Harper Government Highlights Benefits for New Brunswick 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 New Brunswickers, say federal ministers

April 27, 2012 - The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, and the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie), today joined other federal ministers across the country in highlighting the benefits of a potential trade agreement with the European Union. The ministers held events at local businesses in New Brunswick’s important fish and seafood, and wood and wood products sectors to highlight the benefits a Canada-EU trade agreement would generate for Canadian workers and their families.

“Our government is focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. An ambitious agreement with the European Union will be a big win for New Brunswick’s workers and businesses,” said Minister Ashfield in Cap-Pelé at Cape Bald Packers, a packer and processor of premium lobster and snow crab. “More than 7,000 hard-working New Brunswickers and their families depend on the fish and seafood sector for their livelihood. A Canada-EU trade agreement will produce success for this critical sector and directly benefit workers and families who rely on it here in New Brunswick.”

Minister Valcourt attended an event in Edmundston at Fraser Wood Siding, one of North America’s foremost suppliers of quality wood siding and cedar shingles.

“The wood and wood products sector is an important pillar of New Brunswick’s economy, and it is a sector that would greatly benefit from an ambitious trade agreement with the European Union. In fact, thousands of New Brunswickers and their families depend on the wood and wood products sector for their livelihood,” said Minister Valcourt. “Lowering barriers would increase sales of New Brunswick’s world-class wood and wood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers, which would directly benefit New Brunswickers through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.”

“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 New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick of a Potential Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working New Brunswickers

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 the number of jobs currently in the city of Moncton to the Canadian economy.

Many of New Brunswick’s key sectors would benefit from an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement:

Fish and seafood

  • This sector employs more than 7,000 New Brunswickers.
  • 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 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 New Brunswick’s world-class fish and seafood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit New Brunswickers through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Wood and wood products

  • This sector employs more than 4,000 New Brunswickers.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, New Brunswick exported an annual average of $15.7-million worth of wood and wood products to the EU.
  • Current 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 New Brunswick’s world-class wood and wood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit New Brunswickers through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Agriculture

  • This sector employs more than 5,000 New Brunswickers.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, New Brunswick exported an annual average of $3.8-million worth of agricultural products to the EU, of which many are dutiable.
  • Tariffs on key New Brunswick exports to the EU, such as maple syrup (EU tariffs of 8 percent) and prepared potatoes (EU tariffs of 14.4 to 17.6 percent) would be eliminated under an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement.
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of New Brunswick’s world-class agricultural products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working New Brunswickers through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Services

  • The services sector, overall, employs more than 250,000 New Brunswickers.
  • The services sector is a key driver of New Brunswick’s economy, accounting for 74 percent of the province’s total 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 New Brunswick 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.
  • New Brunswick businesses currently have significant investments in the EU in a wide variety of sectors, including agriculture, forestry, manufacturing and aerospace.
  • Putting predictable investment rules in place and guaranteeing access to EU markets will help create a level playing field for New Brunswick’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 New Brunswickers.

Government procurement

  • Workers in New Brunswick and the rest of Canada employed in fields such as engineering, architecture and technology could 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 New Brunswick’s economy.