Communiqué—Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments Focus on Trade Agreement with Europe

February 28, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and his provincial and territorial counterparts responsible for international trade issued a joint statement following their annual meeting in Ottawa:

“Today, we met to discuss Canada’s international trade agenda and to exchange ideas on providing Canadian businesses and workers with the best possible access to lucrative markets around the world.

“Ministers endorsed the need for trade diversification efforts to focus on high-growth markets around the world, such as China and India, and agreed that a collaborative approach, involving the federal government, the provinces and the territories, would maximize the benefits for businesses looking to expand and succeed abroad.

“There is no larger integrated economy in the world than the European Union, with its more than 500 million consumers and GDP of over $17 trillion. Accordingly, there is no more important Canadian trade negotiating priority today than the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). As we speak, the federal government, the provinces and territories are working together on what will be our most important international trade initiative since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Trade is equivalent to 60 percent of our economy and is linked to one in five jobs. At a time of economic uncertainty, we need to create new jobs and prosperity by looking to our global trading partners, including Europe. Canadian workers in our aerospace, aluminum, wood, transportation, agriculture, fish and seafood, and renewable energy sectors—to name just a few—have a vested interest in our gaining increased access to the European Union market.

“The benefits to Canadian workers and their families following the implementation of the CETA are estimated to be: a 20 percent boost in bilateral trade and a $12 billion annual increase to Canada’s economy. That is the equivalent of a $1,000 increase to the average Canadian family income—or 80,000 new jobs.

“We remain committed to an ambitious and balanced outcome to these negotiations and we look forward to the benefits that will result.”

For more information on the trade mission, please visit Canada’s Annual Trade Meeting.

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The list of participants follows.

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
613-992-7332

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

Backgrounder - List of Participants

Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Government of Canada

Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Innovation, Government of British Columbia

Cal Dallas, Minister of Intergovernmental, International and Aboriginal Relations, Government of Alberta

Currie Dixon, Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Environment, Government of Yukon

Robert Donald, Executive Director, Trade Policy, Intergovernmental Affairs, Executive Council and Office of the Premier, Government of Saskatchewan

Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, Government of Ontario

Hugh Eliasson, Deputy Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade, Government of Manitoba

Sam Hamad, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Government of Quebec

Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Minister responsible for the Rural Secretariat and the Research & Development Corporation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, Minister responsible for Nova Scotia Business Incorporated, Minister responsible for the Innovation Corporation Act, Minister responsible for the Gateway Initiative, Government of Nova Scotia

David Ramsay, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Minister of Transportation, Government of the Northwest Territories

Paul Robichaud, Minister of Economic Development, Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Deputy Premier, Government House Leader, Government of New Brunswick

Aluki Rojas, Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Government of Nunavut

Sandy Stewart, Secretary of Economic, Trade and Population Secretariat, Government of Prince Edward Island