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

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I am very troubled by this legislation. I do not know if the Green Party is going to be alone in opposing it. Maybe the Bloc Québécois will join us, and we will have a mighty force of four.

It occurs to me that this deal is not going to be in Canada’s best interests, and I say that because I am concerned about the investor state provisions and because of Korea’s history of robust economic policy and its success in continuing to expand the trade deficit the EU and the U.S. were experiencing even after the EU and U.S. concluded deals with Korea.

Korea manufactures high-value exports, particularly cars, and has a frankly brilliant, but difficult for competitors, trade strategy, with the government of Korea working strongly with its private sector. It leaves us in a situation where we can see on the record that neither the U.S. nor the EU were able to close the gap in their trade deficits with Korea after signing deals. In fact, those gaps widened.

Could the hon. member tell me why he thinks Canada will be any different?

Bev Shipley: Mr. Speaker, the hon. member touched on the auto industry. When the United States and Europe signed agreements with South Korea, their exports to South Korea doubled.

Our auto industry supports this initiative. Last year Ford Canada had the largest exports to South Korea in its history.

The companies and individuals who support this deal belong to chambers of commerce. Perrin Beatty, for example, told us that he saw first hand how Canadian companies were losing their footing in markets in other countries. Some were even making the difficult choice to shut down their marketing offices.

A free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea will help our businesses and will increase growth opportunities across our industries, industries such as ag-food, aerospace, infrastructure, energy, and chemicals, and the list goes on.

We have a list of industries, companies, and organizations that all support this deal, because it will give Canada a great opportunity not only to expand its markets but to expand its investments.