Harper Government Highlights Benefits for Northern Territories of a Potential Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Deeper trade with the European Union will bring good jobs, growth and long-term prosperity to the hard-working people of the northern territories, says Minister Aglukkaq

April 27, 2012 - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today joined other federal ministers across the country in highlighting the benefits of a trade agreement with the European Union. The Minister discussed the northern territories’ important services sector to highlight the benefits of a Canada-EU trade agreement 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 the workers and businesses of the northern territories,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “More than 50,000 hard-working people from the northern territories and their families depend on the services 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 in the northern territories.”

“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 northern territories 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 the Northern Territories of a Potential Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for the hard-working people of the northern territories

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.

Many of the key sectors in the northern territories would benefit from an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement:

Northwest Territories

Scientific instruments

  • Between 2009 and 2011, the Northwest Territories exported an annual average of $73,414 worth of scientific instruments to the EU.
  • Current EU tariffs on scientific instruments average 2.7 percent. These tariff barriers would be eliminated under an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement.
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of the Northwest Territories’ scientific instruments in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit the hard-working people of the Northwest Territories through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Nunavut

Fish and seafood

  • Between 2009 and 2011, Nunavut exported an annual average of $18,000 worth of fish and seafood products to the EU.
  • 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 Nunavut’s world-class fish and seafood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit the people of Nunavut through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Yukon

Fish and seafood

  • The EU is the world’s largest fish and seafood market, with a global import market averaging $25 billion annually during 2009-2011.
  • Fish and seafood is Yukon’s top dutiable export sector to the EU, with exports worth an average of $85,144 a year between 2009 and 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 Yukon’s fish and seafood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit Yukoners through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Chemicals and plastics

  • The chemicals and plastics industry is a growing export sector for Yukon to the EU, with exports worth an average of $38,092 a year between 2009 and 2011.
  • Current EU tariffs on 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 Yukon’s chemical and plastics products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit Yukoners through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Northern territories

Services

  • The overall services sector over 50,000 people in northern territories.
  • 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 northern 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.
  • Investment opportunities in the northern territories include mining, exploration and tourism.
  • Putting predictable investment rules in place and guaranteeing access to EU markets will help create a level playing field for investors and businesses in the northern territories 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 residents of the northern territories.

Government procurement

  • Workers in the northern territories 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 the economy of the northern territories.