Minister Fast Highlights Benefits of Canada-EU Trade Agreement for North America

Canada building on NAFTA’s success as 20th anniversary approaches

November 5, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today highlighted the benefits for workers and businesses of the ground-breaking North American Free Trade Agreement and how, nearly 20 years later, Canada is building on its success. Minister Fast made his remarks at an event hosted by the Canadian-American Business Council.

“The United States and Mexico are Canada’s closest trading partners, and nearly 20 years on NAFTA continues to be a key driver of jobs, economic growth and prosperity in all three countries,” said Minister Fast. “We’re now building on this success through the recently announced trade agreement with the European Union. The competitive edge and combined access to these markets—and their 800 million-plus affluent consumers—will make Canada the envy of trading nations all over the world.”

On October 18, 2013, an agreement-in-principle for a landmark Canada-European Union trade deal was announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. It has been estimated that the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement could boost the Canadian economy by $12 billion annually, equivalent to creating 80,000 jobs or to boosting the average Canadian family’s income by $1,000 annually.

“Canada and the United States continue to work closely together on a number of initiatives—including border security and greater regulatory cooperation—in order to strengthen and modernize our commercial relationship,” added Minister Fast.

Since 1994, two-way trade in goods and services between Canada and the United States has more than doubled. In 2012, bilateral trade in goods and services was valued at $742 billion—equivalent to almost 41 percent of Canada’s GDP.

Since 2006, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Honduras, Jordan, Panama and Peru. In addition to the recent agreement-in-principle with the EU, Canada is pursuing trade agreements with more than 25 countries, including large markets such as India, Japan and the countries that comprise the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

For more information about the vast benefits of the Canada-EU trade agreement, please visit

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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

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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