Canada and the European Union on Track to Trade Deal

Harper government promotes trade and investment at negotiations this week in Ottawa

(No. 338 - October 18, 2010 - 11:40 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today launched the fifth round of negotiations toward a trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. The negotiations are taking place in Ottawa this week.

“A Canada-EU agreement will give Canada preferential access to one of the largest markets in the world,” said Minister Van Loan. “It will grow Canada’s economy by at least $12 billion. It will create new opportunities, jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses, workers and their families.”

Canada and the European Union have held four successful rounds of negotiations since October 2009. For the first time, the provinces and territories are actively engaged in the negotiations. This will ensure a broad and deep trade agreement that will benefit all Canadians.

“At this time of fragile economic recovery, our government is committed to opening new markets for Canadian businesses and creating jobs in Canada,” said Minister Van Loan. “In just four years, we have negotiated free trade agreements with eight countries. We are holding free trade talks with nearly 50 others, and expanding and improving the three agreements signed by the previous government.

“Once this trade agreement is in place, Canada will be the only developed country with free trade deals with the EU and the United States, the two largest markets in the world. This will give Canadian businesses a key competitive advantage and help them to succeed in the global marketplace.”

In this year’s Economic Freedom of the World index, Canada maintained its position as a leader in promoting free trade to open new markets for businesses and workers. As evident at our G-8 and G-20 summits, Canadians can count on the Harper government to oppose protectionism and defend free trade on the world stage—essential drivers of jobs and growth.

Since 2006, the Harper government has concluded free trade agreements with Peru, Colombia, Jordan, Panama and with the European Free Trade Association states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Canadian businesses and workers can compete with the best in the world, confident that our government will continue to entrench economic recovery through freer trade and open markets by pursuing an ambitious free trade agenda.

For more information, please visit Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Negotiations.

Minister Van Loan, centre, meets with chief negotiators Steve Verheul (Canada), right, and Mauro Petriccione (EU), left, prior to fifth round of negotiations.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada