Deeper trade with European Union will increase sales of iconic Canadian products, bringing jobs and long-term prosperity to Saskatchewan families, MPs say
November 14, 2012 - Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt, and Kelly Block, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, participated in an event today in Saskatchewan as part of a week-long national outreach featuring some of Canada’s most iconic brands and products. MPs Trost and Block highlighted Saskatchewan’s world-famous wheat as one of many Saskatchewan exports that will benefit from a Canada-EU trade agreement.
“Our government is committed to creating jobs and growing the Canadian economy,” said Mr. Trost. “Key to these efforts is opening new markets, like the EU, that appreciate the iconic products and brands that Canada has to offer—products that we as Canadians are proud of. A comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union will bring benefits to various sectors of Saskatchewan’s economy, including our iconic wheat industry.”
“Quality wheat is a source of great pride to Canadians,” said Jim Wickett, a director with the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association who farms 3,300 acres on a fourth-generation farm southeast of Rosetown. “Our agriculture products are already well known in the European market. Eliminating tariff barriers on agriculture products would not only increase sales, but would also increase recognition of Canada’s high-quality products.”
Agriculture is Saskatchewan’s largest export sector to the EU, with exports worth an average of $706.5 million a year between 2009 and 2011. Saskatchewan exports of wheat to the EU in 2011 amounted to $418 million, 70 percent of Canada’s wheat exports to the EU. An ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement would lock in permanent duty-free access for key Saskatchewan interests, such as wheat, oilseeds and pulses.
“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.
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A backgrounder 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 four times the number of jobs currently in the city of Prince Albert to the Canadian economy.
Many of Saskatchewan’s key sectors would benefit from an ambitious Canada-EU trade agreement: