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 28, 2013 - Agriculture Minister and regional minister for Saskatchewan Gerry Ritz addressed the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) today and highlighted how workers and businesses in key economic sectors throughout Saskatchewan will greatly benefit from the recently announced 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 on October 18, 2013. Minister Ritz was joined at the NSBA event by many of Saskatchewan’s key business and industry leaders.

“The province of Saskatchewan stands to benefit significantly from this historic agreement,” said Minister Ritz. “The EU is already Saskatchewan’s third-largest trading partner and export destination. The agreement will eliminate tariffs on almost all of Saskatchewan’s key exports and provide access to new market opportunities in the EU.”

Saskatchewan is home to Canada’s largest grain-producing region, and agriculture and agri-food is the province’s leading economic sector, accounting for 7 percent of GDP in 2012. Of the 43,400 Saskatchewanians employed in the sector, 10 percent work in manufacturing processing. With long-standing agricultural expertise, Saskatchewan has become the world’s largest exporter of goods such as lentils, peas and mustard seed, and it supplies 10 percent of the world’s wheat.

“When our agreement with the European Union is fully implemented, over 95 percent of agricultural tariff on Canada’s high-quality products will be eliminated,” added Minister Ritz. “Creating an opportunity to increase sales will benefit hard-working folks in Saskatchewan through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.”

EU tariffs will be eliminated on grains, including oats, barley and rye; wheat, including durum; oils, including canola oil; and processed goods, including food preparations and processed pulses and grains, such as baked goods, pulse flour, meal and powder.

The services sector is also a key driver of Saskatchewan’s economy, accounting for 55.7 percent of the province’s total GDP and employing over 395,000 people in Saskatchewan in 2012.

Canada’s services exports to the EU were worth an average of $14.5 billion annually between 2010 and 2012. Saskatchewan’s key export interests in this vibrant sector include research and development, construction, information and communications technology, tourism and transportation services. Jobs in this sector are traditionally highly skilled and well-paying, creating enormous opportunities for Canadian expertise.

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

Jeff English
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
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