International Trade Minister Ed Fast Highlights Benefits of Canada-EU Trade Agreement to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

An ambitious agreement with the EU will create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in British Columbia and across the country, says Minister Fast

May 11, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today met with members of the British Columbia division of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) to discuss the many benefits to workers and businesses of an ambitious Canada-European Union trade agreement.

“Our government remains squarely focused on what matters to Canadian workers and families: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Deepening Canada’s trading relationships with lucrative markets like the EU are key to these efforts,” said Minister Fast. “Our country’s prosperity is linked to reaching beyond our borders for economic opportunities that serve to grow Canada’s trade and investment. Trade has long been a powerful engine for Canada’s economy. It is even more so in these globally challenging economic times. CME understands this, and plays a key role in driving Canada’s prosperity and generating trade around the world.”

The EU is the world’s largest integrated economy, with more than 500 million consumers and a gross domestic product of over $17 trillion. A joint Canada-EU study found that an ambitious trade agreement with the European Union would benefit Canadian workers and businesses significantly, boosting bilateral trade by 20 percent and increasing Canada’s economy by $12 billion annually. That translates to an increase of $1,000 to the average Canadian family’s income or 80,000 new jobs across the country.

“An ambitious agreement with the EU will bring benefits to hard-working Canadians and their families in every region of the country,” said Minister Fast. “More than 60 percent of Canada’s annual income (gross domestic product) and the jobs of one in five Canadians are generated by trade. This is why workers and businesses of all sizes, across all sectors of our economy, strongly support a Canada-EU trade agreement.”

“Canada and the EU have a unique opportunity to conclude an ambitious trade deal that will promote growth at a critical time,” said CME President and CEO Jayson Myers. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with Minister Fast to finalize an agreement that will strengthen manufacturers and exporters’ ability to succeed in European and global markets.”

The ongoing trade negotiations with the EU represent Canada’s most significant trade initiative since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

For more information on the benefits by province and territory of an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement, please visit Canada-EU Trade Agreement: Opening New Markets in Europe.

- 30 -

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