Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for St. John's East.
I am very proud to stand for the first time officially to give a speech in this new chamber. It is remarkable to see what the engineers and all the other people who have contributed to this success have been able to achieve.
I am proud to speak to C-85, an act to amend the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. This is not a new trade deal. This trade deal has existed for 20 years, and it has been very successful. We have seen trade revenues triple through this deal. They are now at $1.7 billion.
That trade deal was focused only on goods being traded. We were able to upgrade it back in 2017. It was agreed that we should modernize it and add chapters to it. That is what we did, and we signed off on it in 2018.
The updated pieces are extremely important. One is on dispute resolution. As members know, it is important that when two or more trading partners move forward on a trade deal, if there are any disputes, we need to have a process in place to ensure that we can find solutions and continue to trade. This is what we were able to add as an updated piece.
We also were able to eliminate or reduce heavily the tariffs on products and increase the number of products in this deal. The rules of origin in the supply chain are quite complex, but we were able to make some headway in that area as well, which is very important.
One new chapter is about e-commerce. I do not know if anyone in this chamber remembers much about online 20 years ago, but there were not too many people doing anything online then. Young people are probably not really aware of that as much as we are. However, 20 years ago, there was no online chapter, of course, and it is an important one for us.
The second one is on intellectual property, which is another very important piece. When we do research and development, we want companies to invest, and we want to make sure that those investments are going to continue. For that to happen, we have to have policies and copyrights that are guaranteed. That is an added piece.
We also added pieces on the protection of the environment, which is extremely important to our government. Two more chapters on labour law were also added.
The pieces I want to touch on the most are the progressive elements in this trade deal, such as gender equality. We have been talking about this in our trade deals for the last two years. Just bringing the perspective of a woman to decision-making at that level is very important, and we need to have more of it. This deal allows it to happen not just in Canada but in Israel as well. We know that this will also help the workforce, because we do not have enough people to fill all the jobs that are required as we continue to prosper.
With regard to small and medium-sized enterprises, when we talk about trade deals, we are often thinking about the big companies trading internationally or globally. What we have done here is recognize the importance of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises so that they can be big players in this trade deal as well. We have been able to achieve that.
We have also been able to move on corporate social responsibility. I know that some people have criticized that as being voluntary, but it brings people to the table. Then we can start to really have some good discussions to make things better. Having good corporate citizens is extremely important.
I have to speak about all these trade deals that our government has been able to accomplish. I listen to the Conservatives and they talk about having worked on such and such a trade deal, but they did not get the job done. We have enhanced and improved them, we got the job done and we are delivering. That is what is important.
We need to keep in mind that Canada is a trading nation. Sixty per cent of our GDP comes from trade, so we need to trade. If we look at CETA, which we signed over a year ago, it is very impressive. We have access now to half a billion people more. We have already seen an increase in the first year of 3.1%, which represents over $1 billion extra. That is important. Ninety-eight per cent of tariffs are off the products going across borders. It was 25% before and now it is 98% plus. It is almost 100%, and some are 100%. It is very impressive as well.
We have seen the elimination of tariffs in certain areas, of course in Nova Scotia, on food and seafood and many other industries, including agriculture. Those are very important industries for Nova Scotia and for Canada.
Let us talk about another half a billion people being added with our our deal on CPTPP with Asia. It is a new market, adding potential products leaving Canada and going to those 11 countries in all. The sectors include fisheries, forestry, agriculture, metal, etc.
Is there a theme here? Absolutely. It is a major theme because all these negotiations are for new agreements, which are putting Canada in another place internationally. It is extremely important. We are punching well over our weight and it is because of this progressive government. It is because of how we negotiate, which is extremely important. I will talk about negotiation in the very near future.
We are the only country that has trade agreements with all seven G7 nations. As well, we are the only country that has a free trade deal with the Americas, Europe and Asia. Therefore, we are doing extremely well.
What is important is what we do with those trade deals. It is the responsibility of all of us, the 338 members here, to ensure our business community and our people are well aware of these opportunities. We need to communicate those, which is why I have sent a letter to all 1,200 businesses in my riding. I have started communication on how I can help them to scale up. Let us work together to make it better.
Let us talk the new NAFTA that Canada has signed, and is a great agreement. We have some added features, for example, lower duties for online shopping. We have strengthened labour rights, which is very important. We have protected against possible auto tariffs, a Canada exemption.
I want to talk about Trump. Everybody says that Trump is a pretty good negotiator. I do not think he is a very good negotiator nor do Canadians. There are three big reasons why.
First, he said that there would be no deal unless there was a sunset clause, to renegotiate in five years or it was dead. We said that this was not going to happen, that we would never sign that deal. Guess what. He did.
Then he said that he would not have any deal while supply management was in place. The U.S. wanted to flood the Canadian market. We said absolutely not, no trade deals without it. Guess what. There were no trade deals again.
Finally, he was tweeting out, no trade deal unless we changed the dispute settlement, unless we traded the dispute resolution. Why? Because he lost every time we went to dispute settlement. He wanted the Americans to control the tribunal. Did he win? No, he did not. Did we win? Yes, we did.
Therefore, Canada actually got the best deal, with the Liberal Party. That is the difference between our party and the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party, from the time we started talking about the trade deal last year, was saying not to worry about it, to sign it. The Conservatives said that they had prepared it and we should sign it. We do not sign what is not good. We are there to ensure every Canadian will benefit from this, that the middle class will benefit from this. I am very happy with this agreement.