Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise virtually in the House of Commons today in support of Bill C-18, an act to implement the Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The United Kingdom is our largest trade market in Europe, and in 2019 it was the third-largest destination for Canadian merchandise exports worldwide. It was also a key source of innovation, science and technology partnerships. Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and the United Kingdom totalled $29 billion in 2019, making it our fifth-largest international trading partner. The U.K. is also Canada's second-largest services trade partner, behind only the United States, amounting to exports of nearly $7.1 billion last year. Finally, the U.K. is Canada's fourth-largest source of foreign direct investment, valued at $62.3 billion in 2019.
It is clear that the Trade Continuity Agreement with the U.K. is critical to Canadian jobs by preserving a key enabler of our strong economic partnership, which is CETA. Because it is based on CETA, this agreement provides familiarity, continuity, predictability and stability for Canadian businesses, exporters, workers and consumers, which is more important than ever today as we grapple with COVID-19.
Once the agreement is fully implemented, it will carry forward CETA's tariff elimination on 99% of Canadian products exported to the United Kingdom. It will fully protect Canadian producers of all supply-managed products. It will maintain priority market access for Canadian service suppliers, including access to the U.K. government's procurement market, which is estimated to be worth approximately $118 billion annually, and it will uphold and preserve CETA's high standard provisions on labour, dispute settlement and the protection of the environment.
Canada has a deep and historic relationship with the United Kingdom, one of our closest allies, from NATO, the G7 and the G20 to the ties of shared history, values and respect for the principles of democracy. When the United Kingdom held a referendum and, guided by the decision of its citizens, decided to leave the European Union, that decision not only affected the U.K.'s trade and economic relations with its largest partner, but it also meant that the United Kingdom would no longer be a part of CETA with Canada. Obviously, this had a potential effect on Canadian companies and businesses. That is why this trade continuity agreement is so important.
Canadian businesses and workers in many sectors rely on our interconnected trade relationship, from farmers and fish harvesters to financial service providers and innovators. They have told us that what they want most at this time is stability. This agreement provides exactly that. The TCA, Trade Continuity Agreement, ensures Canada and the U.K. can both sustain and build upon our important relationship by preserving the benefits of CETA on a bilateral basis while fully protecting our closely integrated supply chains and continued access for our exporters.
This continuity agreement is good for workers, it is good for business and it is good for both Canada and the United Kingdom. Without the TCA in place, Canadian businesses could have faced the uncertainty of new barriers and higher costs of doing business, particularly for our agriculture, fish and seafood industries. With this agreement, we can build a better future for both countries.
International trade is central to Canada's economic success and prosperity, and there is no doubt that trade will play a crucial role in our inclusive and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. It is important for Canada to not only develop new trading relationships, but to also maintain and strengthen our existing ties. The TCA is not just about maintaining the CETA agreement. In fact, it sets the stage for an exciting new chapter in our future trade relations with the United Kingdom.
With the TCA, we will ensure immediate certainty for Canada-U.K. trade by replicating CETA on a bilateral basis, as the U.K. has left the EU. However, Canada has always said that, for the longer term, we are interested in the negotiation of a new, modern and ambitious agreement that can best reflect the Canada-U.K. bilateral relationship going forward.
The TCA includes a commitment for subsequent negotiations to begin within a year of its entry into force. My U.K. counterpart, Secretary Truss, and I have publicly committed to these negotiations. We will see input of Canadians from coast to coast to coast through public consultations on their interests in a new bilateral discussion with the United Kingdom.
I look forward to returning to the negotiating table within one year of the TCA's ratification to work on a new, high-quality, modern, inclusive and comprehensive economic partnership that includes ambitious chapters for small businesses, the environment, labour, digital trade and women's economic empowerment. To those who have pointed out areas where improvements are needed, we hear them, and I am eager to get to work on those issues. We will return to the House when we are ready to table negotiating objectives for this new, ambitious effort.
While we work to ratify this agreement both in Canada and in the United Kingdom, we have signed a memorandum of understanding between both countries so that trade can continue to flow while this agreement makes its way through domestic approvals in both countries. As we have negotiated both through the MOU and the Canada-U.K. TCA, businesses will continue trading at the preferential tariff rates under CETA with no additional paperwork. The TCA will provide stability and remain in place until a new agreement, which we aim to reach within three years, is ready.
With the TCA, we are seeking to ensure continuity. The last thing Canada and the United Kingdom would want to do is create any uncertainty for businesses and workers, particularly as we respond to the pandemic, restart our economies and begin to build back better.
The year 2020 has been incredibly difficult for workers and businesses across the country. For so many sectors, this agreement is exactly the continuity and stability that they have asked for. It is what we need to support Canadian jobs and families, and to grow our economy through trade and export with one of our closest allies at an economically challenging time. While CETA will continue to govern Canada-EU trade, this agreement will provide similar predictability for Canadian businesses that trade with the U.K., ensuring trade between our two countries continues to flow uninterrupted.
I will conclude by saying, as I have said before, that the trade continuity agreement with the U.K. is good for Canadians, it is good for the people of the U.K., and it is good for the strong, mutually beneficial relationship our nations have built over more than 150 years.
Therefore, I urge all hon. members to support Bill C-18 so that Canada can bring the Canada-U.K. trade continuity agreement into force as soon as possible.