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

Deeper trade with European Union will create new jobs and opportunities across B.C.

October 25, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and minister responsible for British Columbia, today showcased how workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout British Columbia will greatly benefit 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 Moore were joined at the event at the Port of Vancouver by many B.C.’s key business and industry leaders.

“This historic agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever and is a big win for people throughout B.C.,” said Minister Fast. “Workers and families who rely on key sectors of B.C.’s economy for their livelihoods, including those in the forestry and wood products, agriculture, fish and seafood, and professional services industries, stand to benefit from the preferential access this agreement provides to the largest and most lucrative market in the world.”

B.C.’s exports of forestry and value–added wood products to the EU were worth an average of $527.2 million annually between 2010 and 2012, making B.C. Canada’s largest source of exports to the EU in this sector. Employing some 56,500 British Columbians, the sector is a key driver of the provincial economy.

Currently, exports of B.C. forestry products to the EU face tariff rates of up to 10 percent. When the Canada-EU trade agreement is fully implemented, these tariffs will be eliminated, making forestry products more competitive and creating the conditions for increased sales.

“Exports of B.C.’s high-quality forestry and value-added wood products are one of our largest economic drivers,” said Minister Moore. “Eliminating tariffs on these world-class products will create the conditions for increased sales, directly benefiting British Columbians through new jobs, new opportunities and higher wages.”

The Canada-EU trade agreement will eliminate tariffs of up to 10 percent on plywood and veneered panels and of 2.7 percent on prefabricated buildings. These and other tariff reductions in the forestry and wood products sector will be of great benefit to B.C.

The EU is already B.C.’s fourth-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-EU trade agreement will benefit B.C., please visit Benefits for British Columbia.

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

- 30 -

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
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade