Minister Fast Signs Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement as Canada Secures Full Market Access for Beef and Pork
November 5, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, and José Adonis Lavaire, Minister of Industry and Commerce for Honduras, today signed the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement. Parallel agreements on labour cooperation and environmental cooperation were also signed today by Minister Fast and the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women. In addition to the trade agreement news, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that, effective immediately, the Harper government has secured full market access for Canada’s world-class beef and pork exports.
“Our government is focused on the real priorities of Canadians: creating new jobs and new opportunities,” said Minister Fast. “That’s why we continue to open new markets for Canadian exporters around the world. With the Canada-Honduras free trade agreement, Canadian exporters, service providers and investors will benefit from enhanced market access, which will create new sources of prosperity for Canadian businesses of all sizes and their workers.”
The restored access for beef and pork is estimated by industry experts to have a combined market value of approximately $5 million to $7 million annually, with the majority of exports expected to be pork. This access will generate significant benefits and new opportunities for Canadian exporters.
“This free trade agreement with Honduras opens another valuable field of opportunities for Canadian farmers, especially those producing pork and beef,” said Minister Ritz. “Our government recognizes the importance of opening new markets to ensure that Canada’s agriculture sector continues to be a strong driver of the Canadian economy, and we continue in this mission.”
“Our government is pleased to work with our partner countries in the Americas to ensure mutual prosperity within the region and achieve greater levels of international cooperation on labour issues,” said Minister Leitch. “The labour cooperation agreement signed today between Canada and Honduras will help protect labour rights and maintain productive and healthy labour environments in both countries.”
“Canada believes that trade liberalization and environmental protection go hand in hand," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council. “This agreement reinforces our priorities of establishing high levels of environmental protection, effectively enforcing environmental laws, and encouraging trade and investment.”
The Canada-Honduras free trade agreement includes provisions on market access for goods, cross-border trade in services, investment and government procurement. Once the agreement is fully implemented, over 98 percent of tariff lines will be duty-free. Key sectors that will benefit immediately from better market access include beef, pork, potato products, vegetable oils and grain products, as well as a range of processed food products.
Canada and Honduras have a healthy and growing commercial relationship. The latest numbers show 46 percent growth in merchandise trade between the two countries since 2007. In 2012, Canada’s exports of goods to Honduras totalled $38.6 million, $3.3 million of which was agricultural goods.
Engagement in the Americas has been a priority of Canada’s foreign policy since 2007. Canada is committed to increasing opportunities for mutually beneficial transactions with the Americas in order to generate inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Today’s signing of the Canada-Honduras free trade agreement is another important step toward creating the conditions for a dynamic, transparent and rules-based commercial and investment environment with economic partners in the Americas.
For more information, please visit Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement.
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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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