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Canada Hosts Ninth Round of Negotiations Toward a Trade Agreement with European Union

A Canada-EU trade agreement will benefit Canadian workers, businesses and families in all regions of Canada

(No. 304 - October 17, 2011 - 4:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the start of a ninth round of negotiations toward a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union. This latest round of talks is scheduled to continue until Friday, October 21, 2011, in Ottawa.

“We welcome the European negotiating team to Ottawa. Working alongside our negotiators, Canada and the EU are moving closer to an ambitious agreement that has the potential to boost two-way trade by 20 percent, creating prosperity and opportunity for Canadian businesses, workers and their families,” said Minister Fast. “These negotiations represent our most significant trade initiative since the North American Free Trade Agreement. With trade accounting for over 60 percent of our annual GDP, and with one in five Canadian jobs dependent on trade, a Canada-EU trade agreement is a key part of our government’s job-creating, pro-trade plan.”

Canada and the European Union have held eight successful rounds of negotiations since the start of talks in October 2009. To date, significant progress has been achieved in such areas as goods, services, investment and government procurement.

A Canada-EU trade agreement will benefit Canadian workers in many sectors of the Canadian economy, including, but not limited to, manufacturing, aerospace, chemicals, plastics, aluminum, wood products, and fish and seafood, as well as other commodity- and resource-based businesses.

“Some critics manufacture baseless fears and wilfully ignore the real benefits that a Canada-EU trade agreement will bring,” said Minister Fast. “The facts clearly show the real benefits of a Canada-EU trade agreement: a $12-billion annual boost to Canada’s economy, a $1,000 increase in the average Canadian family’s income and almost 80,000 new jobs. In these globally uncertain economic times, an agreement with the European Union will help to protect and strengthen the financial security of hard-working Canadian families.”

In less than six years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries and is in ongoing negotiations with many more, including India, with which a trade deal could boost Canada’s economy by at least $6 billion.

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

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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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