our defence commitments is undermined by politics.

On the world stage Canada has yet to rise to the occasion. The world has changed and Canada must change with it. We do not have the luxury of time. We must recognize that foreign policy, trade, defence and our economy all depend on each other and cannot be viewed separately.

As a former air force officer, a global business consultant at IBM, an aircraft manufacturing manager at Bombardier and a small business owner, I understand the role and impact of government actions on Canada's economy.

To have a strong economy and a strong country we need strong federal leadership to rebuild our nation's foundations, tax reform, employment reform, a comprehensive foreign policy and a modernized military to reassure our allies and defend Canada's interests at home and abroad.

My attempts to raise my concerns with the government were met with silence. It is my duty to stand and be counted. Our country is at risk.

The government must be challenged openly and publicly, but for me to publicly criticize the government as a Liberal would undermine the government and, according to my code of conduct, would be dishonourable. After careful and deliberate consideration, I must withdraw from the government benches to take my seat among the ranks of my Conservative colleagues and join Her Majesty's loyal opposition, whose role it is to challenge and hold the government to account.

The leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition and his team have a firm grasp of the urgent issues we face as Canadians and the resolve to confront them and it is my duty to align myself with those values. I thank my Liberal colleagues, but my oath is to country, not party, and my sacred obligation is to serve my constituents.

I ask the citizens of Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill to continue to hold me to account as I serve and work with a new team focused on the challenges facing our nation and I say to all Canadians across this country not to accept the status quo; our country is at stake.

Member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond HillPrivilegeGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. member for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill for her comments.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Omar Alghabra Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand here on the first day of the fall parliamentary session to express my gratitude for being appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for International Trade Diversification; to commit to working with my colleagues on this side of the House and across all party lines, as well as with our colleagues in the Senate, to ensure the passing of the bill, Bill C-79; and to ensure I work with stakeholders and all Canadians for the benefit of all Canadians to grow our economy, create jobs and to ensure our values are protected.

It is a great pleasure to rise in the House today in support of Bill C-79, the implementing legislation for the comprehensive progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership, or CPTPP.

At a time when protectionism is on the rise, Canada's participation in the CPTPP sends a strong signal that Canada is open for business with the rest of the world, that our government is opening doors for our citizens and businesses to create more jobs and offer more choices, and that our government is committed to a fair, rules-based international trading system. Now, more than ever, it is essential for us to ensure that the trade agreements Canada implements respond not only to the needs of our commercial interests, but also bring tangible benefits to all Canadians. This agreement is about creating economic growth, high-paying jobs, more choices for Canadian consumers, and above all making sure all Canadians benefit, not just a few.

My hon. colleagues will know that the CPTPP represents an opportunity for Canada. Implementing and ratifying the CPTPP will help diversify Canada's trade and investment toward the Asia-Pacific region and solidify Canada's role in the economic landscape of Asia.

The CPTPP will serve as a cornerstone of our government's trade diversification strategy, connecting Canadian and investment to this dynamic and fast-growing region. In a region as deeply integrated and adaptable as Asia, the benefits of the CPTPP extend beyond enhanced market access to new and growing markets. Canadian exporters will also benefit from increased access to diverse and regionally integrated value chains with global reach.

Asia is important to Canada, and we see the CPTPP as a crucial step in our ambitious free trade agenda in the region. To this end, Canada has also engaged with China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, in exploratory discussions toward potential free trade agreement negotiations. We also have ongoing comprehensive economic partnership agreement negotiations with India.

Ambitious and high standard agreements like the CPTPP will help strengthen the rules-based international trading system and create a level playing field for Canadian businesses. It will also help us ensure the benefits of trade could be widely shared across all segments of society.

Diversifying Canada's free trade network will help ensure Canadian exporters could have preferential access to major markets beyond North America. The CPTPP will build on the achievements in our recent free trade agreements like the Canada-EU CETA once it entered into force. Canada will have preferential access to 51 different countries through 14 trade agreements, representing nearly 1.5 billion consumers and over 60% of the global economy.

The 11 CPTPP members represent a total of 495 million consumers and 13.5% of global GDP. Canada's export to our CPTPP partners totalled nearly $27 billion in 2017. The scope and ambition of the agreement means businesses of all sizes in all sectors and regions of our country will find new opportunities to do business in Asia.

The CPTPP is projected to boost Canada's GDP by $4.2 billion over the long term. That growth will be driven by increased exports of goods and services and increases in investments and international partnerships. This means more jobs and more prosperity for Canadians.

Implementing and swiftly ratifying the CPTPP will allow Canada to strengthen our economic ties with 10 key markets in the Asia-Pacific regions, including our current free trade agreement partners in Chile, Mexico and Peru, and seven new FTA partners in Australia, Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

For example, Canadian businesses will begin to enjoy the benefits of new preferential access to Japan, the world's third largest economy and our fourth largest trading partner. In 2017, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Japan reached $29.3 billion. Japan is also Canada's largest source of foreign direct investment from Asia.

