Mr. Chair, committee members, thank you for the invitation to take part in your consultations on Bill C-100.
The Business Council of Canada represents the chief executives and entrepreneurs of 150 leading Canadian companies, in all sectors and regions of the country. Our member companies employ 1.7 million Canadians, account for more than half the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange, contribute the largest share of federal corporate taxes, and are responsible for most of Canada’s exports, corporate philanthropy, and private-sector investments in research and development.
It almost goes without saying – trade with the United States is critical to our prosperity. The Canadian economy depends on international trade and the U.S. is by far our largest trade and investment partner. Trade of goods and services represents 64 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), with the U.S. the destination for over 75 per cent of our goods exports.
The Business Council strongly supports CUSMA and calls for the swift passage of Bill C-100 for the following reasons:
Before I conclude I would like to comment on timing. Last week, business leaders from the United States, Canada and Mexico met in Washington to discuss CUSMA and the need to further strengthen North American economic relations.
The message was clear, the window for ratification is quickly closing. Business leaders across North America support the swift ratification of the agreement to keep North America tariff free, make the economy even more vibrant and competitive, drive investment and support the creation of high-value jobs.
Mexico’s Senate is expected to approve the trade agreement this week. If Canada passes Bill C-100 it will send a strong signal to Congress that this agreement has support and should be ratified.
Thank you for the opportunity to address your Committee. I look forward to answering questions.