Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as of March 15, the United States has implemented the full range of its free trade agreement with South Korea. The minister should know this is one of Canada’s most important and established markets for Canadian pork and beef. The government talks of opening markets, but continues to allow established markets to slip away.
Why is the government failing our beef and pork industry in a market that is worth $1 billion and when will it stand up, level the playing field and negotiate for the benefit of Canadians’ hog and beef industry?
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, our government has been hard at work, opening new doors for Canadian farmers and Canadian manufacturers. We recently negotiated further steps toward opening market access to South Korea on beef. Our government remains confident that this decision will also help create a favourable climate which will lead to a deeper trade relationship with South Korea, a priority market for Canada.
Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.): And every single day we fall further behind in that market, Mr. Speaker.
The Minister of International Trade, though, attempts to leave the impression of support for supply management. However, impressions do not cover the true facts. The minister fails to answer whether he supports the three pillars that make supply management succeed and he has cut supply management from providing advice on the global trade advisory committee that is created.
Why has the minister appointed established critics to that trade advisory committee and left supply management out?
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, I reject the premise of the member’s statement. I reject his party’s position on supply management.I can tell members for a fact, there is one party in this House that has consistently stood up for and defended supply management; that is, the Conservative Party of Canada.