Minister MacKay Highlights Benefits of Canada-EU Trade Agreement for Nova Scotia

Deeper trade with the European Union will bring good jobs, strong growth and greater long-term prosperity to hard-working Nova Scotians, says Minister MacKay

October 28, 2012 - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, participated in an event today at the Halifax airport to highlight the benefits a Canada-EU economic and trade agreement would generate for hard-working Nova Scotians 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 MacKay. “Deeper trade with the EU will bring benefits to various sectors of Nova Scotia’s economy, especially to the more than 10,000 hard-working Nova Scotians and their families who depend on our world-class fish and seafood sector for their livelihoods.”

The EU is the world’s largest fish and seafood market, with a global import market averaging $25 billion annually 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.  

“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 a $1,000 increase 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.

- 30 -

A backgrounder detailing the benefits for Nova Scotia 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
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

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

Benefits for Nova Scotia of a Potential Canada-EU Trade Agreement

Jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Nova Scotians

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 five times the number of jobs currently in the cities of New Glasgow to the Canadian economy.

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

Agriculture

  • This sector employs almost 5,200 Nova Scotians.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, Nova Scotia exported an annual average of $46-million worth of agricultural products to the EU.
  • An ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement would lock in permanent duty-free access for Nova Scotia’s key exports, including frozen blueberries ($37.1 million; tariffs suspended temporarily), fresh blueberries (tariffs up to 9.6 percent) and fresh apples (seasonal tariffs).
  • Eliminating tariff barriers would increase sales of Nova Scotia’s world-class agricultural products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Fish and seafood

  • This sector employs over 10,000 Nova Scotians.
  • 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 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 Nova Scotia’s world-class fish and seafood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Wood and wood products

  • This sector employs nearly 3,200 Nova Scotians.
  • Nova Scotia is a significant exporter of pulp and paper, with exports worth an average of $68 million a year between 2009 and 2011.
  • Nova Scotia also exported wood and wood products worth an annual average of $41.7 million between 2009 and 2011.
  • Current EU 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 Nova Scotia’s world-class wood and wood products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hard-working Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Chemicals and plastics

  • This sector employs nearly 5,000 Nova Scotians.
  • Between 2009 and 2011, Nova Scotia exported an annual average of $3.5-million worth of chemicals and plastics to the EU.
  • Current EU tariffs on Canadian 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 Nova Scotia’s world-class chemical and plastic products in the lucrative EU market of 500 million consumers. This would directly benefit hardworking Nova Scotians through more jobs, higher wages and greater long-term prosperity.

Services

  • The services sector, overall, employs nearly 340,000 Nova Scotians.
  • The services sector is a key driver of Nova Scotia’s economy, accounting for 78 percent of the province’s total annual 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 Nova Scotia 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.
  • Nova Scotian businesses currently have significant investments in the EU in many sectors, including agriculture.
  • Putting predictable investment rules in place and guaranteeing access to EU markets will help create a level playing field for Nova Scotia’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 Nova Scotians.

Government procurement

  • Workers in Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia’s economy.