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

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

October 25, 2013 - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, today underlined how workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout Saskatchewan 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. Minister Ritz held an event at the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce and was joined by the Honourable Tim McMillan, Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for Trade, and Michael Holden, President of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce.

“This historic agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever and is a big win for Saskatchewan,” said Minister Ritz. “Workers and families who rely on key sectors of Saskatchewan’s economy for their livelihoods, including those in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, as well as professional services industries, 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-EU trade agreement is fully implemented, over 95 percent of agriculture tariffs will be eliminated. In addition, the agreement will provide new market access opportunities for key agricultural exports such as beef, pork and canola oil.

“Saskatchewan has become the world’s largest exporter of agricultural goods including beef, canola, lentils, peas and mustard seed, and supplies 10 percent of the world’s wheat,” said Minister Ritz. “Eliminating tariffs on these products will create the conditions to increase sales, which will directly benefit the hard-working people of Saskatchewan through new jobs, new opportunities and higher wages.”

As the world’s largest importer of agricultural goods, importing over $130-billion worth of goods in 2012, the EU presents new and expanded export opportunities for Saskatchewan’s producers. Between 2010 and 2012, annual average exports to the EU were worth an annual average of $669.6 million. Overall, the sector accounted for 7 percent of Saskatchewan’s GDP in 2012 and employed about 43,400 Saskatchewanians.

“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 already Saskatchewan’s third-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 Saskatchewan, please visit Benefits for Saskatchewan.

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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