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 28, 2013 - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today said that workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout southwestern Ontario 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 earlier this month.

“This historic agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever and is a big win for people across southwestern Ontario,” said Minister Leitch. “Workers and families who rely on key sectors of southwestern Ontario’s economy for their livelihood, including those in the manufacturing, information and communications technology, financial services, chemicals and plastics, and agricultural industries, stand to benefit from the preferential access this agreement provides to the largest and most lucrative market in the world.”

Minister Leitch was joined this morning at Ontario Potato Distribution (Alliston) Inc. by company representative John Giordano and other key business and industry leaders.

“Our world-class agricultural and manufacturing sectors are key drivers of southwestern Ontario’s economy,” added Minister Leitch. “Eliminating tariffs on these high-quality products will create the conditions to increase 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. 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 importer of agricultural goods, importing more than $130 billion worth in 2012. 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 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:

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 – Ontario’s manufacturing and agricultural sectors

Manufacturing

As one of the hubs of Canada’s manufacturing sector, Ontario is deeply integrated into North America’s 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.

Agriculture and agri-food

Ontario’s multi-faceted agricultural and agri-food sector is one of the largest and most competitive food clusters in the world. The agricultural, agri-food and beverages sector contributed $15 billion to the province’s GDP in 2012 and employed some 212,500 Ontarians. Of these, more than one third worked in the processing end of the industry. Ontario’s agricultural exports to the EU were worth an average of $621.8 million annually between 2010 and 2012.

Canadian agricultural exports to the EU face high tariffs, averaging 13.9 percent. When the Canada-EU trade agreement is fully implemented, more than 95 percent of EU agricultural tariffs will be eliminated, including on processed agricultural products and beverages. In addition, the agreement will provide new market access opportunities for key agricultural exports, such as beef and pork.