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

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

October 25, 2013 - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and regional minister for Southwestern Ontario, today said that workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout the region 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.

“This historic agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever and is a big win for workers and families in Southwestern Ontario, particularly in the advanced manufacturing, ICT and agricultural industries,” said Minister Finley. “This will be the biggest trade agreement we have ever had in Canada, with an estimated 80,000 new jobs created and an average increase of $1,000 in household income.”

Minister Finley was joined this morning at Canada’s Technology Triangle (CTT) in Kitchener, Ontario, by Robert Luck, Consul and Trade Commissioner for Austria, John Jung, Chief Executive Officer of CTT, Art Sinclair, Vice President for the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, and other key business and industry leaders.

“Our world-class manufacturing and ICT sectors are key drivers of Southwestern Ontario’s economy,” added Minister Finley. “Eliminating tariffs on these high-quality products will create the conditions for increased sales, which will directly benefit hard-working Ontarians through new jobs, new opportunities and higher wages.”

“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.”

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 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-EU trade agreement will benefit Ontario, please visit Benefits for Ontario.

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

A backgrounder follows.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Marcel Poulin
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Diane Finley
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
819-997-5421

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
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Backgrounder - Manufacturing and ICT Sectors: Key Drivers of Southwestern Ontario’s Economy

Manufacturing Sector

As one of the hubs of Canada’s manufacturing sector, Ontario is deeply integrated into the North American economy and value chains. The province’s manufacturing industry is diverse and covers many sub-sectors, including cars and transportation equipment, information and communications products, chemicals and plastics and agri-food, to name just a few. In 2012, more than 800,000 hard-working Ontarians were employed in this dynamic sector.

When the Canada-EU trade agreement is fully implemented, 100 percent of tariffs will be eliminated on Canadian industrial products.

Information and Communications Technology Sector

Ontario is also home to ICT-industry giants and small start-ups with strengths that include digital gaming, mobile application development and wireless communications. Ontario’s ICT sector contributed more than $4.9 billion to Ontario’s GDP in 2012. Its innovative and knowledge-intensive companies employ over 50,000 Ontarians.

Upon entry into force, all EU tariffs on ICT products will immediately be eliminated, making them more competitive and creating the conditions needed for increased sales. Increased sales of these world-class products can lead to more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity, directly benefiting hard-working Ontarians.

The Canada-European Union trade agreement will eliminate tariffs of up to 14 percent on electrical parts and equipment, and 6.7 percent on scientific and precision instruments. Tariffs of up to 2.9 percent on optical fibres and 3.7 percent on magnetic, optical, semiconductor and other media will also be eliminated.