Harper Government Highlights Benefits for Nova Scotia of a Potential Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Deeper trade with the European Union will bring good jobs, growth and long-term prosperity to hard-working Nova Scotians, says Gerald Keddy

April 27, 2012 - The Honourable Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and for the Atlantic Gateway, today joined federal ministers across the country in highlighting the benefits of a potential trade agreement with the European Union. Mr. Keddy held an event at a local business in Nova Scotia’s important shipping sector to highlight the benefits a Canada-EU trade agreement would generate for Canadian workers and their families.

“The Port of Halifax alone generates more than 11,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in economic impact,” said Mr. Keddy at the Port of Halifax. “It is Canada’s gateway to Europe, as the deepest and closest mainland port in North America to the lucrative European market. A Canada-EU trade agreement will produce success for this critical sector and directly benefit workers and families here in Nova Scotia.”

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, also commented on the benefits of an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement on the Nova Scotia aerospace sector.

“Our government is focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. An ambitious agreement with the European Union will be a big win for Nova Scotia’s workers and businesses,” said Minister MacKay. “In our province, some 2,300 Nova Scotians work in the aerospace sector. Greater access to the lucrative EU market would increase sales of Nova Scotia’s world-class industrial products, including aerospace parts, resulting in more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity for Nova Scotians.”

“More than 60 percent of Canada’s annual income (gross domestic product) and the jobs of one in five Canadians are generated by trade,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, in a keynote address today to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa. The Minister’s address was among several events being held across the country to highlight the benefits of the Canada-EU trade agreement currently under negotiation.

“An ambitious trade agreement with the European Union would generate significant benefits for hard-working Canadians in every region of our country,” said Minister Fast. “It would bring a 20-percent boost in bilateral trade and a $12-billion annual increase to Canada’s economy. That translates to an increase of $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s income, or 80,000 new jobs.”

The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner and the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a GDP of over $17 trillion. The ongoing trade negotiations with the EU represent Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the historic North American Free Trade Agreement.

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A backgrounder detailing the benefits for Nova Scotia of a potential Canada-EU trade agreement 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
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Backgrounder - Benefits for Nova Scotia of a Potential Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Nova Scotians

An ambitious trade agreement with the European Union would be of significant benefit to Canada, resulting in a 20-percent boost in bilateral trade and a $12-billion increase in Canada’s annual income (gross domestic product).

That translates to an increase of $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s income, or 80,000 new Canadian jobs—which is like adding five times the number of jobs currently in the cities of New Glasgow to the Canadian economy.

Many of Nova Scotia’s key sectors would benefit from an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA):

Agriculture

  • This sector employs almost 5,200 Nova Scotians.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, Nova Scotia exported an annual average of $46-million worth of agricultural products to the EU.
  • An ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement would lock in permanent duty-free access for Nova Scotia’s key exports, including frozen blueberries ($37.1 million; tariffs suspended temporarily), fresh blueberries (tariffs up to 9.6 percent) and fresh apples (seasonal tariffs).
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of Nova Scotia’s world-class agricultural products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Fish and seafood

  • This sector employs over 10,000 Nova Scotians.
  • The EU is the world’s largest fish and seafood market, with a global import market averaging $25 billion annually during 2009-2011.
  • Current EU tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood products average 11 percent, with peaks of 25 percent. These high tariff barriers would be eliminated under an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement.
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of Nova Scotia’s world-class fish and seafood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Wood and wood products

  • This sector employs nearly 3,200 Nova Scotians.
  • Nova Scotia is a significant exporter of pulp and paper, with exports to the EU worth an average of $68 million a year between 2009 and 2011.
  • Nova Scotia also exported wood and wood products to the EU worth an annual average of $41.7 million between 2009 and 2011.
  • Current EU tariffs on Canadian wood and wood products average 2.2 percent, with peaks of 10 percent. These tariff barriers would be eliminated under an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement.
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of Nova Scotia’s world-class wood and wood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Chemicals and plastics

  • This sector employs nearly 5,000 Nova Scotians.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, Nova Scotia exported an annual average of $3.5-million worth of chemicals and plastics to the EU.
  • Current EU tariffs on Canadian chemical and plastic products average 4.9 percent. These tariff barriers would be eliminated under an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement.
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of Nova Scotia’s world-class chemical and plastic products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hardworking Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Services

  • The services sector, overall, employs nearly 340,000 Nova Scotians.
  • The services sector is a key driver of Nova Scotia’s economy, accounting for 78 percent of the province’s total annual GDP in 2010.
  • In 2010, the EU’s services import market totalled $1.4 trillion.
  • Current EU trade barriers on Canadian services are citizenship or residency requirements, lack of temporary entry rules, and ownership and investment restrictions. These trade barriers would be reduced under an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement, directly benefiting businesses and workers in this vital Nova Scotia sector.

Investment

  • Direct investment by Canadian companies in the EU totalled almost $173 billion in 2011, representing over 25 percent of Canadian direct investment abroad. The same year, direct investment by European companies in Canada totalled almost $161 billion, representing over 26 percent of total foreign investment in Canada.
  • Nova Scotian businesses currently have significant investments in the EU in many sectors, including agriculture.
  • Putting predictable investment rules in place and guaranteeing access to EU markets will help create a level playing field for Nova Scotia’s investors and businesses and reduce the risks associated with investing abroad. This would lead to greater two-way investment, which would help create jobs and long-term prosperity for hard-working Nova Scotians.

Government procurement

  • Workers in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada employed in fields such as engineering, architecture and technology would benefit from greater access to the EU’s procurement market, which is worth an estimated $2.4 trillion.
  • Greater access to the world’s largest procurement market would benefit workers and their families in sectors that are vital to Nova Scotia’s economy.