The CPTPP will provide preferential access to Japan, eliminating or reducing tariffs on a number of key Canadian exports ranging from canola, beef, pork and salmon to lobster, lumber, steel and aluminum products. This will level the playing field for Canadian exporters with respect to competitors that already have preferential access to Japan, such as Australia. This will also help Canadian exporters gain a competitive advantage over exporters without preferential access, like the United States, and Canada does not currently have an FTA with Japan.

Canadian service providers will also benefit from enhanced access and greater predictability and transparency in Japan and other markets. The CPTPP will create new opportunities for Canadian service providers in sectors such as professional, research and development, environmental and transportation services.

Canada will also have new access to the rapidly-growing economies of Malaysia and Vietnam. Vietnam has been Canada's largest trading partner within the association of the southeast Asian nations since 2015 and has a forecasted GDP growth of over 6.3% in 2018. The CPTPP will provide preferential access to Vietnam for key Canadian exports in agriculture and seafood, including beef, pork, canola, ice wine and lobster, as well as in other sectors like forestry and industrial products. Financial service providers will also benefit from unprecedented access to the Vietnamese market.

More broadly speaking, Canadian companies will be able to invest with even more confidence in CPTPP markets, benefiting from greater predictability, transparency and protections under the agreement. Securing preferential access to CPTPP markets means that almost all Canadian products can be exported to our CPTPP partners without facing tariffs. Upon full implementation of the agreement, 95% of tariff lines of CPTPP parties will be duty free, covering 99% of Canada's current exports to CPTPP markets.

Preferential access also means a level playing field for Canadian products with respect to their competitors and will provide Canadian companies with a leg up on others that do not have the same level of access to CPTPP markets. This will translate into increased profits and market opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes in all sectors and in every part of our country.

As a result, implementing and ratifying the CPTPP will help create high-quality jobs and support Canadian farmers, fishers, miners, manufacturers, engineers, architects, investors and more. It means more opportunities for Canadian agriculture like beef, pork, wheat and canola. It means more opportunities for fish, seafood and forestry. It means more opportunity for Canada's diverse and innovative manufacturing sector, like aerospace, chemicals, cosmetics, industrial machinery, medical devices, metals and minerals, pharmaceuticals and glasses. It will also provide benefits for consumers, with lower prices and more choices at places like the grocery store.

The benefits of the CPTPP do not end at new market access. It also features a comprehensive set of rules that covers barriers beyond tariffs that Canadian businesses face when they trade and invest abroad. These include chapters that address technical barriers to trade and phytosanitary measures, as well as dedicated chapters covering cross-border trade in services, electronic commerce, temporary entry investment and government procurement.

In addition, the CPTPP includes provisions on state-owned enterprises and transparency in anti-corruption, which will help foster a fair and competitive business environment to help ensure that Canadian companies can trade and invest in CPTPP markets on an equal footing with their competitors.

In sum, the CPTPP is a robust trade agreement which rules will provide much-needed certainty for Canada as we look to diversify our trade and investment towards Asia.

I am proud to say that our government paid meticulous attention to the details to ensure that the interests of Canadian workers, businesses and culture are promoted. We made sure that we signed a good deal, not just any deal. The CPTPP also supports our government's commitment to ensuring that the benefits of trade are widely shared and can be enjoyed by Canadians across all regions and all segments of our country.

The CPTPP will help Canada promote labour rights and environmental protection as we enhance our trading relationship with our partners. The agreement's dedicated chapters on labour and environment ensure that CPTPP parties cannot lower their standards in these areas as a way to promote or attract trade and investment. In a first for Canada, both the labour and environment chapters are fully enforceable through the CPTPP dispute settlement mechanism, allowing us to ensure that our trading partners remain true to their commitments.

In other parts of the agreement covering areas like services, investment—

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, please. I know we are back after being away for a few weeks and there is great reason for colleagues to get reacquainted. However, I would like to remind the House that the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification has the floor. He has been doing his best to power through that, but he has a couple more minutes left to go before we have to interrupt him for statements by members.

I would ask all hon. members to guard their conversations until we get to that point in the next part of our rubric today.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade Diversification, Lib.

Omar Alghabra

I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker.

Our government is committed to helping small and medium-sized enterprises grow and create high-quality, middle-class jobs through trade and innovation. The CPTPP will help Canadian SMEs, which account for nearly 40% of our GDP and employ 10.7 million workers across the country, better tap into international markets and global supply chains.

The CPTPP is also Canada's first agreement with a dedicated chapter for small and medium-sized enterprises. The CPTPP includes commitments that promote the sharing of information online to help facilitate trade, as well as rules aimed at reducing costs and enhancing predictability and fairness so SMEs can gain access to CPTPP markets.

These are just some of the ways in which the CPTPP builds upon its ambitious market access outcomes for businesses so benefits of enhanced trade investment can be dispersed more broadly and support sustainable and inclusive economic development and job growth in Canada.

The CPTPP is the beginning of a new chapter in Canadian trade relations. As we seek new markets and diversify our trade, we can be excited about embarking on this new chapter together as we continue to open new markets and opportunities for Canadian businesses, workers, and consumers, and ensure that the benefits of trade can be felt in all parts of the country.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. parliamentary secretary will have up to five and a half minutes remaining for his remarks when the House next gets back to debate on the question, and then of course the usual 10 minutes for questions and comments.

[For continuation of proceedings see Part B. ]