Tracey questions the Minister about trade deal with China

Ms. Tracey Ramsey (Essex, NDP): Mr. Speaker, China has no free press, torture is widespread, workers do not have a right to collective bargaining, businesses are worried about their intellectual property rights, and hundreds of human rights defenders and dissidents have been detained. China does not even have market economy status, which means we cannot possibly have a level playing field in a trade deal.

The Liberals will not even stand up to unfair steel dumping from China that is costing jobs in our steel industry right now.

How can Canadians possibly trust that the government will defend Canadian values and jobs in any new trade negotiations with China?

Hon. François-Philippe Champagne (Minister of International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the world has seen that Canada will always stand up for Canadians when it comes to trade negotiations. They saw that in Asia last week.

Our government believes in a rules-based progressive and strategic trade agenda throughout the Asia Pacific that helps create new opportunities for Canadians across this country. To dismiss the enormous potential that this market represents for our middle class is unrealistic and is not a plan to grow the economy. We are engaged with this Asean region.

Farmers and workers across this nation expect this government to engage in trade in a progressive fashion and an inclusive fashion and that is exactly what we are going to do.