Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Edmonton Centre.
When we get in that global competitive environment, which is what we do when we are in the midst of a trade negotiation, I could not ask for anybody better than people like the member for Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook in my corner. I could not ask for anybody better than the Prime Minister and our Minister of Foreign Affairs. This team on this side of the aisle stood up for Canada, stood up for Canadians, and made sure that we delivered a good deal that will deliver millions of jobs to Canadians.
Over the last three and a half years, over one million jobs were created, and a 40-year low when it comes to unemployment.
I was listening to the member for Durham, who is a revisionist. He forgets about the 10 years, the decade of failure, under the Conservative government and the failure with the economy; the lowest economic growth, anemic growth; the failure with trade and the environment; the failure with indigenous people and veterans. It goes on and on, failure, failure, failure under that Conservative government.
If we listen to the Conservatives, they have a defeatist attitude. They are weak and that weakness shows through. We are seeing it with Doug Ford.
Doug Ford and the federal Leader of the Official Opposition right away put up the white flag: “We give up, we give in, give them everything they want, and capitulate on this whole deal”. That is not what Canadians are asking of their government. What they are asking of their government is to hold firm, hold strong and deliver for Canadians from coast to coast to coast, but that is not what we heard from the Conservatives.
When President Trump came into office, the first thing he was talking about was ripping up the NAFTA. However, under this government, we went down to Washington, we worked with our friends in Washington and on all sides of the aisle, and made sure that we had a team Canada approach. That team Canada approach included the business council, labour groups and stakeholders right across our country. We had not just hundreds but 1,000-plus meetings with these stakeholders, which is something the Conservatives fail to do every time. They do not consult with others, they do not listen, but that is what we do. This is why we have been successful when it comes to trade deals. We have been successful when it came to the CPTPP, because we did travel this country and we did listen to Canadians. We were able to get a better deal for Canada and Canadians on the CPTPP. We got CETA past the finish line.
The Conservatives failed. They could never do it. They cannot finish anything, and that is why the Liberal government came into power and made sure that we put in progressive elements to these trade deals. We made sure that we had gender equity so that everybody had a chance at success. This was not made for what the Conservative look for, which is just for big business and not caring about the workers or people. When we look at a trade deal, we look at it as how it will help our greatest resource, which is the 36 million Canadians who call Canada home, and we are very proud of them.
That is the approach that we took, and what we are hearing right across the spectrum of stakeholders is that this has been the right approach. This has been the way to get progressive trade deals done. Today, the rest of the world is looking to Canada, seeing how this model that we were able to use in the negotiations of NAFTA worked so well and how they could incorporate this type of model globally. Therefore, it is making not only an impact here in North America, but an international impact for our country.
The modernizing of this agreement is good for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses. This agreement is also profoundly beneficial for our economy, Canadian families and the middle class.
When we began working to update NAFTA, we kept our focus on what really mattered. It is this new agreement that we need to preserve jobs, foster growth, expand the middle class and support people working hard to join the middle class.
CUSMA proves that the team Canada approach the government implemented was a success. It was not a time for partisan differences.
We cannot thank our Minister of Foreign Affairs enough. We also cannot thank Steve Verheul enough, as well as his negotiating team that was down in Washington. We thank all other members of the team involved in this, who sacrificed many hours and days to get us here. Even some Progressive Conservatives, such as Rona Ambrose, were part of this.
The leader of the official opposition, as I said, had a defeatist attitude, put up a white flag and wanted us to give the Americans everything they wanted. That is not the approach we wanted. It is not what Canadians were asking for. They want us to compete on this very competitive, challenging file when it comes to trade negotiations. That is what we did, and that is why we have been able to deliver.
When we were first faced with the prospect of renegotiating NAFTA, there was a lot of anxiety. We heard it from businesses and workers and from those who thought the auto sector would be decimated. However, we provided certainty and stability to them, which are the same things we were looking for in the agreement. We wanted to bring in certainty and stability and continue providing that access.
Did we deliver? We delivered in spades. With respect to the auto sector, we have increased rules of origin from 60% to our current 75%. This will mean many more new high-paying, middle-class jobs in that sector and throughout the whole supply chain.
We heard today from our parts manufacturers. They have said that, with this deal, we are looking at another $6-billion to $8-billion investment in Canada just in the auto sector. We also heard from the business council. It said the renegotiated deal was very good, and it gave us kudos for the approach we took. It noted that by our providing certainty and stability, there will be a great lift in our economy.
We asked various sectors about this. Some sectors were holding off on making equipment purchases or adding new workers. However, what we have heard is that, with the new NAFTA, they are ready to go. Therefore, not only is our economy doing well now, but it will be doing so much better with the new NAFTA.
I have been asked many questions in my riding by constituents. They wondered if we were going to get the deal done, and they were anxious. We gave them the reassurance that we had a great team, which was working together to deliver for them in every sector, whether agriculture, auto or the arts. Right across the board, Canadians understood how important this was, and they understand how important it is now. That is why we had broad consultation and why we made sure that everybody understood the importance of the deal and what was getting done.
This government undertook many consultations with stakeholders, and many hours were spent hearing from witnesses on the international trade committee, of which I am a member. We also travelled to the U.S. to make our southern friends aware of how important this relationship is not just for our country but also for theirs. As we have heard, there is $2 billion worth of trade every single day.
I am so happy that we took on this challenge. It was the largest challenge in U.S.-Canada relations in decades. Through negotiation, we have achieved all the outcomes and benefits for now and well into the future. CUSMA is a great deal for Canada.