MASSE IN THE HOUSE: Questioning Minister on Trade with China & the Impact on the Manufacturing Sector
February 6th, 2012 - 8:01pm
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, after the government's trade agenda in Washington collapsed, we all know it is desperate for a win, but as Conservatives go to China, they should be mindful of their bad track record as trade negotiators.
Canada's manufacturing trade deficit has swelled drastically under the Conservatives from $16 billion to $81 billion in five years, costing thousands of good quality Canadian jobs.
With the Prime Minister in China to talk trade, where is the Conservative plan for protecting our manufacturing sector?
Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is our Conservative government that has aggressively pursued Canada's trade expansion in China.
We have secured approved destination status for Chinese tourists. Two way trade is now almost $60 billion. That is up from $36 billion under the Liberals.
I can guarantee one more thing: We will take no advice on trade from the NDP. They have voted against every trade agreement we have brought to this place.
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, misplaced partisanship will not help unemployed Canadians. The reality is our trade deficit keeps going up and the unemployment rate keeps going up. Those Conservatives have just not got the job done. Canada is more than just raw logs and unprocessed oil. Under Conservatives, Canada's value-added manufacturing sector has been gutted, more jobs lost every single month.
Will the government ensure any trade deal with China will help hard-hit Canadian communities that rely on a strong manufacturing sector? It is time to stand up for them this time.
Mr. Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the real difficulty here is the NDP trade agenda has absolutely zero credibility. It is a heresy issue. We stand up for Canadian workers every day by pursuing a trade agenda abroad to guarantee--
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
The Speaker: Order, please. There is far too much noise at that end of the chamber.
The hon. parliamentary secretary has the floor.
Mr. Gerald Keddy: Mr. Speaker, I will finish up.
We guarantee jobs here at home by pursuing a trade agenda abroad, which is something the NDP will never understand.