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Parliamentary Secretary Keddy Says EU Trade Deal Will Bring Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity to P.E.I.

Harper government committed to seeing local businesses succeed and grow, says Parliamentary Secretary Keddy

September 12, 2012 - Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and for the Atlantic Gateway, today concluded a two-day tour of Prince Edward Island, where he highlighted how a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union would benefit important sectors of the island’s economy. He was joined by the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue.

Minister Shea and Parliamentary Secretary Keddy were in Summerside today to tour the Vector Aerospace Engines Services’ Atlantic facility, and they held a round table at Slemon Park with representatives of Atlantic Canada’s aerospace industry to update that group on the current trade negotiations with the European Union.

“Our government is committed to a pro-trade plan that helps businesses succeed and grow,” said Parliamentary Secretary Keddy. “That’s why we’re pursuing the most ambitious free trade plan in Canada’s history—one that includes a trade agreement with the European Union. A comprehensive economic and trade agreement would benefit Canadian companies, including the aerospace sector, making it easier to do business and helping to create jobs and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.”

Yesterday, after kicking off their tour of P.E.I. at the Trade Calendar launch hosted by Trade Team P.E.I. to promote Pan-Atlantic trade and export, Minister Shea and Parliamentary Secretary Keddy held an agricultural round table at the Farm Centre Association in Charlottetown, where the discussion focused on the benefits of a Canada-EU trade agreement for P.E.I. agricultural workers and their families.

“Our government is focused on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Shea. “A trade agreement with the European Union will be a big win for P.E.I.’s workers and businesses. More than 3,700 hard-working Islanders and their families depend on the agriculture 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 P.E.I.”

In Morell yesterday, Minister Shea and Parliamentary Secretary Keddy visited the Mussel King processing plant to highlight the benefits of an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement for the P.E.I. fish and seafood industry. The EU is the world’s largest fish and seafood market, with a global import market averaging $23 billion annually during 2009-2011.

“The fish and seafood sector is an important pillar of P.E.I.’s economy,” said Parliamentary Secretary Keddy. “In fact, more than 3,900 Islanders and their families depend on it for their livelihood. Lowering tariff barriers would increase sales of P.E.I.’s world-class fish and seafood in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers, directly benefiting Islanders through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.”

The European Union is Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States. A Canada-EU joint economic study released in October 2008 shows that a trade agreement would boost Canada’s economy by $12 billion annually and increase two-way trade by 20 percent. That’s the equivalent of creating 80,000 jobs in Canada—the same as adding twice the number of jobs currently in the cities of Charlottetown and Summerside to the Canadian economy. Put another way, it is like adding $1,000 to the pockets of the average Canadian family.

In less than six years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Honduras, Jordan, Panama, Peru, and the European Free Trade Association member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Canada has also begun deepening trade and investment ties with the largest, most dynamic and fastest-growing markets in the world, including Brazil, China, the European Union, India and Japan.

For more information on the benefits of an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement, please visit Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Negotiations.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Alicia Swinamer
Assistant to Parliamentary Secretary Gerald Keddy
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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