Modification - Minister Van Loan Promotes Free Trade Negotiations with European Union

Modification: correction to contact information

Canada-European Union free trade negotiations top the Harper government’s aggressive free trade agenda

(No. 290 -Modification - September 14, 2010 - 10 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today met with the Toronto Board of Trade in Scarborough, where he promoted Canada’s leadership in free trade and investment.

“Our government is leading Canada out of the global economic downturn to emerge stronger and in better fiscal shape than nearly every other industrialized country,” said Minister Van Loan. “An aggressive free trade agenda is an important part of our economic policy to create future prosperity for Canadian businesses and workers.”

An essential component of this strategy is a Canada-European Union comprehensive economic and trade agreement, which represents the most significant trade initiative since the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“The Canada-European Union joint economic study released in October 2008 shows that an agreement could boost Canadian gross domestic product by $12 billion annually, and two-way trade with Europe could increase by 20 percent,” said Minister Van Loan. “We have made significant progress in the negotiations toward a Canada-EU free trade agreement and we are on track to concluding negotiations next year.”

In less than four years, the Government of Canada has concluded new free trade agreements with Colombia, Peru, Jordan, Panama and the European Free Trade Association states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The government has also launched discussions on economic partnership with two of the world’s largest economies, the European Union and India.

During his speech to the North York and Scarborough members of the Toronto Board of Trade, Minister Van Loan also underscored the importance that business associations play in expanding trade and investment opportunities for Canadian businesses.

“The Board’s members understand that free trade creates opportunities, jobs and prosperity,” said Minister Van Loan. “That’s why we’re counting on the vocal support of Canada’s business community in our efforts to create more free trade links with our partners around the world.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade
613-992-9304

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000