Deeper trade with European Union will increase sales of iconic Canadian products, bringing jobs and long-term prosperity to hard-working Quebecers, says Minister of State Bernier
November 13, 2012 - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), participated in an event today in Quebec as part of a week-long national outreach program featuring some of Canada’s most iconic brands and products. Minister Bernier highlighted Quebec’s world-famous maple syrup as one of many Quebec exports that will benefit from a Canada-EU trade agreement.
“Our government is supporting entrepreneurs to create jobs and growth in our communities,” said Minister Bernier at La Cabane à Pierre in Frampton. “Opening new markets for Canadian products and services is key to these efforts. Iconic Canadian brands and products like maple syrup will benefit from a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union.”
“We’re pleased to have Minister Bernier here today,” said Pierre Faucher, owner of La Cabane à Pierre sugar shack. “Maple syrup has become an increasingly popular product among Europeans over the last few years. A trade agreement with the EU will make Canada’s products more competitive in this lucrative market.”
“Quality maple sugar production is a source of great pride for Canadians,” said Serge Beaulieu, President of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. “Our products are already well known in the European market. Maple syrup has evolved beyond the traditional pancake and waffle markets and can now be found in value-added products as a natural flavouring. The elimination of EU tariff barriers on Canadian products would not only increase sales, but would also increase recognition of Canada’s high-quality products.”
Agriculture is the third-largest sector among Quebec exports to the EU, with exports worth an average of $639.2 million a year between 2009 and 2011. totalled Canadian exports of maple syrup to the EU in 2011 amounted to $45.2 million, 95 percent of which originated from Quebec. Key Quebec agricultural exports to the EU—such as maple syrup, prepared foods and preserved fruits—face high tariff rates, which 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.
For more information, please visit Canada’s Iconic Products to Benefit from a CETA.
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A backgrounder detailing the benefits for Quebec of a potential Canada-EU trade agreement follows.
For further information, media representatives may contact:
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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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 twice the number of jobs currently in the cities of Saguenay or Trois-Rivières to the Canadian economy.
Many of Quebec’s key sectors would benefit from an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement:
Chemicals and plastics
Wood and wood products
Fish and seafood products