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International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan Welcomes Sixth Round of Canada-European Union Trade Negotiations

Canada committed to broad and ambitious trade deal with Europe 

(No. 26 - January 17, 2011 - 12:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today announced the launch of the sixth round of negotiations toward a comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. This round of talks is scheduled to continue until Friday, January 21, 2011, in Brussels.

“The economy remains the number one priority of our government,” said Minister Van Loan. “Through our ambitious free trade agenda, we will deliver jobs and new opportunities for Canadians. The Canada-European Union trade negotiations represent our most significant trade initiative since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement. This agreement will boost two-way trade between Canada and the European Union, while creating jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Canada and the European Union have held five successful rounds of negotiations toward an agreement since October 2009. In December 2010, Minister Van Loan held a meeting with European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht in Ottawa.

The seventh round of negotiations is scheduled for April in Ottawa.

A Canada-European Union joint economic study, released in October 2008, concluded that a stronger economic partnership could boost Canada’s economy by $12 billion annually and increase two-way trade with Europe by 20 percent.

“Canada’s free trade agenda is helping to create greater opportunities for Canadian businesses in markets around the world,” said Minister Van Loan. “As we work through the global economic recession, our government is sending a clear signal that open markets, not protectionism, are key to economic recovery, jobs and growth.”

Over the last four years, Canada has concluded new free trade agreements with eight countries. Canada is also in negotiations with close to 50 other countries and in discussions to expand the existing first generation free trade agreements.

For more information on the negotiations, please visit: Canada-European Union (CETA): Comprehensive economic and trade agreement negotiations and Canada-European Union trade negotiations: Sixth round.

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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