These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Negotiators Miss WTO Deadline

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, that minister does not know much more about that subject than he does about the definition of a statesman.

The director general of the WTO issued a statement saying that it was a great disappointment that negotiators missed the deadline on agriculture. Canada contributed to the breakdown of talks due to its rejection of the Harbinson. In short, Canada sided with the developed countries such as the EU against the developing countries in Africa and South America.

Will the minister explain his rejection of the liberalization of trade in agricultural products and why is he standing with the European Union and not with the developing countries?

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the member just does not have his facts right on this issue. We did not reject the Harbinson modalities. Some parties in the House were asking us to reject them and we did not.

We continued to promote Canada's interest. We want major, serious reform in the international trade routes for agriculture. We want the elimination of export subsidies. We want a substantial reduction in the production subsidies and the domestic subsidies. That is our agenda and we will pursue it at the WTO.

Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, that is just typical of the government. There is lots of talk but very little action and no positive results.

Producers and producer groups across Canada desperately need a successful round of negotiations. The minister has fumbled the ball at the WTO and now with Canada's diminished influence on the world stage, how does the government expect to make Canada relevant again in these trade issues? Just agreeing with France on everything will not cut it.

Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I do not think the member has been following very closely the role that Canada has been playing at the WTO, whether it was at the last ministerial in Doha, Qatar, where everyone commended Canada's contribution to the successful launch of a round.

We have been leading since Seattle all efforts that have been made on the implementation working group. We have been contributing to the transparency of the WTO, giving a lot more credibility to the whole trade negotiations around the world. Canada is a leading country.

Last week we tabled our services offer in all transparency. We are active and proud at the--

The Speaker: The hon. member for Repentigny.