Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act (Bill C-41)

Nathan Cullen: Mr. Speaker, I want to specifically hone in on one aspect of the speech by the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands with respect to the auto sector and put some context around where we are right now. I look to her for some recommendations she might support.

Right now there is a 6% trade barrier Canada raises against Korean automakers coming into the Canadian market. Korea, reciprocally, holds an 8% barrier.

Korean automakers have been building in the U.S. and in Mexico, and that is the way they have been entering the Canadian market and avoiding that trade barrier. They are not building in Canada right now.

I would suggest that this would also be cited as a current problem in our trading relationship. What types of steps would the member be encouraging a more progressive Canadian government to take to encourage some of that auto manufacturing to take place in the Canadian context, as it is taking place in the U.S. and on the Mexican side of the border, thereby avoiding the trade barrier we currently impose, prior to the agreement being ratified?

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I think we need to have trade deals that have targeted measures that would protect and allow our sectors to expand and allow us to have Korean vehicles made in Canada, as my hon. colleague suggests. Therefore, tariff reduction should be tied to measurable targets in reducing bilateral trade imbalances in strategic sectors, such as in the automobile sector.

It would certainly be helpful in creating a tariff-free zone if we had specific measures to require that larger Korean firms start building in Canada. We should be able to retain the ability, as the Korean government has retained its ability to intervene in its markets, to create the kinds of interventions that moderate the damage of trade imbalances. This agreement would not do it but as I mentioned even the CEO of Ford Motor Company thought we should be dealing with it. The trade agreement should include provisions regarding currency misalignment.