These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Border Closure Hurts Both Countries

Ms. Belinda Stronach (Newmarket—Aurora, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of International Trade.

Yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food told the House that the Japanese consider the beef markets of Canada and the United States to be a single integrated North American marketplace. The Japanese obviously understand what we have known all along: the Canadian and American beef and cattle industries are far ahead of the government's ability to regulate them.

If the Japanese get it, why has the government failed to convince the Americans that the industry is integrated and that the border closure hurts both countries?

Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the Japanese understand the integrated marketplace. We make that point with the Americans. In fact, that is in part why they partially opened the border to meat from cattle under 30 months of age.

We continue to work with the Americans to reopen the border. On September 10 we made a very significant announcement that would allow us to reposition the industry to be profitable with or without a border opening.

Ms. Belinda Stronach (Newmarket—Aurora, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is great that the U.S. is making progress in its trade disputes. Our cattlemen, farmers and truckers find it especially galling that the U.S. can cut beef deals with other countries far away but not with Canada.

As I have asked before, would the minister publish a record of all interventions with the Americans on BSE, past, present and future so that Canadians can judge the government's efforts?

Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would suspect that such a record would be a very long document. We have been working diligently with the Americans to see the border reopen. That is why we have a partial reopening. It is why we were able to sign an agreement with China last week.

The hon. member, when talking about what is happening in Asia, conveniently forgets about the agreement we signed. I do not understand why she ignores the positive and simply talks about the negative. It is simply what that party does all the time.