Harper Government Highlights Widespread Benefits to Quebec of Historic Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Deeper trade with European Union will create new jobs and opportunities across Quebec

October 23, 2013 - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, today underlined how workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout Quebec will greatly benefit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). An agreement-in-principle for this historical deal was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso last week.

“This historic agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever,” said Minister Paradis. “It is a big win for Canadians, and in particular for Quebecers, for whom Europe is a natural market. Workers and families who rely on key sectors of Quebec’s economy for their livelihoods will benefit from preferential access to the largest and most lucrative market in the world.”

Quebec’s manufacturing industry employed close to 500,000 Quebecers in 2012. The province’s advanced manufacturing sector alone exported an annual average of $3-billion worth of goods to the EU between 2010 and 2012, with exports of aerospace products at the top of this list.

Once the agreement comes into force, the manufacturing industry will see approximately 99 percent of EU tariffs eliminated on industrial products.

“The manufacturing industry is one of the pillars of the Quebec economy,” added Minister Paradis. “The EU is already Quebec’s second-largest trading partner and export destination, and with this deal our government is ensuring Quebec companies will enjoy preferred access and a competitive edge over outside competitors.”

The service industries, which are vital to Quebec’s economy, will also benefit greatly from preferred access to one of the largest services economies in the world, worth approximately $12.1 trillion in GDP terms in 2012.

Upon coming into force, CETA will establish preferential access to, and greater transparency in, the EU services market. This will result in better, more secure and predictable market access in areas of interest to Quebec, such as environmental services, research and development, engineering, architecture and other professional services.

“Our government is focused on what matters to all Canadians: creating new jobs and new opportunities,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. “The Canada-EU Trade Agreement will generate substantial gains across all key economic sectors covering every region of Canada. In fact, Canada will be one of the only developed countries to have preferential access to the world’s two largest markets: the European Union and the United States. The competitive edge and combined access to these markets—and their more than 800 million affluent consumers—will make Canada the envy of trading nations worldwide. It will also make Canada an even more attractive destination for investors and manufacturers, and this in turn will create thousands of new jobs and new opportunities for Canadians.”

The EU is the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of $17 trillion.

For more information on how the Canada-European Union trade agreement will benefit Quebec, please visit Benefits for Quebec.

For more information on the vast benefits of this agreement to every region of Canada, please visit actionplan.gc.ca/CETA.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
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