Minister Shea Highlights Benefits of Canada-European Union Trade Agreement to Newfoundland and Labrador

Deeper trade and investment with European Union will create new jobs and opportunities across Newfoundland and Labrador

December 6, 2013 - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, was in St. John's today to highlight the tremendous benefits the Canada-European trade agreement will bring to workers, businesses and investors throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Minister Shea met with Keith Hutchings, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, as well as with several stakeholders in the province’s fish and seafood industry.

“This agreement is Canada’s most ambitious ever and is a big win for workers and families across Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Shea. “I am very happy to be here in St. John’s to meet with Minister Hutchings, as well as with representatives from the province’s vibrant fish and seafood industry who will directly benefit from this historic agreement.”

Newfoundland and Labrador’s fish and seafood sector is a $527.3‑million industry focused on diversification, revitalization and long-term sustainability. Employing some 8,000 people in 2012, the sector has long been an economic mainstay of the province.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s fish and seafood exports to the EU were worth an average of $119.4 million annually between 2010 and 2012, making fish and seafood the province’s top export sector facing EU tariffs. While Canadian fish and seafood exports to the EU currently face tariff rates as high as 25 percent, 100 percent of tariffs in this sector will be eliminated when the Canada-EU trade agreement is fully implemented. This will make Canada’s world-class fish and seafood sector more competitive in the EU, and allow processors to sell more of their goods and create new jobs.

"The European Union is the most lucrative seafood market in the world, with high seafood consumption per capita. For too many of our products, high tariffs have kept us from being competitive, which will now change thanks to this agreement,” said Derek Butler, Executive Director of the Association of Seafood Producers. “Indeed, the elimination of fish and seafood tariffs has the potential to generate unprecedented benefits to Newfoundland and Labrador's seafood producers and the families that rely on this vital sector of our economy for their livelihood.” 

The EU is Newfoundland and Labrador’s second-largest export destination and third-largest trading partner. The Canada-EU trade agreement will eliminate tariffs on all of Newfoundland and Labrador’s key exports and provide access to new market opportunities across the EU. In addition to removing tariffs on fish and seafood, the agreement will permanently lock in the duty-free access currently received by goods in the mineral and petroleum sectors. 

“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 enjoy preferential access to the world’s two largest markets: the European Union and the United States. The competitive edge from the combined access to these markets—comprising 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 will, in turn create thousands of new jobs and opportunities for Canadians.”

On October 18, 2013, Canada and the European Union announced an agreement-in-principle on a landmark trade deal. 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 per year.

For more information on how the Canada-EU trade agreement will benefit Newfoundland and Labrador, please visit Benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information on the vast benefits of this agreement to every region of Canada, 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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