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Minister Fast Highlights Benefits Generated by Canada’s Ambitious Free Trade Plan

Keynote address to Economic Club asks businesses to help create jobs and prosperity for Canadian workers, businesses and their families

(No. 233 - August 16, 2011 - 1:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today addressed the Economic Club of Canada highlighting how international trade benefits Canadian families, and reiterating the government’s commitment to deepening and broadening Canada’s trading relationships. The Minister’s address followed his visit with the Lams, a Canadian family that knows first-hand the benefits created by trade.

“The benefits to Canadian families generated by international trade are clear,” said Minister Fast. “Trade accounts for over 60 percent of Canada’s annual GDP and one in five Canadian jobs. When we trade, prices for goods and services go down, wages, salaries and standard of living go up, and businesses are able to hire more workers.”

Minister Fast also assured business leaders that securing Canada’s economic recovery remains the Harper government’s top priority, and that expanding Canada’s access to foreign markets is a key part of the government’s job-creating free trade plan.

“Jobs and economic growth to benefit Canadian workers, businesses and their families continues to be our focus,” said Minister Fast. “Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to broaden Canada’s trading relationships and we are delivering.”

Since 2006, Canada has concluded new free trade agreements with nine countries, including an agreement with Honduras announced last week by Prime Minister Harper during his visit to South America. Canada is also in discussion with many more countries, including the European Union and India—two of the largest, most promising markets in the world.

Minister Fast concluded his address by asking Canada’s business community to partner with Canadians to pursue greater prosperity for families through trade.

“At this critical time, we must work together to pursue new opportunities in markets around the world,” said Minister Fast. “When Canadian businesses succeed abroad, they create jobs, prosperity and other benefits for Canadian families in every region of the country.” 

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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 and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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