Harper Government Highlights Benefits for Manitoba of Canada-EU Trade and Economic Agreement

Deeper trade with the European Union will bring good jobs, growth and long-term prosperity to hard-working Manitobans, says Minister Toews

October 5, 2012 - The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba, held a round table today with representatives of Manitoba’s important agriculture and agri-food sector to highlight the benefits a Canada-EU trade and economic agreement would generate for Canadian workers and their families.

“Our government’s number-one priority remains the economy, and a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union is a key part of our pro-trade plan to open new markets and help create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Toews. “Deeper trade with the EU will bring benefits to various sectors of Manitoba’s economy, especially to the more than 23,000 hard-working Manitobans and their families that depend on our world-class agriculture sector for their livelihoods.”

“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. “That is why our government is undertaking the most ambitious trade expansion plan in Canadian history, which includes a comprehensive next-generation trade agreement with the European Union. A trade agreement with the European Union is expected to 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 Manitoba of a potential Canada-EU trade and economic 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
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Backgrounder - Benefits for Manitoba of a Potential Canada-EU Trade and Economic Agreement

Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Manitobans

An ambitious trade and economic 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 twice the number of jobs currently in the city of Brandon to the Canadian economy.

Many of Manitoba’s key sectors would benefit from an ambitious Canada-EU trade and economic agreement:

Agriculture

  • This sector employs more than 23,000 Manitobans.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, Manitoba exported an annual average of $154-million worth of agricultural products to the EU, making agriculture Manitoba’s largest exporting sector.
  • Tariffs on key Manitoba exports to the EU, such as seed, including forage plants (EU tariffs of 2.5 percent), rye (EU tariffs up to €93/tonne) and oats (€89/tonne), would be eliminated under an ambitious Canada-EU trade and economic agreement.
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of Manitoba’s world-class agricultural products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working Manitobans through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Electronics

  • This sector employs nearly 600 Manitobans.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, Manitoba exported an annual average of $25-million worth of electronic products to the EU.
  • Current EU tariffs on Canadian electronics average 3 percent, with peaks of 14 percent. These high tariff barriers would be eliminated under an ambitious Canada-EU trade and economic agreement.
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Manitoba’s businesses, workers and their families.

Services

  • The services sector, overall, employs nearly 500,000 Manitobans.
  • This sector is, by far, the largest in Manitoba’s economy, accounting for approximately 73 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 and economic agreement, directly benefiting businesses and workers in this vital Manitoba 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.
  • Manitoba businesses currently have significant investments in the EU in a wide variety of sectors, including agriculture, aerospace, defence, building products and environmental services.
  • Putting predictable investment rules in place and guaranteeing access to EU markets will help create a level playing field for Manitoba’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 Manitobans.

Government procurement

  • Workers in Manitoba 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 Manitoba’s economy.