Mr. Speaker, in the wake of the global economic crisis there have been some worrying reactions from south of the border.
President Obama's new administration has launched an ambitious government program to kickstart the economy, and we offer our congratulations. However, some details are cause for legitimate concern.
Such is the case with the clause stating that the steel used in infrastructure projects, provided for in the economic stimulus plan, must be produced exclusively in the United States.
This is a blatant protectionist measure. If it is adopted, thousands upon thousands of steel jobs in this country would be threatened. In Quebec alone, an estimated 2,000 jobs would be on the line.
It is not too late. The Conservatives must remind our American partners about their obligations under NAFTA. Free trade policies have done much to improve the prosperity and competitiveness of Canadian and American companies. The Conservatives must ensure that this continues.