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 24, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today said that workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout Quebec will benefit greatly from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. An agreement-in-principle for this historic deal was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso last week. Ministers Fast and Blaney were joined at an event at the Port of Montréal by many of Quebec’s key business and industry leaders.

“This historic agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever and is a big win for Quebec’s workers and families,” said Minister Fast. “Workers and families who rely on key sectors of Quebec’s economy for their livelihood, including those in manufacturing, agricultural industries, professional services and investment, stand to benefit from the preferential access this agreement provides to the largest and most lucrative market in the world.”

Canadian agricultural exports to the EU face high tariffs averaging 13.9 percent. When the Canada-European trade agreement comes into force, almost 94 percent of EU agriculture tariff lines will be duty-free, and seven years later that number will rise to over 95 percent. In addition, the Agreement will provide new market access opportunities for key agricultural exports such as beef, pork and bison.

“Quebec’s agri-food sector is one of the most important segments of Quebec’s economy,” said Minister Blaney. “Eliminating tariffs on these world-class products will create the conditions for increased sales, which will directly benefit hard-working Quebecers through new jobs, new opportunities and higher wages.”

Quebec’s agricultural and agri-food sector plays a key role in the province’s economy and is well known as a reliable supplier of safe, high-quality goods. Quebec’s agricultural exports to the EU were worth an average of $688.5 million annually between 2010 and 2012, ranking as the province’s third-largest exporting sector to the EU.

Overall, the province’s agricultural and agri-food sector contributed more than $10.4 billion to the province’s economy in 2012 and employed approximately 138,500 Quebecers, more than a third of whom work in the manufacturing end of the industry.

The EU is already Quebec’s second-largest trading partner and export destination. It is also 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

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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