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

Deeper trade with European Union will create new jobs and opportunities for Saskatchewan’s agricultural industry

November 8, 2013 - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today said that Saskatchewan’s agricultural industry will greatly benefit from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

“This historic trade agreement is Canada’s most comprehensive and ambitious ever and is a big win for Saskatchewan’s agricultural industry,” said Minister of State Yelich. “Families who rely on this sector stand to benefit from the preferential access this agreement provides to the largest and most lucrative market in the world. Farmers, producers, processors and workers in Saskatchewan’s world-class agricultural industry will enjoy lower tariffs and increased access to the EU market, which will create new jobs, new opportunities and higher wages.”

Minister of State Yelich met with agricultural stakeholders at an event in Saskatoon hosted by SaskPork.

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 the EU’s agricultural tariffs will be eliminated, including those levied on processed agricultural products and beverages.

“Saskatchewan’s pork producers will benefit greatly from the Canada-EU trade agreement,” said Florian Possberg, Chairman of SaskPork. “The EU is a very important international market for our pork products, one with lots of potential for growth. The agreement will help us take advantage of such opportunities and ensure long-term prosperity for pork farmers, processors and workers.”

For high-quality Canadian pork, the Canada-EU trade agreement will establish a duty-free tariff rate quota of over 81,000 tonnes for exports to the EU.

Saskatchewan is also 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 and 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.

“This deal is great news for prairie grain farmers,” said Kenton Possberg, Saskatchewan Vice President of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association. “It will result in more exports of wheat to this high-value market plus an expansion in feed grain demand from the Canadian cattle and hog sector. It all translates into higher prices for our grain.”

On October 18, 2013, Canada and the European Union announced an agreement-in-principle on a landmark trade deal. The 28-country EU represents a market of over 500 million consumers and economic activity worth $17 trillion a year. 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 boosting the average Canadian family’s income by $1,000 a year.

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.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Adria Minsky
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular)

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade