Canada and Japan Conclude Productive First Round of Trade Negotiations

A deeper trade relationship with the world’s third-largest economy is part of the Harper government’s plan to open new markets to increase Canadian exports and create good jobs, says Minister Fast

November 30, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the productive conclusion of the first full round of negotiations toward a Canada-Japan economic partnership agreement. Negotiations took place in Tokyo from November 26 to 30, 2012.

“Opening new markets in large and dynamic economies around the world helps create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity here at home for Canadian families,” said Minister Fast. “Canada and Japan already enjoy a comprehensive economic relationship, and taking it to the next level through these negotiations is a key part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.”

A productive first round of negotiations was held this week, with progress being made across a broad range of areas, including market access for goods and services, investment and government procurement.

A recently released Joint Study found that a trade agreement between Canada and Japan could translate into gains of up to $3.8 billion a year in Canadian gross domestic product. The study also found that Canadian exports to Japan could increase by as much as 67 percent and lead to gains for Canadian exporters of goods and services in a variety of sectors, including agri-food products and natural resources, as well as to enhanced investment opportunities. That is equivalent to almost  30,000 new jobs, or a boost of $325 to the average Canadian family’s income.

Lowering tariff walls would benefit Canada’s economy enormously. Japan is already Canada’s largest source of job-creating investment from Asia. In 2011, the total value of Canadian exports to Japan was almost $10.7 billion. Leading merchandise exports to Japan included mineral fuels and oils, and agriculture and agri-food products.

“Deeper ties throughout the Asia-Pacific region are at the core of the most ambitious trade-expansion plan to open new markets in our nation’s history,” said Minister Fast. “We look forward to building on our already strong ties with Japan as we create a 21st-century partnership that will unlock its true potential and provide people in both countries with good jobs and greater long-term prosperity.”

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. In addition to ongoing negotiations with the European Union and India, Canada recently joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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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
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